Yellowstone National Park was a marvel to the early explorers, but what they witnessed just scratched the surface of its wonders. Whether you are planning to visit America’s first national park or if you’re simply curious, here are 11 interesting facts about Yellowstone National Park.
Yellowstone was first established on the 1st March 1872 and is the world’s first national park.
Yellowstone is larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined, encompassing 3,472 miles. The vast majority (around 96%) of its territory is in Wyoming.
One of the earliest explorers of Yellowstone was stranded in the park for 37 days. Truman Everts was given up for dead when he was separated from his party. He spent his days surviving on thistle whilst enduring snowstorms after most of his supplies and his horse were lost. He weighed a mere 45kg when he was eventually found, but he survived and wrote a successful book called the “Thirty Seven Days of Peril”.
Yellowstone National Park sits on top of the largest super-volcano in Northern America. Although there is no need for concern of an eruption, as the last one was 640,000 years ago, it would be powerful enough to shroud the majority of the U.S. in ash.
During its first years as a national park, Yellowstone only received a couple of thousand visitors annually due to its remote location. However, tourism exploded later after the Northern Pacific Railroad was completed in 1883.
For over 30 years, the U.S. Army ran the national park.
The Yellowstone National Park is the only place where buffaloes have continuously roamed since the prehistoric era according to the National Park Service. During the late 19th century, the population of the park’s herd was reduced down to only 23 animals due to overhunting. However, it bounced back and is now 5,500 strong. This is the nation’s oldest and largest free-range herd.
The “Old Faithful” is one of the most iconic geysers of Yellowstone, capable of spewing water up to 180 feet in the air. The name was earned when a group of explorers noticed that the geyser erupted roughly every 60 minutes. However, due to decades of earthquakes, the network of underground fissures leading to it slowed down. Now, there’s typically a 90-minute break between eruptions.
Yellowstone has five park entrances.
There are more than 290 waterfalls in the park.
Do you know any fun or interesting facts about Yellowstone National Park that we’ve missed? Share them here in the comments section below!