Yellowstone National Park is America’s first and foremost National Park. Established in 1872 by the United States Congress for the preservation of its many wonders and for the enjoyment of the people. 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 is a treasure that inspires awe in travelers from around the world, boasting more geysers than anywhere else on the globe. Yellowstone in its early days was known simply as “Wonderland.” It is the destination of a lifetime for all ages.Yellowstone National Park and the larger Yellowstone region feature numerous hotel and other lodging facilities. Lodging inside Yellowstone is highly desirable but limited.
The reopening of Yellowstone will begin on May 18.
Yellowstone’s South and East entrances will open, with restriction on the 18th of May.
This limited opening approach will accomplish three objectives in the short term: 1) allow the park to continue buffering with states that are maintaining restrictions; 2) help the park and internal business partners improve and refine mitigation actions with lighter levels of visitation; and 3) allow for an assessment of how returning visitors affect COVID-19 curves within surrounding Wyoming counties.
The park’s reopening priorities center on protecting employees and the public from transmission risks through a variety of mitigation actions consistent with local, state, and federal guidance. The park will actively monitor changing conditions (in the park and in surrounding counties); and will maintain flexibility to expand, adjust, or contract operations as conditions warrant.
What will be open beginning May 18?
- Phase 1 will begin on Monday, May 18 at 12:00 p.m. with the opening of the South and East entrances in the state of Wyoming.
- Visitors will be able to access the lower loop of the Grand Loop Road (see attached map) coming in and out of the South and East entrances only.
- Visitors will be able to access restrooms, self-service gas stations, trails and boardwalks, and other Phase 1 facilities that are prepared to open.
More on Yellowstone reopening dates and complete details.
Yellowstone National Park Fast 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)
- An active volcano
- Approximately 1,000-3,000 earthquakes annually
- Approximately 10,000 thermal features
- More than 300 geysers
- One of the world’s largest calderas, measuring 45 by 30 miles (72 by 48 km)
- Thousands of petrified trees in northern Yellowstone
- Approximately 290 waterfalls, 15 ft. or higher, flowing year-round
- Tallest waterfall: Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River at 308 ft. (94 m)
67 species of mammals, including:
- 7 species of native ungulates
- 2 species of bears
- 322 recorded species of birds (148 nesting species)
- 16 species of fish (5 non-native)
- 6 species of reptiles
- 4 species of amphibians
- 2 threatened species: Canada lynx, grizzly bear
- 1 endangered species: gray wolf