Yellowstone National Park

By Abbey Tiderman 05.26.2015 interact

You may have seen photos of this stunning supervolcano on social media, or heard of Old Faithful, but did you know half the world’s active geysers can be found in Yellowstone National Park? Sure, history hails westward expansion and development in the United States as progress—a testament to the ingenuity and resilience of those who blazed each trail. But Yellowstone National Park stands in stark contrast to that. Instead of development, Yellowstone’s claim to fame is its relatively untouched 3,472 square miles of wilderness and mountains intersecting Wyoming, Idaho and Montana.

In 1872, Congress passed the Yellowstone National Park Act making Yellowstone the world’s first national park—land “dedicated and set apart as a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.” Today, 3 million people from all over come to experience Yellowstone in all its natural glory through hiking, camping, horseback riding, snowshoeing or even a leisurely drive.

At Yellowstone National Park, guests can catch a glimpse of everything from bison and bald eagles to grizzly bears and geysers, as the park is home to 67 species of mammals including gray wolves, deer, moose, and bighorn sheep, and 330 species of birds. Yellowstone’s Center for Resources team works to ensure each part of this vital ecosystem thrives. For example, illegally introduced, invasive, non-native lake trout have been decimating the native cutthroat trout population, on which grizzly bears, bald eagles and river otters depend. Another area of concern is how to best preserve the wild population of migrating bison. Biologists, geologists, botanists and other scientists are always working to identify these types of problems and find viable solutions.

Covered in a canopy of primarily Lodgepole pine trees and one of the “largest, nearly intact temperate-zone ecosystems on earth,” Yellowstone National Park is certainly a global destination to consider visiting. Now who’s ready to lace up those boots, strap on that pack and explore? You can start by scrolling through the slideshow below.

Hundreds of grizzly bears call Yellowstone home. Park scientists are having a hard time deciding how to keep their population numbers high, since more bears would mean more run ins with humans visiting the park.


Photo Credit: NPS

Yellowstone is home to the largest inland population of Cutthroat Trout in the world. These brightly colored fish like to live in the cold, clean waters found in the park.


Photo Credit: NPS

There are hundreds of wildflower species, including these blooming yellow pond lilies.


Photo Credit: NPS

Lightning strikes the trees in Yellowstone quite often. When the strikes cause fires, the rangers allow them to burn for as long as possible. This is to preserve the natural order of the forest.


Photo Credit: NPS

Sometimes the geysers in the park will erupt at the same time, creating an amazing show of water and steam.


Photo Credit: NPS

Wolves, coyotes, and fox all call Yellowstone home. This red fox looks like he's had a hard day hunting!


Photo Credit: NPS

Of course, a tour of Yellowstone wouldn't be complete without visiting Old Faithful. As one of the most predictable geysers in the world, it erupts every 63 minutes.


Photo Credit: NPS

There are several large waterfalls in Yellowstone. The waters are home to several species of fish and amphibians.


Photo Credit: NPS

The bright colors of Yellowstone's hot springs come from thermophiles. Thermophiles are organisms that thrive in hot temperatures. When millions (and even trillions!) of them group together, they create beautiful rainbows in the water.


Photo Credit: NPS

The Black Growler Fumarole is one of the park's most beautiful features. A fumarole is a steam vent, created when the water under the rock boils away before reaching the surface. This makes it appear as if the mountain is smoking. This fumarole gets up to 300 degrees!


Photo Credit: NPS

Fruits like these wild strawberries can also be found in some of Yellowstone's shrubs. But be careful! Some wild berries are poisonous to humans.


Photo Credit: NPS

Of course, Yellowstone is just as beatiful at night. Without any bright lights to distract from the sky, you can see stars and galaxies for miles around.


Photo Credit: NPS

comments

  1. Clark Rich

    I am so upset that the slide show ended,the pictures were so amazing,I want to visit Yellowstone someday I have always seen pictures but never have been able to go.

  2. conner

    that is so sad

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