About Yellowstone
Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone is a truly unique place. This 2.2 million acre wonderland became our first national park on March 1st, 1872 and attracts nearly 3.5 million tourists every year. The park is synonymous with geysers and hot springs and contains nearly two-thirds of all the geysers on the planet, with Old Faithful being its most iconic geothermal feature. There is more hydrothermal activity in Yellowstone than anywhere else on the earth, all of which is powered by a giant reservoir of hot magma located just below the earth's surface. Most people who visit Yellowstone are unaware that the park has been shaped by a series of super volcanos that have changed the landscape in this region for millions of years.

Much of Yellowstone is situated on a high plateau in the northwestern corner of Wyoming in the midst of the beautiful rocky mountains. This plateau is the result of a massive volcanic eruption that took place around 630,000 years ago. This catastrophic event was 1,000 times more powerful than the Mount St. Helens disaster in 1980, and formed the massive caldera that is now located near the center of the park (see illustration below). The caldera boundary is approximately 45 x 30 miles in diameter and is just one of a handful of volcanic eruptions that have significantly altered the topography in and around Yellowstone.

Yellowstone Caldera

If you're a photographer or wildlife enthusiast, Yellowstone has the richest and most diverse collection of wildlife found anywhere in the lower 48. Often referred to as the North America Serengeti, Yellowstone is the home to wolves, coyotes, fox, moose, deer, elk, bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, bison, lynx, eagles, black bears and of course the powerful grizzly bear. Places like the Lamar and Hayden valleys are often prime locations for observing many of these larger mammals at close range and should be on your to-do list if you visit the park. Click here for more information regarding Yellowstone's wildlife.

Yellowstone is also one of the last remaining temperate ecosystems in the world and the location is a backpackers dream. With over 300 backcountry campsites and over 1,000 miles of hiking trails spread throughout the park the recreational opportunities here are as endless as the landscape. The varied terrain guarantees hikers of every ability and interest a true wilderness experience where wildlife graze in beautiful open meadows, winding rivers filled with native trout meander through immense valleys, and the rugged peaks of the rocky mountains provide an unforgettable backdrop to this one-of-a-kind national park. Welcome to Yellowstone!

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