Yellowstone National Park, established in 1872 & located primarily in Wyoming, was America's first national park. To this day, Yellowstone remains one of the country's most popular national parks with almost four million annual visitors. Yellowstone spans almost 3,500 miles, and extends into parts of Montana and Idaho, making it the largest National Park in the US.
Yellowstone National Park sits on top of a dormant volcano and is home to more geysers and hot springs than any other place on earth. Approximately 50 percent of the world’s hydrothermal features are at Yellowstone National Park. The most famous of all the geysers is Old Faithful, one of the most popular and recognized natural wonders in the United States.
Because of the park’s high elevation, Yellowstone weather varies dramatically from season to season, and even day to day. You may find snow in the summer months or 80 degree temperatures in the fall, so pack multiple layers of clothing and gear for all weather types when visiting Yellowstone.
Yellowstone Tours and Camping
Most of the guided Yellowstone tours span multiple days, given the park’s size. One-day tours are available, however, for those with limited time. Be advised that weather can restrict what you are able to see and how you travel to different park areas. For example, winter tours may be led by snowcoach or snowmobile.
There are 12 sites available for camping at Yellowstone. Visitors wishing to hike in to a campsite may utilize a designated "backcountry" camping area. As bears are a primary concern when camping in Yellowstone, food poles are provided at most campsites. Bear safety tips include not packing foods with strong odors and changing out of clothes worn while cooking meals. When traveling or camping in the park, bring a Yellowstone National Park map and ask Yellowstone park rangers for additional safety tips.
In addition to its numerous geological features, Yellowstone National Park also has plentiful wildlife. Yellowstone is home to the oldest and largest bison herd in the United States, along with wolves, elk and grizzly bears. The wildlife is a huge draw for photographers who visit the park to capture Yellowstone animals in their natural habitat. Fishermen travel to Yellowstone for the opportunity to catch the highly sought after native cutthroat trout, as well as other non-native trout species.