Historical and Scientific Facts about Yellowstone National Park

  • Yellowstone encompasses 3,472 square miles, which equals a total of 2,221,766 acres. It also occupies three states: Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.
  • Yellowstone is a designated World Heritage Site and a Biosphere Reserve.
  • Yellowstone Lake is the largest lake in North America at the highest elevation of over 7,000 feet.
  • Many visitors wonder what the “rotten egg” smell is at some of the mud volcanoes. It comes from hydrogen sulfide, meaning sulfur, which also gives these areas their gray colors.
  • Native Americans used Obsidian Cliff for centuries to quarry obsidian for tools and trade. Obsidian from this site has been found a far east as Ohio. Today, Obsidian Cliff is a National Historic Monument.
  • At 28,000 square acres, or 44 square miles, Yellowstone is the largest complete intact temperate ecosystem in the entire world.
  • Yellowstone has the largest, free-roaming herd of bison in the world.
  • Henry Teller, the Secretary of the Interior, officially banned hunting within Yellowstone in 1883.
  • The 47-mile road east from Mammoth to Tower-Roosevelt junction to the Northeast Entrance to Yellowstone is the only highway open through the winter.
  • NASA and geologist Bob Christiansen worked together using high-altitude photographs to explore Yellowstone’s massive caldera and eruption that occurred more than 640,000 years ago. This eruption covers more than half of Yellowstone’s land mass.
  • The tallest and most predictable geyser at Yellowstone is the Grand Geyser. Climbing to 200 feet, this geyser blows twice daily for an average of 12 to 20 minutes.
  • In 1988, more than 51 separate fires burned more than 36% of the park, equivalent to 800,000 acres. Today, the seedlings have grown back, but remnants of these fires are still visible in some areas.
  • The Yellowstone River remains the longest undammed river in the continental 48 states at 692 miles.
  • The oldest standing building in Yellowstone is Lake Yellowstone Hotel, which dates back to 1889.
  • As a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, John Colter, was the first Caucasian to see Yellowstone in 1807.
  • Archeologists believe that the first human presence in Yellowstone dates to more than 11,000 years ago. Scientists found an obsidian spear, which gave them this healthy clue.
  • Yellowstone Lake is home to the largest population of cutthroat trout in North America.

For visitors to the area, it is important to book stays early. Yellowstone National Park attracts millions of visitors annually. Yellowstone Holiday is located outside the West Entrance to Yellowstone. They offer Yellowstone campgrounds, West Yellowstone RV Parks and Hebgen Lake cabin rentals.



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