Yellowstone National Park is one of the oldest national parks in the United States. Also regarded as the country’s first national park, Yellowstone was established on March 1, 1872. It is a vast stretch of land, mostly located in the state of Wyoming. But, some parts of the national park extend into the states of Montana and Idaho as well.
Yellowstone National Park covers a total area of approximately 3,500 square miles of land. The national park boasts a diverse geographical landscape. It is rich in a variety of spectacular natural features, including mountains, canyons, lakes, rivers, and geothermal geysers. Yellowstone National Park is also home to a wide range of animals and plants.
Some of the first explorers to venture into the Yellowstone region were Lewis and Clark back in the 1800s. Explorations later in the 1860s revealed a lot about the area. By the 1870s, measures were already being taken to protect the area. A report released by Ferdinand Hayden, which included a geological survey of the region, encouraged Congress to make Yellowstone into a national park. Former president Ulysses S. Grant confirmed Yellowstone’s status as a national park by signing the Act of Dedication on March 1, 1872.
Rivers and lakes make up five percent of the national park. The most iconic and largest body of water in the Yellowstone National Park is Yellowstone Lake. Spread over 87,000 acres, the lake is at an altitude of more than 7,700 feet, which makes it the highest lake in North America.
Yellowstone National Park also has a volcanic system known as Yellowstone Caldera. There are over 300 geysers in Yellowstone, and the oldest geyser in the region is called the Old Faithful.
The geography of Yellowstone varies drastically in altitude, and that allows the region to be home to a wide range of animals and plants. There are over 1,700 different species of trees and plants in Yellowstone National Park.
Approximately 60 different species of animals live in the region. Bison and grizzly bears are among the largest animals found in the area. Furthermore, over 300 species of birds are native to Yellowstone.