From geysers to bison, Yellowstone National Park boasts numerous claims to fame. Here’s what makes the park special, and why a Yellowstone tour is totally worth it!
- First things first, you probably know Yellowstone as the home of “Old Faithful,” a reliable geyser that sprays boiling water into the air every hour. It’s a pretty spectacular sight—each eruption sprays 8000 gallons of water 200 feet into the air. But there are many more geysers and hot springs where that came from… Over half of the world’s hydrothermal features are found at Yellowstone.
- What’s with all the geothermal phenomena? Well, it might surprise you to learn that Yellowstone is one of the largest active volcanoes in the world today. That’s right… when you’re on a Yellowstone tour, the ground beneath your feet is actually a supervolcano! Don’t worry. “Active” doesn’t mean the visitors are in danger of getting caught in an eruption. It’s been over 70,000 years since the last lava flow in Yellowstone.
- Did you know Yellowstone was the first-ever national park in the US? Shortly after the end of the American Civil War, a Union army doctor named Ferdinand Hayden began a geological survey in the West. He implored the government not to put Yellowstone up for auction, and instead keep it public and accessible to all. On March 1, 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed the Act of Dedication into law.
- It’s a good thing Hayden managed to protect Yellowstone, as it features the highest concentration of mammals in the entire lower 48 states. You’ll definitely see more than a few animals on your Yellowstone tour! Why so many creatures? Just like you, they’re drawn in by the natural geothermal heating system that creates geysers and hot springs.
- Speaking of animals, Yellowstone is also the happy home of the oldest and largest herd of bison in the country. These peaceful creatures have become emblematic of the park, featuring prominently on postcards, billboards, and even US currency. They’re front-and-center on the Yellowstone state quarter.
There you have it! Five reasons why Yellowstone National Park is the coolest place to take a trip! To learn even more about this incredible park, download the Yellowstone self-guided driving tour.