When you visit the Yellowstone National Park in the US, the first thing you will see is the amazing landscapes and scenery. You will find yourself driving through streams and hills and some astounding geological sights. The Yellowstone National Park is the first ever national park in the US. It was established in 1872 and has seen more than a million visitors since then. The park stretched across more than 2 million acres in the northwestern part of Wyoming and southwestern Montana.
If you look at the map of the US, you will see that the national park is placed along the continental divide near Rocky Mountains. Amazingly, this awesome park is elevated on a plateau at 8,000 feet. It is surrounded on all sides by high mountains of the Madison Range, the Gallatin and Beartooth Mountains, the Teton mountains and the Absaroka Mountains. The Yellowstone National Park also houses the headwaters of the Yellowstone and the Snake Rivers.
This great national park is the key centre of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. This ecosystem is made of more than 18 million acres of land that includes parts of Montans, Idaho and Wyoming. What is amazing is that this great ecosystem has three national wildlife refuges, two national parks and five national forests. Did you know that the Yellowstone National Park is the only undamaged contiguous temperate ecosystem in the world? The park boasts of an unmatched and protected biodiversity. And that is why it was named an International Biosphere Reserve in 1976 and a World Heritage Site in 1978. Some exciting examples of the wildlife in this park are wolves and grizzly bears.
The park’s landscape and geology has been naturally sculpted by repeated mountain uplifts, glaciations, and physical weathering. Geologists say that a hotspot in the upper mantle of the earth’s crust is the reason behind Yellowstone’s volcanic and glaciations activity. You can learn more about this great attraction at www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm.
If you’re going to Yellowstone, do not forget that it has out of this world, and just a day’s trip will not be enough. You must spend at least 3-4 days enjoying this natural wonder, especially if you come in the summer when the park is crowded. The good thing is that the park is open throughout the year, and all entrances are also open to visitors. However, at the start of the winter and summer seasons there are some entrances that are closed for maintenance activities.
You can drive through the park or make your visit even more exciting by trekking through the park. The park is well maintained, and at all entrances you can easily get maps to the park. You will see that the roads make a figure 8 in the park. If you drive along the lower lip, you will see Old Faithful, Yellowstone Lake, and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. At Madison Canyon, Hayden Valley and Yellowstone River you can see a lot of animals. The upper loop is equally exciting where you can see the famous Mammoth Terraces, where you must trek and not just drive. The upper loop also offers other sites such as the Tower Falls, Canyon Geyser Basin, and Norris Geyser Basin.
If you are trekking then you can see the Fairy Falls and enjoy the spectacular geysers. You can carry a picnic with you, and if you bring along your binoculars then you will be able to see a lot of exciting wildlife. If you can join a guided tour they will be able to point out the best spots for watching geysers, or wolves and grizzly bears.
The Yellowstone National Park is equally nice to see in the winters. You will not be bothered with summer crowds, it is cheaper, and you may even experience Arctic conditions because of the extreme cold in the park. A lot of students flocks to the park for hiking and Nordic skiing in the very cold temperatures.