Yellowstone National Park was the world’s first national park to be established in 1872. The area of the national park, that covers nearly 9,000 sq. km, was formed by volcanism, catastrophic volcanic eruptions occurred in Yellowstone about 2 million years ago, then 1,2 million years ago, and then again 600,000 years ago.
Later, the central area of the park collapsad formed a 45 km by 75 km caldera. The magmatic heat powering those eruptions still powers the park’s famous geysers, hot springs, fumaroles and mud pots. Of the 9,000 sq. km, 96% of the park lies in Wyoming, 3% in Montana and 1% in Idaho.
Yellowstone contains approximately half of all known geothermal features in the world, with over 10,000 examples. The park also has the largest concentration of geysers in the world (over 300 geyers, ie 2/3 of all the geysers that are present on planet Earth). The spectacular Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River offers a glimpse of the interior of the Earth.
Yellowstone’s wildlife includes the American bison, elk, grizzly and black bears, trumpeter swans and Yellowstone cutthroat trout. Lodgepole pine covers about 60 percent of the park and constitutes about 80 percent of the forested areas.
Yellowstone National Park is inscribed in the UNESCO list of world heritage sites since 1978. We visit the park during the great fire of the dry summer of 1988.
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK USEFUL INFORMATION
Albright Visitor Center (at Mammoth Hot Springs) Open daily, year-round. 10/1-5/25: 9 am-5 pm 5/26-9/30: 8 am-7 pm
West Yellowstone Visitor Information Center 10/1-4/30 weekdays: 8 am-5 pm Daily thereafter 5/1-5/25: 8 am-6 pm 5/26-9/2: 8 am-8 pm 9/3-9/30: 8 am-6 pm
Tickets: The entrance fee is $ 25.00 per vehicle and is valid for 7 days (the ticket is good for both Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks for seven days).