Yellowstone National Park is located in the northwest corner of Wyoming, and includes small areas of Montana and Idaho as well. In addition to its superb Rocky Mountain scenery, the park is one of the world’s principal wildlife preserves. It’s also the site of America’s greatest concentration of geysers and hot springs, which form a visible and spectacular link with the primeval forces of the Earth’s creation.
Yellowstone is also the oldest national park in the country. In fact, the original idea of setting aside natural resources like Yellowstone began here when some of the territory’s first explorers began a unique campaign to preserve the beauty of these lands for generations to follow. Here more than two million acres of a high mountain-ringed plateau have been set aside for permanent protection as a natural preserve. It’s been called America’s finest and most diverse vacationland.
Yellowstone National Park’s Top Ten things to see:
We are sometimes asked, “What are the things I must see when I visit Yellowstone?”
Yellowstone National Park is vast and varied, and visitors have different interests and abilities, so there is no one easy answer. However, we have compiled a general list of the top attractions in Yellowstone that we feel will be helpful. It is designed to serve as a starting point for planning your visit. Click Here for our Top Ten things to see.
Yellowstone National Park Map / Newspaper / Entrance Fees:
Beginning June 1, 2015: The new entrance fees beginning on June 1 provide a 7-day entrance permit for Yellowstone National Park only. The prices are: $30 for a private, noncommercial vehicle; $25 for a motorcycle; or $15 for each visitor 16 years and older entering by foot, bicycle, ski, etc. At this time, people visiting both parks can save money by purchasing a two-park pass. The prices will be: $50 for a private, noncommercial vehicle; $40 for a motorcycle; or $20 for each visitor 16 years and older entering by foot, bicycle, ski, etc.
Interesting Yellowstone National Park Facts:
- World’s First National Park
- A designated World Heritage Site and designated Biosphere Reserve
- 3,472 square miles or 8,987 square km
- 2,221,766 acres or 898,317 hectares
- 63 air miles north to south (102 km)
- 54 air miles east to west 87 km)
- 96 % in Wyoming
- 3 % in Montana
- 1 % in Idaho
- Highest Point: 11,358 ft / 3,462 m (Eagle Peak)
- Lowest Point: 5,282 ft / 1,610 m (Reese Creek)
- Larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined
- Approximately 5% of park is covered by water; 15% is grassland; and 80% is forest
- Precipitation ranges from 10 inches (26 cm) at the north boundary to 80 inches (205 cm) in the southwest corner
- Temperatures (average) at Mammoth: January: 9° F/-13 C in
July: 80° F/27 C
High: 99°F/37 C, 2002 (Mammoth)
Low Temp: -66° F/-54 C (West Entrance, Riverside Station 1933)
2015 Scheduled Road Construction:
Norris to Mammoth (Norris to Golden Gate):
April 17 to October 1, expect traffic delays up to 30 minutes.
Old Faithful to West Thumb (Craig Pass—Isa Lake Bridge Replacement):
• Closed until June 11 at 7:00 a.m.
• June 11 through September 10: expect traffic delays up to 30 minutes. (Visitors are able to access Lone Star Geyser on the west side and DeLacy Creek trailhead on the east side.)
Yellowstone National Park is home to some 10,000 thermal features, over 500 hundred of which are geysers. In fact, Yellowstone contains the majority of the worlds geysers. Old Faithful is the most popular attraction in Yellowstone National Park, and everyone who visits for the first time should watch this most famous of geysers erupt. Although neither the highest or most regular geyser in the Park, it is spectacular. Learn more about Yellowstone’s Geysers here
The human history of the Yellowstone region goes back more than 11,000 years. From about 11,000 years ago to the very recent past, many groups of Native Americans used the park as their homes, hunting grounds, and transportation routes. These traditional uses of Yellowstone lands continued until a little over 200 years ago when the first people of European descent found their way into the park. In 1872 a country that had not yet seen its first centennial established Yellowstone as the first national park in the world. A new concept was born and with it a new way for people to preserve and protect the best of what they had for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations. More History
- About 2 million years ago,
- then 1.2 million years ago,
- and then again 600,000 years ago.
The latest eruption spewed out nearly 240 cubic miles of debris.
In recent years, much public attention has focused on the fact that Yellowstone sits astride one of the world’s largest active volcanic systems. Questions routinely arise in regards to the likelihood of a volcanic eruption in Yellowstone and the impact of such an eruption.More Geology