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Yellowstone National Park And Its Travel

Updated on October 22, 2011

Yellowstone National Park is a park situated largely on the United States state of Wyoming, and it extends into Montana and Idaho. This park was the first established national park, and it comprises mostly of wildlife and almost ancient geothermal features. Although, it characterizes many types of ecosystems, the subalpine forest remains dominant.

This area has been home to Native Americans for almost 11000 years. During the famous Louis and Clarke Expedition in the 1800’s, this area was circumvented. It was in the late 1960’s, that there was an organized exploration of this region. In the following years, hundreds of structures had been constructed and are being protected for their historical and archeological importance. 

Yellowstone Lake
Yellowstone Lake
Yellowstone Caldera
Yellowstone Caldera

This park covers an area of almost 3,500 square miles. It comprises of lakes, mountains ranges, canyons and rivers.

The Yellowstone Lake is one of the highest altitude lakes in North America and is centered over the Yellowstone Caldera, the largest volcano in the continent.

This park has various species of plants, flowers and animals. Some animals found here have also been declared as endangered by the WWF.

Forest fires have occurred in this region, the worst of all was the fire of 1988, where nearly 1/3rd of the park had been burned.

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone National Park.
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone National Park.
Tower Falls in the Yellowstone.
Tower Falls in the Yellowstone.

Historic Background Of Yellowstone National Park

This park takes its name from the Yellowstone Lake. However, there is the common belief that the name came from the yellow stones and rocks found in the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone National Park.

In 1806, John Colter left the Lewis and Clarke Expedition to join some fur trappers. He then passed through a portion of land that later became part of the park. He observed a geothermal area near Tower Falls.

There were many expeditions, one in 1860 and later one which was carried out by three privately supported explorers named Cook–Folsom–Peterson Expedition of 1869. These explorers inspired Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition in 1870.

This expedition resulted in names for different sites of interest and it was what led to Cornelius Hedges (member of this expedition) to propose to protect the park as a natural heritage. However, this first attempt failed. Ferdinand V. Hayden made a second attempt to protect this park. This time it succeeded. 

Yellowstone Plateau
Yellowstone Plateau
Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountains

Geography Of The Yellowstone National Park

The park covers areas from Wyoming largely; however, it also expands onto Montana and Idaho. Rivers and lakes cover approximately 5 percent of the park. Forests cover about 80 percent of the park and the rest is covered by grasslands.

The park sits on Yellowstone Plateau. In 1959, there was a massive earthquake that destroyed many of the roads and structures built. However, they were rebuilt.

The plateau is bordered on almost all sides by mountain ranges of the Middle Rocky Mountains which range from 9000 to 11000 feet. The uppermost peak in the park is at the top of Eagle Peak which is 11500 feet high and the lowest is next to Reese Creek which reaches the peak of 5800 feet.

Mount Washburn
Mount Washburn
Yellowstone River
Yellowstone River

Some mountains that are near are Gallatin, the Beartooth Mountains, the Absaroka Range, the Teton Range and the Madison Range. The most important peak on the Yellowstone Plateau is Mount Washburn at 10,243 feet.

There are almost 290 waterfalls of almost 15 feet in the park; the highest is the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River at 308 feet.

The two most famous canyons of this park are the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and the Black Canyon of the Yellowstone in its journey north.

There are some of the worlds largest petrified forests present too.

Lillies at Yellowstone.
Lillies at Yellowstone.
Grizzly bears
Grizzly bears

Flowers Found In This Park

Some of the most beautiful flowers have been found in this region;

  • Yellowstone sand verbena
  • Sweet Peas
  • Various kinds of Lilies

Animals In The Yellowstone

Some animals that are found here are:

  • Bison
  • Grizzly bear
  • Black Bear
  • Bighorn Sheep
  • Bobcats
  • Canadian lynx
  • Coyotes
  • Elk
  • Moose
  • Mountain Goats
  • Mountain Lions
  • Gray Wolf

There are many more other animals found in this region.

Swans at Yellowstone.
Swans at Yellowstone.
Bald Eagle at Yellowstone.
Bald Eagle at Yellowstone.

Here are some of the birds that are common to this region:

  • Greater White-fronted Goose
  • Ross's Goose
  • Trumpeter Swan
  • Whooper Swan
  • American Black Duck
  • Ring-necked Duck
  • Bald Eagle
  • Cormorant and
  • Storks

Geysers at Yellowstone.
Geysers at Yellowstone.
Camping at Yellowstone.
Camping at Yellowstone.

Climate Of Yellowstone

The temperature here varies from 80 °F to 0 °F. it depends on the time and the month. The highest recorded so far is 99 °F. Precipitation varies from 10 to 15 inches annually. Snow is possible in any month.

Yellowstone Travel

People who travel here can go camping, hiking, horse back riding, fishing and snorkeling. However, some park waters only allow catching the fish and releasing it back. There are many inns and hotels and cabins for people to stay.

People are allowed to bring their cars. Although snow mobiles can be rented in the winters, there is no public transportation. Also, the park is not a good area to mountaineer as the volcanoes may become active.

The park is a relaxing and enjoyable place, where the people can reconnect with nature and still have technology present. It can be expensive for campers, but it is a great place to be and a must see!

Scenes From The Yellowstone National Park


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