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National Park Quiz 19: Trails

Switchbacks like these are necessary when trails traverse steep slopes. Photo by Kmd15 via Wikipedia.

1. The photo accompanying this article depicts a series of steep switchbacks on ______. This popular trail in Grand Canyon National Park has an average slope of 18% and is so narrow that hikers may have a tough time squeezing past mule packs without getting kicked.
a. Bright Angel Trail
b. Grandview Trail
c. Ken Patrick Trail
d. El Tovar Trail

2. According to National Park Service planners, what percentage of national park visitors is unable to comfortably walk a flat, half-mile loop trail because of age, infirmity, or other factors?
a. 25 percent
b. 33 percent
c. 40 percent
d. 50 percent or more

3. The heavily used Anhinga Trail is a boardwalk trail in
a. Everglades National Park
b. Gateway National Recreation Area
c. Golden Gate National Recreation Area
d. Biscayne National Park

4. People in poor physical condition or lacking proper clothing will be at substantial risk of altitude sickness and hypothermia when hiking the
a. Laurel Falls Trail In Great Smoky Mountains National Park
b. Mauna Loa Trail in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
c. South Wilderness Trail in Pinnacles National Monument
d. Lost Mine Trail in Big Bend National Park

5. Boston’s Freedom Trail is
a. an urban trail constructed in the 1930s
b. a red line consisting mostly of red brick
c. owned by the National Park Service
d. closed at 6:00 p.m. each day

6. Situated near the Bear Valley Visitor Center, the Earthquake Trail is one of the most popular visitor attractions at
a. Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
b. Kenai Fjords National Park
c. Haleakala National Park
d. Point Reyes National Seashore

7. One of the longest biking trails in the coterminous U.S. is in ______, which has nearly 185 miles of towpath suitable for hiking and biking.
a. Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
b. Illinois and Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor
c. Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park
d. Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historical Park

8. The 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail, a border-to-border (Canada to Mexico) National Scenic Trail, passes through all of the following national parks EXCEPT:
a. Kings Canyon National Park
b. Joshua Tree National Park
c. Crater Lake National Park
d. Lassen Volcanic National Park

9. A 30-mile stretch of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail is situated within Rocky Mountain National Park. The people who hike this stretch of the trail can stand on the actual continental divide at an elevation of
a. nearly 6,000 feet
b. 8,100 feet
c. 10,600 feet
d. more than 12,300 feet

10. The 2,175-mile long Appalachian National Scenic Trail is one of the National Park System’s 391 units. Most of the approximately _______ people who have hiked the AT from end to end (called “2,000-milers”) have hiked the AT from ______.
a. 5,000 --------------- south to north
b. 5,000 --------------- north to south
c. 10,000 ------------- south to north
d. 10,000 ------------- north to south

Extra Credit Question

11. When you got to the park, you learned that the trail you had wanted to hike was not available for use because it was in an area of the park that was temporarily closed by order of the Secret Service. Only then did you remember that you had been warned about that possibility when you went online and visited the home page of
a. Acadia National Park
b. Catoctin Mountain Park
c. Sagamore Hill National Historic Site
d. Valley Forge National Historical Park

Super Bonus Question

12. An acquaintance tells you that he gave a sherpa a $50 tip during his recent visit to an American national park. From this you deduce that the guy probably
a. hiked a backcountry trail in Glacier National Park
b. rode an equestrian trail in Yosemite National Park
c. strayed off a hiking trail, got lost, and had to be rescued
d. hiked a trail requiring technical climbing skills

Answers: (1) a (2) d (3) a (4) b (5) b (6) d (7) c (8) b (9) d (10) c

(11) b. Catoctin Mountain Park, which is about 60 miles north of Washington, DC, is where the Camp David presidential retreat is located. When the president or other VIPs are scheduled to visit Camp David, one of the world’s most secure facilities, certain areas of the park are closed to comply with Secret Service security measures.

(12) a. Hikers who do not want to (or cannot) pack their own gear on Glacier’s backcountry trails can hire “sherpas” to do it for them. Named after the hardy ethnic Sherpas who serve as bearers for Himalayan climbing parties, the park’s pack-toting sherpas are mostly college students earning money for school.

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.


50% are too infirm for trails? Wow! Must be our great American diet ...


My travels through the National Park System:

Only 8 right this week.... I guess the Freedom Trail was constructed some time other than the 1930's.

I think that the 50% too infirm for the trails figure comes from the fact that so many retirees spend their summers (if not their years) going around visiting National Parks, and so boosting their share of the overall visitation numbers.

Eight's not bad. The Freedom Trail was dedicated in 1958 (see []this site[/url]). It's not just us Olde Pharze who are unable to handle simple trails. Obesity has become a prime factor. More and more Americans these days have bad knees, sore ankles, poor circulation, breathing problems, and other debilitating conditions that can be traced to packing way too much weight for good health. I'm not saying that overweight people can't be reasonably fit, just that far too many aren't.

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