National Park Service
Firehole Lake Drive in Yellowstone National Park is melting from geothermal heat.
Our National Park System is a true treasure. Here are 10 great reasons to visit it right now. More than 440,000 people visit the Canyonlands National Park -- located in Southwest Utah -- every year and it's easy to see why: Dramatic arches and serpentine slot canyons are only matched by the intense colors of the desert rock.Your Guide to the Canyonlands National Park
Though Acadia National Park is perched on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, it is characterized by its mountains: Craggy knobs that spring up in dome-like shapes from the coast. This makes for great hiking only a few steps away from incredible sea kayaking.NEWS: Should National Parks Be Strictly Wild?
Tucked against the borders of Montana and British Columbia, Glacier National Park is one of the more remote in the system. It is also one of the largest, covering more than 1,000,000 acres, which includes parts of two mountain ranges, over 130 named lakes, more than 1,000 different species of plants and hundreds of species of animals.5 Reasons to Visit Glacier National Park in Winter
More sandstone arches and towers can be found, not surprisingly, in Arches National Park. The park -- which is also located in Utah -- is home to the famous "Delicate Arch" which hangs improbably over a deep valley.NEWS: Are National Parks Essential?
Yellowstone needs no introduction: It was the world's first and is famous for its abundance of wildlife and unusual volcanic terrain. Yellowstone's Big 5: The Best Animals to Seei
Great Sand Dunes National Park looks like a scene from the Sahara or Gobi desert -- but this incredible place is, in fact, nestled in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
Zion National Park contains the unique intersection of the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin and Mojave Desert -- making it a place of astounding biological and geological diversity.Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Zion National Park
Yosemite was declared a World Heritage Site in 1984. The granite cliffs, waterfalls, giant sequoia trees and rich biological diversity draw more than 3.7 million visitors each year.Spectacular Time-Lapse Video of Yosemite Is Mind-Blowing, Took Two Years to Film
The park that gets its name from the namesake canyon is a must-see on any national parks hit list. Though most people are content with the view from the rim, Grand Canyon National Park is actually home to some extremely rugged and remote terrain for the more adventurous.NEWS: Grand Canyon Gets Younger
Yellowstone National Park closed a popular road Thursday (July 10) after geothermal heat cooked the asphalt.
Part of Firehole Lake Drive, a scenic one-way road off of Yellowstone's main loop, was shut down for repairs when oil bubbled to the surface, damaging the blacktop, the Park Service said in a statement. The closure doesn't affect the Grand Loop Road, which sees 20,000 visitors per day during the summer.
Park spokesman Dan Hottle told Live Science that Firehole Lake Drive's surface hit 160 degrees Fahrenheit (70 degrees Celsius) on Thursday, about 30 degrees to 40 degrees F (17 to 22 degrees C) hotter than usual.
Geothermal heat radiating from Yellowstone's underground supervolcano, combined with warming from the summer sun, softened the 3.3-mile-long (5.3 kilometers) road.
Hottle noted that the road problems do not mean the volcano is showing signs of an impending eruption. "The supervolcano is not going to blow," he said.
Road closures from heat damage aren't unusual in Yellowstone, which has more than 10,000 geothermal features and 500 geysers. The park has previously closed Firehole Lake Drive for repairs due to heat damage, Hottle said. "This road has had this particular issue in the past, but it doesn't happen too often," he said.
The Park Service plans to work on repairs through the weekend, and hopes to reopen the road by early next week, Hottle said.
Within the next five years, the Park Service also plans to relocate a part of Grand Loop Road that takes visitors past Frying Pan Spring. "That area of the road is always buckled up and being repatched and repaired, so we're moving it away from the thermal area," Hottle said.
Original article on Live Science.
Quick Scenic Tour of the Wonders of Yellowstone
Infographic: The Geology of Yellowstone
Big Blasts: History's 10 Most Destructive Volcanoes
Copyright 2014 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.