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National Park Quiz 4: Beaches

At which national park beach might you encounter this sign? Photo by Sister72 via flickr.

Swimsuit season is nearly here. Are you ready for the beach? There are loads of beaches in the national parks -- even a few “clothing optional” ones for people who don’t like tan lines. This week's quiz will assess your knowledge of all kinds of beaches in the national parks. Answers are at the end. No peeking.

1. Park visitors who like “people watching” on lively summer beaches – the kind with big crowds of sunbathers, plenty of swimmers, and lots of radios — should try
a. Baker Beach at Golden Gate National Recreation Area
b. Rockaway Beach at Gateway National Recreation Area
c. Oak Island at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
d. Boca Chica Island at Biscayne National Park

2. Where would you most likely find a beach covered with smooth rocks instead of sand?
a. Cape Lookout National Seashore
b. Isle Royale National Park
c. Canaveral National Seashore
d. Biscayne National Park

3. A visitor may legally drive an ORV on the beach in specified places at each of the following national parks EXCEPT:
a. Fire Island National Seashore
b. Cape Cod National Seashore
c. Cape Hatteras National Seashore
d. Gulf Islands National Seashore

4. You wouldn’t want to swim there, but there is a black sand beach at
a. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
b. Acadia National Park
c. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
d. Virgin Islands National Park

5. Film makers, TV commercial producers, and romantic couples love the sea stacks, surf, and gorgeous sunsets at McClures Beach in
a. Cabrillo National Monument
b. Cape Lookout National Seashore
c. Channel Islands National Park
d. Point Reyes National Seashore

6. The only beach in the entire National Park System where the Park Service officially and openly declares that nude and topless bathers are permitted to share the beach with people wearing swimsuits is
a. Drakes Beach at Point Reyes National Seashore
b. Sailors Haven Beach at Fire Island National Seashore
c. Gunnison Beach in Gateway National Recreation Area
d. China Beach in Golden Gate National Recreation Area

7. To make a beach that could be used for swimming and sunbathing, sand was trucked in and spread along the shore at
a. Echo Lake in Acadia National Park
b. Yellowstone Lake in Yellowstone National Park
c. Lucille Lake in Voyageurs National Park
d. Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National park

8. During the annual Spring Break period, college students and their cars cluster on the beach in
a. Padre Island National Seashore
b. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
c. Big Cypress National Preserve
d. Channel Islands National Park

9. Beach users at _____ need to be aware that they are in a tsunami hazard zone and must be prepared to head for high ground immediately if there is an earthquake.
a. Lake Mead National Recreation Area
b. Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve
c. Redwood National Park
d. Cumberland Island National Seashore

10. Which of the following has some sandy beaches that might be there one day, but completely gone the next?
a. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
b. Grand Canyon National Park
c. White Sands National Monument
d. Haleakala National Park

Bonus question

11. They enjoyed their long walk on the wide, clean, sandy beach. But now this young couple has to get back to their car, and that’s the problem. They did something really stupid to get to the beach, and now the only direct route back to their car requires them to climb a steep slope that is over 400 feet high and offers no decent handholds. As they start their climb, people on the nearby wooden observation platform shout at them to turn back. This misadventure could definitely ruin their visit to
a. Olympic National Park
b. Haleakala National Park
c. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
d. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Answers: (1) b (2) b (3) d (4) a (5) d (6) c (7) a (8) a (9) c (10) b 11) d – To get to the beach they ignored the warning signs and scrambled down the steep face of a gigantic sand dune.

Grading: 9 or 10 correct, rest on your laurels; 7 or 8 correct, pretty darn good; 6 correct, passably fair; 5 or fewer correct, nothing to brag about.


Good, tough quiz. I got 8 out of 12. I would have thought with the Ft. Pickens road being down at Gulf Islands NS that they would have permitted ORV access there - but I guess not. Also, although the correct answer to #9 is quite clear, Cumberland Island National Seashore is, I believe, actually at some risk for a tsunami - although large earthquakes are uncommon in that portion of the Atlantic. For example, if Cumbre Vieja in the Canary Islands were ever to go, as a few people have speculated....

Not to be a dud, but the river swimming is not in or administerd by Lowell NHP. It is property of Massachusetts DCR and staffed by the City of Lowell Parks and Recreation.

I've fixed the problem by deleting the "super bonus" question #12. Thank you very kindly for spotting that error. BTW, perhaps you can tell me why Lowell's river swimming beach was closed for a time. My notes indicate that it was "reopened" in 1996.

If you don't want to spoil the fun, please use different file names for the picture, accompanying the quizzes. The picture's name gives away the answer to one of the questions. Same last time with the bridges. And the file name is shown in Firefox browser whenever your mouse is over the image. Thanks for this very nice quiz, I just looked up the amazing high slope for question 11, as I had no idea, and guessed completely wrong. The website of the park has a few images of the location.

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