Yellowstone National Park
Considered to be the world’s first national park, the famous Yellowstone National Park has a surface of 3,468.4 square miles and holds many different and fascinating ecosystems. It was established in 1872, under President Ulysses S. Grant on an area that had been populated by Native Americans for at least 11,000 years. There are more than 1,000 archaeological sites here, as well as hundreds of culturally and historically significant structures that have been built over the years in this area.
The vast park is mainly situated in the Wyoming state, but some of it also stretches over to the neighboring states of Idaho and Montana. Most of the land area is covered by volcanic rocks and lava flows from the huge Yellowstone Caldera, which is the largest supervolcano on the continent. This is still an active volcano, even though no eruptions are expected in the near future.
However, its existence and quiet underground activity explains why half of the world’s geothermal features are situated in this park. You can find numerous boiling hot springs, mud spots, fumaroles and geysers here, of which the most popular is the Old Faithful Geyser. Visitors can also admire spectacular mountain ranges and canyons, as well as beautiful rivers and lakes. One of the largest high-altitude lakes in North America –Yellowstone Lake – is situated over the Yellowstone Caldera, and it represents a truly wonderful sight!
There is no national park without a fascinating fauna. So wolves, grizzly bears, black bears, elks, bison, mule deer, moose, pronghorns, bighorn sheep, mountain lions, coyotes, beavers, eagles, white pelicans, trumpeter swans, ospreys and hundreds of other species are all part of the large Yellowstone family. Some of them are threatened or endangered, which makes the park a true haven for them all.
In a world where humans have lost contact with nature, having surrounded themselves with concrete and steel, Yellowstone National Park is a true refuge. It is a place where people can reconnect with Mother Earth and engage in various nature-centered activities. Recreational opportunities are varied and they include hiking, camping, boating, fishing, sightseeing, and many more. Winter is also a great time to visit the park, especially if you enjoy fun rides with snow coaches and snowmobiles!