Yellowstone National Park
Amazing U.S. National Parks
Image courtesy of Deposit Photos
This park became more widely known when cartoon character, Yogi Bear, parodied it as “Jellystone” and declared it home turf. But there’s nothing soft or wobbly about the rock formations in this Wyoming park. It opened in 1872 and has since been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site; it sits in the south-central Rocky Mountains and is home to bison, grizzly bears and elk. Recently, wolves were reintroduced to the park, rebalancing an ecosystem that had run amok without them.
The world’s largest active geyser — Steamboat Geyser — explodes in Yellowstone, but it is Old Faithful, with its blast every 90 minutes that has captured the imagination and drawn visitors; the park is littered with geysers of many sizes and frequencies. Also dotted with lakes, rivers, canyons and mountains, rugged, beautiful Yellowstone sits among volcanoes, some dead, some still geologically active.
Fires, as well as volcanoes, threaten Yellowstone; the last major burn occurred in 1988 and destroyed about one-third of the park. But the trees and vegetation are growing back.
The park is open year round, but the sub-alpine climate makes winters a tough time to visit. There are, besides camping facilities, numerous lodges and cabins, which make for a wonderful getaway any time of year.