Yellowstone Park

 Americans dream of visiting Yellowstone National Park at least once in a lifetime, for good reason.  The landscape is wild and beautiful, as it’s been for thousands of years.

Yellowstone is heavily forested. The most common trees in the park are lodge pole pine, fir, spruce, and aspen. A few years ago, major forest fires burned thousands of acres of forest in Yellowstone. Today, recovery is well underway with millions of young trees covering the mountains and valleys.

Travel tip to viewing buffalo in Yellowstone National Park near West Yellowstone Montana.
More than 4,500 buffalo roam in Yellowstone National Park, mainly in Hayden and Lamar Valleys.

Tourists come to see the animals.  Elk, buffalo, bighorn sheep, gray wolves, and grizzly bears call Yellowstone Park home. Coyotes, mountain lions and many species of birds, such as osprey and bald eagles, are common, too.

Wildlife is  very abundant in Hayden Valley between Canyon Junction and Fishing Bridge.  In the summer, a huge herd of buffalo with young calves is often seen grazing in the Hayden Valley along the Yellowstone River.

Yellowstone Park is famous for its numerous geysers, hot springs, and fumaroles. Old Faithful is Yellowstone’s best know geyser. Seeing Old Faithful erupt and shoot million of gallons of steaming hot water hundreds of feet high is an experience long remembered.

The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River is the most spectacular attraction in Yellowstone Park. The river flows through a deep gorge, cut into layers of yellow-colored rocks.

Near Canyon Village, the river cascades over the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone. The Lower Falls is a special place to stop on every Yellowstone vacation. Osprey nest in the conifers high above the river’s gorge. Travel tip: Shoot lots of film here.

Yellowstone Lake, in the southeastern part of the park,  is a special attraction.  The lake is a huge body of water, about 20 miles long and 14 miles wide.  The lake is a favorite of fishermen. Abundant cutthroat trout inhabit the lake.  And  a boat launch is nearby.  Numerous services, such as lodging (Yellowstone Lake Hotel and Yellowstone Lake Lodge), food service, store, and a gas station are available along the shores of Yellowstone Lake.  As for activities, some visitors enjoy a one-hour cruise on the lake aboard the Lake Queen.

 Yellowstone National Park is a big place, about 62 miles (100 km) across from north to south and 54 miles (87 km) from east to west, so plan your time carefully, when driving to and inside the Park.

Travel tip:  stay overnight in West Yellowstone (pop. 1,353), Red Lodge (pop. 2,237), or Gardiner (pop.  875), Montana towns near Yellowstone, then enter the Park in the early morning hours.  Cody (pop. 9,836) and Jackson (pop. 10,529), Wyoming, are also Yellowstone gateway cities and a good place to start a journey through Yellowstone.  Plan carefully as not all Yellowstone entrances are open year-round.

Distance of gateway cities to Yellowstone Park entrances:

  • West Yellowstone, MT to Yellowstone – 20 feet (6 m).  Yellowstone Park entrance and the city limits of West Yellowstone are separated only by Boundary Avenue.
  • Red Lodge. MT to Yellowstone – 68 miles (109 km). This route goes up the spectacular Beartooth Highway, a road built into the mountains.  Many switchbacks on this road.
  • Cody, WY to Yellowstone – 52 miles (84 km).  This too is a scenic route, the road follows a path up into the mountains.
  • Gardiner, MT to Yellowstone – 1 mile (1.6 km). Experience Mammoth Hot Springs near the entrance to the Park.
  • Jackson, WY to Yellowstone – 57 miles (92 km). Jackson is a destination for celebrities and, as such, has much to offer visitors.

The National Park Service (NPS) wants visitors to have a good experience when visiting Yellowstone.  To this end, NPS  offers a special App to help visitors plan travel in Yellowstone.  As for activities in Yellowstone, managers say the the park has “something for everyone.”  The park also publishes a Web page showing its operating hours and seasons.

Top lodging inside Yellowstone Park:  Old Faithful Inn, 307-344-7311.  Other lodging exists inside the Park too.  All lodging in Yellowstone is handled by Xanterra Parks and Resorts (866) 439-7375.

The entrance fee for Yellowstone is increasing to  $35.00  per private non-commercial vehicle, 7-day pass, for the 2018 season.  Still a bargain.

Before starting your trip to Yellowstone, read FAQ  from the National Park Service.  NPS also provides a detailed map  of Yellowstone National Park.

Can’t get to Yellowstone.  You can still get a gift(s) from Yellowstone General Store.  Tees, mugs, huckleberry jam, and more.

Cuando en Estados Unidos  visitar el Parque Nacional de Peidra Amarilla.

Photo Gallery of Yellowstone Park (Google images)


 Copyright © 2018 John Sandy

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Yellowstone and Glacier.