The oldest national park in America is Yellowstone National Park, which was founded in 1872. It is unlike anywhere else on Earth, and it genuinely has something to offer everyone. It draws millions of tourists annually and stretches into Montana and Idaho. Although its wide and wild stretches are well-known for their natural beauty and rich biodiversity, there may be drawbacks. Let’s examine the top 7 features of Yellowstone and the things that people love and dislike about it in more detail.
It’s Huge Size
One of the most popular attractions in Yellowstone is the area’s exceptional natural beauty, which allows visitors to escape the everyday grind. Every curve you turn will reveal breathtaking scenery, and you are free to lose yourself in the natural world. 2,221,766 acres, or 3,472 square miles, make up the large park. That is more than the combined areas of Delaware and Rhode Island.
Paradoxically, this also offers the one feature that some dislike most about the neighborhood: bad cell phone reception. The restricted service is mostly concentrated in intersection centers like Lake Village. Even harder to come by, free WiFi is only available at Mammoth’s Albright Visitor Center. But don’t worry, you can reconnect once you reach gateway towns like West Yellowstone.
The Animals That Live There
While there are many different kinds of animals in Yellowstone, a few are particularly well-known. The bison has to come first. They have a lengthy history with the park and were named the national mammal of the United States in 2016. The destiny of these amazing creatures is closely linked to Yellowstone. Because of poaching and habitat degradation, the bison in the United States were in danger of going extinct, but Yellowstone was crucial to their survival. They have resided there continuously since prehistoric times, making it the only spot in the US where they do so. There were 5,500 or more buffalo living there as of 2021, making it the largest population of bison on public grounds.
And no discussion on Yellowstone would be complete without a mention of bears! Both black and grizzly bears can be found there. Grizzlies are more powerful and hostile animals. It is illegal to feed bears in parks, and you are advised to keep a minimum of 100 yards between you and any bear. The Hayden and Lamar valleys, the north slopes of Mount Washburn, and the area from Fishing Bridge to the East Entrance are the greatest areas to watch grizzlies. Go there in the morning or evening. It is more common to see black bears in the Tower and Mammoth regions.
Its Geysers and Hot Springs
For a great deal of people, Yellowstone is most recognized for its 10,000 hydrothermal features. It has the world’s highest concentration of steam vents, mudpots, hot springs, and geysers. All of them are produced by the hydrothermal system, hot ground beneath the park, and magma storage. Old Faithful, the most well-known geyser in the world, is the most well-known of these phenomena. At the moment, it erupts about twenty times a day for between one and a half and five minutes at a time, launching a 180-foot-high water plume. At 2040F, up to 8,400 gallons of water can be found in each eruption.
Being one of the three biggest springs on Earth, people also like the Grand Prismatic Spring. It is most renowned for its breathtaking seasonal color changes.
The Waterfalls and Rivers
The park’s geothermal features may be the main draw for many visitors, but the rivers and—above all—the waterfalls are as magnificent. There are about fifty waterfalls in the park with names; the biggest is the Silver Cord Cascade, which is 1200 feet high. The Upper Falls, though, is the most well-known. Views of the 110-foot-tall Yellowstone River fall are available from Uncle Tom’s Trail and the South Rim Trail. One of the most photographed and frequently visited spots in the park is the famous Lower Falls, which rises to a height of 308 feet.
Miles of Hiking Trails
With more than 1,000 miles of trails, Yellowstone is a popular destination for hikers, which is not unexpected. Popular hikes are usually those that overlook the major features, like Old Faithfull. Hiking trails that lead to waterfalls, such as the Fairy Falls Trail, are other popular options. From shorter treks to over 40-mile hiking paths, there are hikes suitable for every skill level.
You should definitely go on a hike in Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon!
Getting Close to Nature
It’s true that this is the primary reason people go to the park, yet you could come to love or loathe it simultaneously. Annually, Yellowstone National Park witnesses injuries and fatalities among its tourists. According to data gathered since 1872, inside the park’s boundaries, eight people have died at the hands of bears and two people have been slain by bison. More recently, an annual average of a few animal-related injuries has been reported. Hot springs have also killed 22 individuals by scalding them to death since 1872. It just takes a few seconds to cause lethal scalds from some of the park’s hot springs, which may reach temperatures of over 1850F.
In the end, the majority of the wounds and deaths could have been prevented if people had respected and avoided coming too close to nature—which includes animals, roaring rivers, high cliffs, and hot springs!
Being Hugely Popular
Individuals dislike of Yellowstone stems mostly from other individuals! Every year, the park welcomes more than four million visitors. Because of its immense size, that is not an issue in and of itself. But since they frequently visit the same locations and at the same times, it can get congested. July and August see the biggest tourists, although the period from mid-June to Labor Day is often very busy, particularly at iconic sites like Old Faithful. By going at the start or end of the summer, you can avoid this. If you must travel at the busiest time of year, stay away from the popular attractions between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Weekends are typically busier than weekdays, and there are plenty of other attractions nearby the most well-liked locations. Simply do your homework beforehand or ask a ranger when you arrive.