Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park, located in Yellowstone Wyoming, is the oldest national park in the United States. It was established by Congress and signed into law by Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872. The park is home to Old Faithful Geyser, the continent’s largest supervolcano and a range of animals from grizzly bears, elks and gray wolves.
The human history of Yellowstone National park dates back more than 11,000 years. Various tribes of Native Americans, such as the Blackfeet, Bannock, Kiowa and Shoshone, have all conducted ceremonies, gathered plants and minerals and conducted trade with other tribes at Yellowstone. In 1807, John Colter, a member of the Lewis and Clark expedition, was the first European-American to enter the Yellowstone area in an effort to find new customers for fur trading.

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Yellowstone’s fur trade eventually dried up, and while it was a minor site during the American gold rush in the 1860s, the land became the country’s first national park after a series of military and scientific expeditions were presented to Congress in 1872.
Today, Yellowstone National Park sees millions of visitors a year from all over the world. Visitors can hike, bike, fish, camp, boat, picnic and see wildlife while at the park. In addition to these tourist activities, the park also has around 1,600 archeological sites with more than 379,000 cultural objects and natural science specimens, many of which are housed in the park’s museums.
The park grounds are home to 67 species of mammals, 322 recorded species of birds, 16 species of fish, 6 species of reptiles and 4 species of amphibians. While the animal life is a major attraction of Yellowstone National Park, its geological traits also drive visitors to the park.
With more than 300 geysers and hot springs, Yellowstone National Park’s geothermal features highlight its position as one of the world’s largest supervolcanoes. The Yellowstone Caldera was responsible for the formation of the Snake Plain River prior to being covered by the Yellowstone Plateau. Now the volcanic activity heats mud and allows geysers to spout with regularity.
For more information on Yellowstone National Park, visit the park’s official Web site.
(Text by Noel Kirkpatrick)
(Photo: Wiki Commons)

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