Grand Gulf State Park (Missouri)

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This article is about Grand Gulf State Park (Missouri). For other uses, see Grand Gulf.
Coordinates: 36°32′41″N 91°38′43″W / 36.54472°N 91.64528°W / 36.54472; -91.64528
Grand Gulf State Park
Missouri State Park
Grand Gulf cave 1-02Aug07.jpg
Water entering this cave reappears nine miles (14 km) away at Mammoth Spring.
Country United States
State Missouri
County Oregon County
Coordinates 36°32′41″N 91°38′43″W / 36.54472°N 91.64528°W / 36.54472; -91.64528
Area 0.5 sq mi (1 km2)
Founded 1984
Website: http://mostateparks.com/grandgulf.htm
Designated: June 1971

Grand Gulf State Park near Thayer, Missouri, consists of 322 acres (130 ha) encompassing a forked canyon that is the remnant of an ancient collapsed dolomite cave system.[1][2] An uncollapsed part of the original cavern roof spans 200 feet (61 m), creating the largest natural bridge in Missouri. It was declared a National Natural Landmark in June 1971 for its excellent example of karst topography and underground stream piracy.[2]

Description[edit]

The Grand Gulf is nearly 1 mile (1.6 km) long and up to 130 feet (40 m) deep with sheer sides.[1]

A watershed of 26 square miles (67 km²) feeds into the gulf which itself drains into a cave entrance at its eastern end. Dye traces have shown that water entering the cave in Grand Gulf emerges 1 to 4 days later at Mammoth Spring in Arkansas, 9 miles (14 km) distant.

The land that is now the park was acquired by conservationist Leo Drey before becoming part of the Missouri state parks system.

Facilities[edit]

The park has picnic tables and toilet facilities and is operated by the state as a day use area with no camping. Because of heavy foliage the Grand Gulf is best viewed in winter months.

References[edit]

  • Beveridge, Thomas R. (1980), Geologic Wonders and Curiosities of Missouri, Rolla: Missouri Division of Geology and Land Survey, pp. 335–344, Library of Congress Card Catalog No. 78-69968 
  1. ^ a b "Grand Gulf State Park - Missouri State Parks and Historic Sites". Missouri Department of Natural Resources. September 11, 2006. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  2. ^ a b "National Natural Landmark summary". National Park Service. February 5, 2004. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 

External links[edit]