Read you just have to visit Yellowstone – America’s first national park as written by our experienced staff! Click here to scan through our Yellowstone National Park holidays
Located on the continent’s largest active Supervolcano – the Yellowstone Caldera – Yellowstone National Park is a geological smoking gun containing half of the world’s geothermal features which is all fueled by the ongoing volcanism of the area. The Caldera has erupted several times in the last two million years but is thought that 640,000 years ago was when the sudden explosion took place in the middle of the park which made Yellowstone what it is today. What remains is just the smoldering caldera – a collapsed crater 45 by 30 miles – and the flowing lava, boiling hot springs, volcanic rock formations, geysers, mud spots and fumaroles are a constant reminder of the cataclysmic events that created this magnificent National Park, and what could be in store in the future – though don’t worry no eruption is expected in the immediate future.
As mentioned above, the Yellowstone Caldera on which the National Park stands on is still very much active which as a consequence leaves us with the beauty and enormity of over 450 fantastic geysers such as the world renowned Old Faithful Geyser which erupts every 91 minutes and it’s lesser known brothers; Castle Geyser, Lion Geyser and Beehive Geyser which are all located together in the same basin – Upper Geyser Basin. The park also contains the largest geyser in the world – Steamboat Geyser which throws water up higher than 300ft! According to a recent study 1283 geysers have erupted in Yellowstone National Park (more than anywhere else on earth) which really gives the place that sort of post-apocalyptic feel. But the park isn’t all about the geysers, hot springs and its volcanic aesthetics.
Yellowstone National Park is also encased by some absolutely stunning mountainous landscapes and is home to an incredible abundance of wildlife which is practically unmatched across the continent. Over 60 species of mammals call Yellowstone their home including gray wolves, lynx, grizzly bears, black bears, bison, mountain goats, mountain lions and moose. There are also 10 different types of amphibians and reptiles living in the park along with 318 species of birds. The fauna is of course one of the many draws of Yellowstone, and the reason for it’s profusion was almost a direct result of western America’s development and urbanisation. Yellowstone became America’s first national park in 1872 and it turned out to be an ingenious almost psychic move from the National Park Service as the park now stands as a solace and refuge from the busy life that surrounds it, and as a result, Yellowstone’s importance as a sanctuary for wildlife has just grown and grown since its inception.
The park itself sits at an average elevation of 8,000 feet above sea level and is bounded almost entirely by the Middle Rocky Mountains which range from 9,000 to 11,000 feet with the highest peak – Eagle Peak – reaching 11,358 feet. Yellowstone also has one the world’s largest petrified forests, at least 290 waterfalls of at least 15 feet, and three deep canyons including the famous ‘Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone’ pictured below.
So why should I visit Yellowstone you say? Well as you can see it offers everything; stunning landscapes, wildlife aplenty and a volcanic landscape that is pretty much unmatched across the globe. Yellowstone National Park stands alone as a place of comfort, of solace, somewhere to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern life, a place to experience nature in its own ecological habitat and to be at peace with the world. Spend a morning taking in the explosiveness of the firehole basin, spend the afternoon sitting beside Yellowstone Lake with just the sweet tune of birds singing audible over the stunning silence. If you love the Natural World then you’ll never want to leave…