Yellowstone National Park (or simply Yellowstone), according to Wikipedia, is the oldest and one of the most famous US national parks. The park is located in the headwaters of the Yellowstone River (from which it gets its name) on the territory of the three states - Idaho, Wyoming (much of the park), and Montana. The park has almost nine million square kilometers (this is more than the area of the states of Delaware and Rhode Island).
Yellowstone National Park is one of the most popular attractions of the US, it is visited by more than two million tourists annually. There are several hotels and camping sites, museums and information centers in the park.
After the Civil War in the early seventies of the XIX century, the US government funded the research of northwestern regions of the country. In 1871, the area of Yellowstone was studied by the expedition led by American geologist and naturalist Ferdinand Hayden. The report on Yellowstone prepared by Hayden, illustrated photographs by William Jackson and paintings by Thomas Moran, persuaded the US Congress in 1872 to pass a law on the establishment of Yellowstone National Park, the first US national park.
The first head of Yellowstone Park was Nathaniel Langford. At first, the government did not fund the park, not even paying wages to the Director. The situation has changed for the better only several years later. The number of park visitors has increased dramatically in the 1880s, when the tourists were able to visit the area of Yellowstone on newly built Northern Pacific Railroad. In the future, Yellowstone National Park has successfully developed, keeping intact the unique natural sites and at the same time creating new facilities for tourists.
Most part of the park is located on the Yellowstone plateau surrounded by ridges of the Rocky Mountains. There is huge (about 55 by 72 kilometers) volcanic caldera, formed by a catastrophic eruption about 640 000 years ago. This caldera is known as the "Yellowstone supervolcano."
Rivers and lakes occupy Five per cent of the Yellowstone Park. The area of the largest lake in the Yellowstone park is about 350 km2, and its depth exceeds 115 meters. It is the largest mountain lake in the US. The are almost three hundred waterfalls in the park. The largest of them is Lower Yellowstone Falls (94 meters, almost twice as high as the famous Niagara Falls). Rivers cut two of the canyons, the depth of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone River reaches 275 meters.
In Yellowstone National Park you can find “Steamer” geyser, which is considered to be the highest geyser in the world, the height of the emitted steam and hot water column is up to 90 meters. The most famous and popular Yellowstone Geyser among tourists is "Old Faithful". He throws from fourteen to thirty-two thousand liters of water to a height of 56 meters. Eruptions "Old Faithful" occur every half to two hours.
Yellowstone National Park is one of the few large areas in the US (and in the world), the nature of which remained undamaged by human activities. The park is a major component of the so-called Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, which also includes the nearby National Park, Grand Teton, several state-protected forest and steppe areas. The park is a major component of the so-called Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, which also includes the nearby National Park, Grand Teton, several state-protected forest and steppe areas.
Fauna of Yellowstone National Park is considered to be the richest in the territory of the continental states of the USA. It is home to grizzly bears, wolves, lynxes, cougars, coyotes, wolverines, bison, elk, deer, elk, white-tailed (virgin) and black-tailed deer, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep and many other mammals.
A herd of bison of Yellowstone National Park is the oldest and largest in the United States. The park is home to more than three hundred species of birds (including the bald eagle - one of the symbols of the United States). In rivers and lakes in Yellowstone there lots of fish, among which the most valuable one is Yellowstone salmon (as opposed to hunting, fishing under a special license is allowed in the park).
So, in case if you do not know where to spend your holidays, Yellowstone park is one of the best places to visit. Either you are travelling with your family or you would like to spend the vacation alone, this place will be perfect for you.