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Yellowstone National Park - Wonderland

Millions of people will visit Yellowstone National Park this year. And why not? This park is America’s Wonderland.

Most come to see nature in all its glory in Yellowstone.

Forests are a dominate feature in Yellowstone.  This may surprise many visitors.  About 80% of the land is covered by trees, Lodgepole pine being the most common species.  Douglas-fir, Engelmann spruce and other species are found in some areas, depending on elevation

Wildlife are abundant:  elk, black bears, grizzly bears, gray wolves, buffalo, moose, mountain goats, and bald eagles live and thrive in Yellowstone’s wild ecosystem. To see these magnificent creatures in a natural setting is stunning.

Be patient and observant if you are eager to experience wildlife. Wildlife come and go on their own schedules and are found in different areas of the park. Their lives and activities reflect seasonal patterns of nature. It’s good to have a pair of quality binoculars for best viewing.

Along roadways, trees and other cover can obscure the general landscape.  Wildlife may be near the road, but not visible due to vegetative cover.  When traffic moves slowly more of nature comes into view.

As a top attraction, The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River rivals the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The canyon of the Yellowstone River is a huge slice cut out of the earth, caused by action of the river over millions of years. When you see it close-up, it’s hard to imagine how the forces of nature were able to create the canyon.

One feature in the canyon is nothing short of spectacular. This is the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River. It’s magical, the waterfall and canyon converge in space, making the Lower Falls one of the most photographed scenes in America.

Lower Falls Yellowstone River

Majestic Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River in Yellowstone National Park. Photo courtesy U.S. National Park Service.

Panoramic landscapes in Yellowstone are uncommonly beautiful and inspiring.  Hayden Valley (central Yellowstone) and Lamar Valley (northwest Yellowstone) are the stuff of travel posters. Yellowstone Lake (southeast Yellowstone), with 141 miles of shoreline, is another huge attraction.

Other features in Yellowstone are very different from anything found elsewhere in America. Geysers, fumaroles, hot springs, and mud pots are significant attractions. In part, Yellowstone owes its appearance to volcanic activity deep below the surface of the land.  Emblematic of it all is Old Faithful geyser near the western edge of the park.

Old Faithful

Old Faithful geyser erupts in Yellowstone National Park. Photo courtesy United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Yellowstone is a mecca for outdoors activities, such as camping, hiking, boating, and fishing. Some visitors take guided trips while others take part in programs led by park rangers. Yellowstone officials like to say they have something for everyone.

Yellowstone National Park is unrivaled for its natural bounty, a sensory experience cherished and remembered by all who come. Outdoor activities in nature are a bonus.  Memories are made in Yellowstone.

Yellowstone National Park Recreation Visits in 2018:  4,115,000

John Sandy
MontanaTraveler.com

 

Montana

MontanaTraveler.com

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