Yellowstone National Park is America's first national park, established by the US Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872, is a national park located primarily in the US state of Wyoming, though it also extends into Montana and Idaho. Yellowstone National Park spans an area of 3,468 square miles (8,980 km2), comprising lakes, canyons, rivers and mountain ranges. Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone was the first national park in the world, and is known for its many geothermal features, especially Old Faithful Geyser, one of the most popular features in the park, and a collection of the world's most extraordinary geysers and hot springs, and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. It is home to a large variety of wildlife including grizzly bears, wolves, bison, and elk. Yellowstone National Park
The park is located at the headwaters of the Yellowstone River, from which it takes its historical name. Near the end of the 18th century, French trappers named the river "Roche Jaune," which is probably a translation of the Minnetaree name "Mi tsi a-da-zi" (Rock Yellow River). Later, American trappers rendered the French name in English as "Yellow Stone." Although it is commonly believed that the river was named for the yellow rocks seen in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, the Native American name source is not clear.
Yellowstone National Park The expansive cultural history of the park has been documented by the 1,000 archeological sites that have been discovered. The park has 1,106 historic structures and features, and of these Obsidian Cliff and five buildings have been designated National Historic Landmarks. Yellowstone was designated an International Biosphere Reserve on October 26, 1976, and a United Nations World Heritage Site on September 8, 1978.
Yellowstone National Park Geography About 96 % of the land area of Yellowstone National Park is located within the state of Wyoming. Another 3 % is within Montana, with the remaining 1 % in Idaho. The park is 63 miles (101 km) north to south, and 54 miles (87 km) west to east by air. Yellowstone is 2,219,789 acres (898,317 ha; 3, sq mi) in area. Rivers and lakes cover 5 % of the land area, with the largest water body being Yellowstone Lake at 87,040 acres (35,220 ha; sq mi). Yellowstone Lake is up to 400 feet (120 m) deep and has 110 miles (180 km) of shoreline. At an elevation of 7,733 feet (2,357 m) above sea level, Yellowstone Lake is the largest high altitude lake in North America.
Yellowstone National Park geography The Continental Divide of North America runs diagonally through the southwestern part of the park. The divide is a topographic feature that separates Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean water drainages. About one third of the park lies on the west side of the divide. The origins of the Yellowstone and Snake Rivers are near each other but on opposite sides of the divide. As a result, the waters of the Snake River flow to the Pacific Ocean, while those of the Yellowstone find their way to the Atlantic Ocean via the Gulf of Mexico.
Yellowstone National Park geography The park sits on the Yellowstone Plateau, at an average elevation of 8,000 feet (2,400 m) above sea level. The plateau is bounded on nearly all sides by mountain ranges of the Middle Rocky Mountains, which range from 9,000 to 11,000 feet (2,700 to 3,400 m) in elevation. The highest point in the park is atop Eagle Peak (11,358 ft/3,462 m) and the lowest is along Reese Creek (5,282 ft/1,610 m). Nearby mountain ranges include the Gallatin Range to the northwest, the Beartooth Mountains in the north, the Absaroka Range to the east, and the Teton Range and the Madison Range to the southwest and west. The most prominent summit on the Yellowstone Plateau is Mount Washburn at 10,243 feet (3,122 m).
Yellowstone National Park geography Yellowstone National Park has one of the world's largest petrified forests, trees which were long ago buried by ash and soil and transformed from wood to mineral materials. This ash and other volcanic debris, are believed to have come from the park area itself. This is largely due to the fact that Yellowstone is actually a massive caldera of a supervolcano. There are 290 waterfalls of at least 15 feet (4.6 m) in the park, the highest being the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River at 308 feet (94 m).
Yellowstone National Park geography Three deep canyons are located in the park, cut through the volcanic tuff of the Yellowstone Plateau by rivers over the last 640,000 years. The Lewis River flows through Lewis Canyon in the south, and the Yellowstone River has carved two colorful canyons, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and the Black Canyon of the Yellowstone in its journey north.
Yellowstone National Park geology Yellowstone is at the northeastern end of the Snake River Plain, a great U-shaped arc through the mountains that extends from Boise, Idaho some 400 miles (640 km) to the west. This feature traces the route of the North American Plate over the last 17 million years as it was transported by plate tectonics across a stationary mantle hotspot. The landscape of present-day Yellowstone National Park is the most recent manifestation of this hotspot below the crust of the Earth.
The Yellowstone Caldera is the largest volcanic system in North America. Yellowstone National Park geology It has been termed a "supervolcano" because the caldera was formed by exceptionally large explosive eruptions. The current caldera was created by a cataclysmic eruption that occurred 640,000 years ago, which released 240 cubic miles (1,000 km³) of ash, rock and pyroclastic materials.
Yellowstone National Park geology The most famous geyser in the park, and perhaps the world, is Old Faithful Geyser, located in Upper Geyser Basin. Castle Geyser, Lion Geyser and Beehive Geyser are in the same basin. The park contains the largest active geyser in the worldSteamboat Geyser in the Norris Geyser Basin. There are 300 geysers in Yellowstone and a total of at least 10,000 geothermal features altogether. Half the geothermal features and two-thirds of the world's geysers are concentrated in Yellowstone.
Yellowstone National Park flora Over 1,700 species of trees and other vascular plants are native to the park. Another 170 species are considered to be exotic species and are non-native. There are dozens of species of flowering plants that have been identified, most of which bloom between the months of May and September. In Yellowstone's hot waters, bacteria form mats of bizarre shapes consisting of trillions of individuals. Flies and other arthropods live on the mats., even in the middle of the bitterly cold winters.
Yellowstone National Park fauna Yellowstone is widely considered to be the finest megafauna wildlife habitat in the lower 48 states. There are almost 60 species of mammals in the park, including the endangered gray wolf, the threatened lynx, and grizzly bears. Other large mammals include the bison (buffalo), black bear, elk, moose, mule deer, white-tailed deer, mountain goat, pronghorn, bighorn sheep and mountain lion.
An estimated 600 grizzly bears live in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, with more than half of the population living within Yellowstone. 18 species of fish live in Yellowstone, including the core range of the Yellowstone cutthroat trout. 311 species of birds have been reported, almost half of which nest in Yellowstone. Birds considered to be species of special concern because of their rarity in Yellowstone, include the common loon, harlequin duck, osprey, peregrine falcon and the trumpeter swan. Yellowstone National Park fauna