Experience: Yellowstone Natonal Park, wildlife, canyons, geysers

 Yellowstone National Park

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

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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.

The 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.

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Photo courtesy of National Park Service

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

Wildlife is  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.

The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River is one of the most beautiful sights in the 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 favorite of fishermen.

 Lodging in Yellowstone is handled by Xanterra Parks and Resorts (866) 439-7375 or visit Yellowstone National Park Lodges.

Yellowstone National Park, a map from the NPS.

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Travel tip: Yellowstone National Park is a big place, so plan your time carefully, when driving to and inside the Park. Stay overnight at West Yellowstone, Red Lodge, or Gardiner, Montana (towns near Yellowstone), then get an early morning start into Yellowstone. Top lodging in Yellowstone:  Old Faithful Inn, 307-344-7311.

For a great Yellowstone learning experience, hook up with the Yellowstone Park Association. Natural history tours are offered for families and other small groups, Call 406-848-2400.  Before starting your trip to Yellowstone, read FAQ on Yellowstone from the National Park Service.  NPS provides a good map on directions to Yellowstone National Park.

For another perspective on Yellowstone, check this blog post.

Photo Gallery of Yellowstone Park (Google images)


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 Copyright © 2015 John Sandy

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