Yellowstone National Park
By: Matthew Bayles
Yellowstone National Park is well known for it's natural beauty and outstanding geysers. Yellowstone consists of over 500 geysers including Old Faithful, which erupts every 45 - 125 minutes. Yellowstone National Park extends from Wyoming to Montana and Idaho. While some of Yellowstone National Park's landscape has changed over the years, for example, less forests and vegetation in areas such as Mt. Sheridan and Pelican Cone, other areas remain the same. Galatin's landscape, another area in Yellowstone National Park, appears to remain unaffected over time.
History and Climate of Yellowstone National Park
Approximately 11,000 years ago, one of the many tribes of Native Americans settled in Yellowstone, the Paleo-Indian tribe, hunted and fished along the Yellowstone River until 1806. John Colter, a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, discovered this area and nearby tribes. In 1859, Jim Bridger, another explorer, embarked on another expedition, similar to the Lewis and Clark one, and saw the geysers of Yellowstone. Later the Cook-Folsom-Peterson Expedition consisted of three men who traveled from the Yellowstone River to Yellowstone Lake. Near the end of the 18th century, French Trappers also found Yellowstone River (the foundation of Yellowstone National Park) and named it Roche Jaune (translated into Yellow Rock). Yellowstone National Park was officially established on March 1, 1872. Today, Yellowstone is a place of tourism as opposed to being a place of settlement. Also, the average climate of Yellowstone is in the 70°F range in the summer, 30-60°F in the spring and fall, and 0-20°F in the winter. Yellowstone is also very dry because it has a low precipitation rate, with 15.4 inches of rainfall per year, and Yellowstone's climate is changing over time. For example, temperatures there are warmer than they were 50 years ago, and there are 30 less days of snow than in the past.
Events and Activities at Yellowstone National Park
Millions of people venture out to Yellowstone National Park every year to experience all that the park has to offer. The possibilities are listed below.
- Observe geysers
- Camp and Hike
- Go boating
- Go Bicycling
- Ski and snowshoe
- Go on tours
- Ride horses
- Participate in Llama packing
- Go on picnics
- Ride snowmobiles
- View wildlife
- Participate in ranger-led events in the summer and winter
Old Faithful Geyser eruption Yellowstone NP
Fascinating Facts of Yellowstone National Park
- There are over 40 waterfalls at Yellowstone National Park.
- Yellowstone National Park was established on March 1, 1872, 20 years before Idaho Montana and Wyoming became states.
- Yellowstone National Park has about 10,000 thermal features.
- Yellowstone National Park is bigger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined, Yellowstone National Park: 63 miles × 54 miles.
- 96% of Yellowstone National Park is in Wyoming, 3% in Montana and 1% in Idaho.
- Yellowstone National Park has approximately 2,000 earthquakes yearly.
- Yellowstone National Park is an active super volcano; the only active super volcano located on land.
- Yellowstone National Park had 3,000,000 visitors in one year, beating all other national park records.
Yellowstone National Park's Association with Native Americans
In the 1800's a tribe of Native Americans (Plains Indians) already living in Yellowstone was getting irritated with the white settlers of the United States trying to spread Christianity and wipe out their customs. Eventually, war broke out between the settlers and Native Americans, and at the end of the 1800's all religious groups surrendered authority to the BIA, Bureau of Indian Affairs. Also, during the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Sacajawea accompanied the travelers as they traveled across the Louisiana Purchase, and traveled back to Wyoming when the expedition was a success. Sacajawea had a grave built for her in the plains of Yellowstone National Park, thus associating Yellowstone National Park with Native Americans.