Yellowstone National Park

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Photo of: Hayden Valley, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park

What first comes to mind when you hear the phrase “national park?”

Chances are the first word that came to mind was “Yellowstone.” Wyoming Handbook author Don Pitcher calls the relationship between national park and Yellowstone “Pavlovian”—you can’t think of one without thinking of the other.

Straddling the continental divide in the northwest corner of Wyoming (92% of the park is in the Cowboy State), Yellowstone’s 2.2 million acres evoke a cascade of memories—the birthplace of the national park concept, wilderness, one of the world’s premiere wildlife refuges, the largest and most significant collection of thermal features, mountains, forests, lakes, “the mother” of great rivers, waterfalls and a rich, storied history.

Without doubt Yellowstone represents one of the preeminent places to view geological processes at Old Faithful Gyser, Yellowstone Nat'l Park, Wyomingwork—volcanism, earthquakes, glaciation, erosion—this is truly “a land of fire and ice!”

When it comes to visiting the world’s first national park, we can’t improve on Don Pitcher’s introduction to “Touring Yellowstone” in his Wyoming Handbook:

“Yellowstone is perhaps the most accessible national park. Nearly all the famous sights are within a couple hundred feet of the Grand Loop Road, a 142-mile figure eight through the middle of the park. For all too many visitors, Yellowstone becomes a checklist of places to visit, geysers to watch and animals to see. . . . All this tends to inspire an attitude that treats this great national park as a drive-through zoo where the animals come out to perform, and the geyser eruptions are predicted so everyone can be there on time. If you’re one of this crowd, give yourself a giant kick in the rear and take a walk, even if it is just around Upper Geyser Basin where you see something beyond Old Faithful. Whatever you do, don’t see Yellowstone at 45 miles per hour; that’s like seeing the Louvre from a passing train.”

Take time to immerse yourself in the “world apart” wonders of this magnificent national park. Snowcoach from Cody in winter, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming Visit the Visitor Centers provided throughout Yellowstone National Park by the Nation Park Service. Take a hike, short or long, on any one of the hundreds of miles of trails. Experience a stagecoach ride or take a boat ride on Yellowstone Lake. Fish for native cutthroat trout. Camp at any one of a dozen sites. Enjoy a picnic along the banks of the Yellowstone, Gibbon, Lamar or Madison rivers. Plan time for ranger interpretive programs which convey a wealth of information regarding the natural history, geology and man’s history in this region.

Accommodations and food service in Yellowstone are provided by Yellowstone National Park Lodges/Xanterra Parks & Resorts at Mammoth Hot Springs, Canyon Lodge, Old Faithful Village, Roosevelt Lodge, Lake Village, Grant Village and campgrounds at Madison, Bridge Bay, Canyon, Grant and Fishing Bridge (RV park). Delaware North’s Yellowstone General Stores provide groceries, sundries, photography services, gifts and snack service.

You owe it to yourself, to your children and to your grandchildren to experience Yellowstone.

Yellowstone Park Lodging Dining, Activities

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