Yellowstone National Park
You could probably post daily for a year about something regarding Yellowstone National Park, so I won't pretend to do it justice in one post here.
- The part was established in 1872. Can you imagine the foresight to establish a park just 7 years after The Civil War?
- It's the very first National Park
- There are parts of Yellowstone in 3 different states: Wyoming, Montana and even Idaho. The largest area is in Wyoming
- There are 5 entrances: East, North, NorthEast, South, and West. It's important to know where you want to go in the park to select the correct entrance. Not all gates are open all year long, and traffic can be so heavy through the park that getting from the wrong entrance to where you want to go difficult and time consuming.
- The park has 1,000 miles of trails, and 2.2 million acres of land
- Has the worlds, not just the country's but the worlds largest collection of geysers
- It's nearly an intact natural ecosystem
- There's hiking and biking trails, camping, ranger programs, historic buildings
- It has 12 camping grounds and over 2,000 camping sites; not including the back country. Seven of the 12 areas are managed by a private company, Xantera where reservations can be made, the 5 smaller areas are controlled by the park on a first come basis.
- Camp sites typical fill as early as 11 am, often requiring you get in que by 7 am for a specific spot. The key is to be flexible, and plan ahead and always have a plan B.
- Wolves were re-introduced to the park in 1995 and 96, after finding none in 1994. Currently there are 300 and their descendants. Without the wolves the balance of predators and the food change were disturbed.
- In a typical year more people are injured by Bison in the Park, then Bears. Stay the appropriate distance from ALL wild animals, don't put yourself and your family in danger for the sake of a stupid picture. When you do something stupid, typically the animal has to be put down. You're instructed to stay at least 100 yards from bears, 25 from Bison.
- Camping in the back country is free but requires a permit that can be obtained 48 hours ahead in person, there's a fee to reserve ahead of time on line or through the mail.
- The park is larger then the 2 states of Delaware and Rhode Island combined.
It was quite an experience camping and hiking in Yellowstone. Old Faithful was disappointing as, it didn't do much when we were there, the thermal areas have a nasty smell like rotten eggs. In general, though we enjoyed our time there we thought The Tetons were prettier and enjoyed our time there more. (Pictures from a free on line site, not mine. Old Faithful didn't do anything even close to this when we were there. You sit around the circle, waiting for it and we saw just a small trickle. Others in our group said they'd been here several time and never saw it erupt like this. We understand from the Rangers, they had to clean it because people used to throw things in it...which is why you now have to sit back from it.
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