Yellowstone National Park is one of the largest and most beautiful parks in the National Park Service. It’s primarily in the state of Wyoming, but it also flows into areas of Montana and Idaho. The US Congress made Yellowstone a National Park in 1872 by recommendation from President Grant. Yellowstone is often considered the first park of its type in the world and has a variety of offerings for visitors. Let’s look at some history and what you can do on an RV trip to Yellowstone National Park.
A Brief Overview of Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone is home to Old Faithful, one of the most enduring and beautiful sites worldwide. The National Park has a handful of ecosystems, along with wildlife and fauna that every visitor should see at least once in a lifetime. The park is more than 3,400 square miles large, featuring the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem – one of the most significant remaining ecosystems in the world.
The Continental Divide – which divides North America – runs through the park. Yellowstone falls more on the west side than the east side. Yellowstone itself sits on the Yellowstone Plateau. The plateau has an average 8,000-foot elevation above the sea level which is then blanketed by the Rocky Mountains. Yellowstone has many rivers, lakes and other water sources that flow in and out of the park, emptying in the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.
Yellowstone boasts one of the largest petrified forests in the world. Ash and volcanic dust covered the park throughout history because it sits upon a super volcano caldera. The Yellowstone caldera is one of the largest in the world, and it is thought if it ever truly blows at full capacity, North and South America as we know it may be lost. The geyser system, including Old Faithful, is fueled by the caldera and volcanic activity below the National Park. It’s a sight to see, something you’ll be in awe of as you see happen for the first time in person.
Old Faithful and Yellowstone’s network of geysers is the largest in the world. This is one of the primary reasons why Yellowstone was declared a National Park. Yellowstone is open year-round to visitors, where they can take part in everything from nature walks, camping, hiking and other recreational activities including skiing. We recommend nature walks with the staff to take in the sights around the park, especially for first-time visitors.
If you want to stay within Yellowstone National Park, book your trip well in advance – up to a year in some cases. This is one of the most visited parks in the world, not just the US, so travelers come from all around the globe to visit Old Faithful and the surrounding areas. If you’ve never been to Yellowstone, and try to book too late, consider staying further away and commuting into the park with a rental car or your towing vehicle. It’s worth the extra effort, especially if you’ve never been to Yellowstone before.