YELLOWSTONE National Park was the first national park in the world, established by Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872. It covers an area of 3,468 square miles in the states of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. It has widely varying geography including mountains, rivers, grasslands, canyons and one of the largest high altitude lakes in the world. Wildlife and many active geothermal features abound in Yellowstone National Park with approximately half of the world’s geothermal features located in the park. This is due to the presence of an active super volcano which has erupted several times in the last two million years under the park. The caldera of this volcano is the basin that forms Yellowstone Lake.
Yellowstone National Park is the largest remaining intact ecosystem in the northern temperate zone. Consisting of many types of ecosystems, Yellowstone is widely varied in both flora and fauna with subalpine forest being the most common habitat. Several threatened and endangered species are found in the Park including wolves, grizzly bears and bison.
As one of the most popular national parks, Yellowstone draws approximately two million visitors per year. Roads, campgrounds, interpretive centers, hotels, restaurants and other facilities are well maintained and in keeping with the highest standards. Many roads are closed during the winter due to high levels of snowfall, making much of Yellowstone National Park accessible only on foot or by snowmobile.
There are twelve campgrounds with over 2,000 campsites immediately available to visitors with backcountry camping available to the more adventurous (a permit is required).
Recreational opportunities abound in Yellowstone National Park including hiking, biking, boating, camping, fishing, snowmobiling, snowcoach tours and sightseeing. There are nine museums and visitor centers in the Park along with many historic buildings. The Old Faithful Inn is one of the most popular historic buildings for tourists as it is very near the Old Faithful Geyser. There are numerous interpretive presentations, guided walks and tours which cover topics such as the history, geology and wildlife of Yellowstone.
The closest air transportation to Yellowstone National Park is by way of Bozeman, Montana.
Please note, pets must be kept on a leash and are only allowed in designated areas within Yellowstone National Park.