Yellowstone National Park   12 comments

Yellowstone National Park sign at the North Entrance; Jim Peaco; October 1992Where Is It: The very large Park has 5 entrances. The East entrance is 1 hour west of Cody, WY.

The Birth: Ferdinand V Hayden explored Yellowstone in 1871 with sponsorship by Congress. Hayden compiled a comprehensive report, complete with large-format photographs by William Henry Jackson and paintings by Thomas Moran. This report helped convince the Congress to withdraw the area from a planned public auction. Generally regarded as the first National Park in the world, Congress passed the law that was signed by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872.

It Happened Here: From Wikipedia:

Yellowstone Lake is one of the largest high-altitude lakes in North America and is centered over the Yellowstone Caldera, the largest supervolcano on the continent. The caldera is considered an active volcano. It has erupted with tremendous force several times in the last two million years. Half of the world’s geothermal features are in Yellowstone, fueled by this ongoing volcanism. Lava flows and rocks from volcanic eruptions cover most of the land area of Yellowstone. The park is the centerpiece of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the largest remaining nearly-intact ecosystem in the Earth’s northern temperate zone.

Size: 2,219,791 acres. The Park is larger than Delaware and Rhode Island, combined. It’s 96% in Wyoming, with small parts in Montana and Idaho.

# Visitors: 3,691,191. Attendance at the most popular National Park peaks in July, and is at the lowest levels December – February.

Choices: From, who recommends a 3-day visit to the Park, here are the site’s Top 10 things to do:

#1 Old Faithful Geyser/Upper Basin
#2 Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
#3 Hayden Valley
#4 Mammoth Hot Springs
#5 Yellowstone Lake
#6 Norris Geyser Basin
#7 Lamar Valley
#8 Tower Fall
#9 Lower Geyser Basin
#10 West Thumb Geyser Basin

Fees: The entrance fee for a private vehicle is $25 for a 7-day pass.

Staying There: From

Campers have 2,000 campsites in 12 campgrounds to choose from. Seven, run by the National Park Service, are first-come, first-served. Five, run by park concessioner Xanterra, require reservations. Slough Creek, Norris and Fall Tower are among the most popular and fill up quickly, so be sure to arrive early in the day if you want a good spot. For backcountry hikers, Shoshone Lake is a good bet, with an active geyser basin on the lake’s west side; you can also get there by boat on one of the canoe trails. Luxury camping in safari tents and tipis is available from a concessioner called Yellowstone Under Canvas. Old Faithful Inn, on the edge of the famous geyser, is undoubtedly the most distinctive of the park’s lodges. The grand 1904 lodge, named a National Historic Landmark, features four layers of balconies that peek out from the gnarled branches of old trees. The old part of the lodge has the drawback of shared bathrooms, but the character of the old rooms is worth it.

Contact Info:

Yellowstone National Park
PO Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168
By Phone: 307-344-7381



National Park Service: Yellowstone National Park

Kansas City Star: Yellowstone National Park: Old Faithful Visit Is Just The Start

EdR Photography: The Mad Weather Experience

Jason’s Travels: Five Things To See In Yellowstone National Park

YouTube: Yellowstone National Park Highlights Yellowstone National Park


12 responses to “Yellowstone National Park

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  1. We are headed here this summer. My husband has been several times, but the boys and I have not. We are so excited!

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