When most people think of the Royal Gorge, they rightfully think of the awesome canyons in Colorado. This isn't that one. It is a Royal Gorge, but it's in Missouri and it was created thanks in part to stubborn rocks and an ancient volcano. I'll try to explain.

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The Missouri Department of Conservation has shared some interesting history in a part of Missouri that many overlook unfortunately. It's called the Royal Gorge, but it's completely different than the famous tourist destination in Colorado. Only In Your State recently highlighted this unique place.

So how exactly was Royal Gorge in Missouri formed by an ancient volcano?

The southern parts of Missouri were once dominated by volcanoes. After their active periods ended, they left behind a rock called rhyolite. The water from the streams in the area carved a path through the softer rock above, but eventually ran into this volcano aftereffect and that's where the streams settled into. That's how "stubborn" rhyolite rock in Missouri formed the Royal Gorge.

There is a unique kind of life that calls this part of Missouri home, too. It's Big Creek crayfish. There's a type of crayfish not native to this area that has been introduced by illegal bait dumping and it's apparently messing with the crayfish already present there. Sort of a crayfish civil war in the Royal Gorge.

The trail in Royal Gorge is highly-rated on All Trails and is only a couple miles in length. It's a little rough around the edges, but has some gorgeous sights for those brave enough to hike it. Just watch out for those stubborn (and hard) volcanic rocks.

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