Grand Gulf State Park (Missouri)
|Grand Gulf State Park|
|Missouri State Park|
Water entering this cave reappears nine miles (14 km) away at Mammoth Spring.
|Area||0.5 sq mi (1 km2)|
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. 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.
The Grand Gulf is nearly 1 mile (1.6 km) long and up to 130 feet (40 m) deep with sheer sides.
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 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.
- 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
- "Grand Gulf State Park - Missouri State Parks and Historic Sites". Missouri Department of Natural Resources. September 11, 2006. Retrieved 2009-04-25.
- "National Natural Landmark summary". National Park Service. February 5, 2004. Retrieved 2009-04-25.
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