5 Fun Facts about Yellowstone National Park – Part 2

Welcome to 5 Fun Facts about Yellowstone National Park – Part 2, as we dive into more interesting aspects of Yellowstone National Park. If you enjoyed 5 Fun Facts about Yellowstone National Park, here are 5 more. Not the largest, but certainly one of the most famous parks globally, Yellowstone’s allure lies in its rich history and unique natural features.

Did you know Yellowstone is widely recognized as the world’s first National Park? Or that it’s home to the largest active geyser, the Steamboat Geyser? Did you know the Park’s name is believed to have originated from the yellow rocks seen in the Park’s Grand Canyon region? But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Stick around as we unveil five fun facts about Yellowstone National Park that’ll leave you yearning for a visit.

Mammoth Hot Springs at Yellowstone National Park

Table of Contents

The Oldest National Park in the United States is Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park holds its prestige high for its significant natural bounty and being one of the oldest national parks in the United States. This Park is such a draw for nature enthusiasts, with roughly 6 million visitors each year, and is also a sanctuary for a diverse range of wildlife.

Yellowstone National Park was established on March 1, 1872, making it the oldest National Park in the United States. Around the same time, several other significant historical events took place. For example 1871, the Great Chicago Fire occurred, causing massive destruction to the city’s infrastructure. A couple of years later, the Panic of 1873 occurred, leading to a severe economic depression in the United States and Europe.

Additionally, in 1876, the Battle of Little Bighorn occurred, a significant battle between the U.S. Army and Native American tribes. These events, along with the establishment of Yellowstone National Park, played a crucial role in shaping the history of the United States in the late 19th century.

Yellowstone National Park Old Faithful Inn opened to the Public in 1904

Stepping into the area of history, Yellowstone National Park’s Old Faithful Inn started welcoming the public in 1904. As you discover Yellowstone, the architectural charm of the Old Faithful Inn can’t be missed. Dominated by traditional log cabin style design, this historic structure stands as a symbol of Yellowstone’s rich past and dedication to preserving the essence of wilderness. In fact, the authentic log cabin architecture can be seen in most of Yellowstone’s facilities, showing the Park’s commitment to maintaining its rustic allure.

Interestingly, many of the Park’s facilities, including Old Faithful Inn, owe their existence to the Civilian Construction Corps’ (CCC) efforts in the 1930s. While the Old Faithful Inn predates the CCC, their work in the Park created a lasting legacy. The CCC’s work helped shape Yellowstone into its unforgettable and unique destination today. As you explore the Park, traces of the CCC’s contribution remain evident, and their work continues to serve millions of visitors every year.

 As you stroll around the Old Faithful Inn and other facilities built with an architectural style that respects the Park’s environment and heritage, you’ll find yourself walking through the chapters of Yellowstone’s history— a history that’s as captivating and vibrant as its world.

Of all the Hot Springs and Geysers in the World, 60% are in Yellowstone National Park

You’ll be amazed that 60% of the world’s total geysers and hot springs are in Yellowstone. Yes, you read it right. Yellowstone isn’t just about its bison, elk, wolves, and cascading waterfalls; it’s home to most of the planet’s geysers and hot springs.

So, what makes Yellowstone such a hotspot for geysers and hot springs? It’s due to the Park’s location right above a massive volcanic hotspot. These natural phenomena occur when underground water comes into contact with hot rocks heated by this underground volcanic activity.

Old Faithful is the most well-known geyser in the Park — and likely the world. Its eruptions are so regular that you can almost set your watch on them. Don’t confine yourself to the famous geyser only. Make sure to marvel at the largest active geyser in the world, the Steamboat Geyser, found here, too.

It’s important to note Yellowstone’s geysers and hot springs are not mere tourist attractions. These hydrothermal features play a crucial ecological role, providing a habitat for thermophilic bacteria. This abundant microbial life adds unique and vibrant colors to the Park’s hot springs while boosting biodiversity.

There are more than 10,000 Hydrothermal Features (Hot Springs and Geysers) in Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park showcases an extraordinary collection of hydrothermal features, which include over 10,000 hot springs and geysers. This makes it a truly unique spectacle and a world-renowned destination.

Interestingly, five main types of hydrothermal features are most visible in the Park. This includes hot springs, geysers, mudpots, travertine terraces, and fumaroles. 

Hot springs are essentially pools of hydrothermally heated water. On the other hand, geysers are hot springs with constrictions in their plumbing. This causes them to periodically erupt to release the pressure that builds up. Yellowstone houses over 500 active geysers, including the world’s largest, the Steamboat Geyser.

Mudpots are hot springs that are acidic enough to dissolve the surrounding rock. Travertine terraces are hot springs that rise through limestone and dissolve the calcium carbonate to deposit the calcite that makes the spectacular terrace formations. And fumaroles are hot features that lack water in their system, and instead, they constantly release hot steam.

At 2,219,790 Acres, Yellowstone National Park is the 8th Largest National Park

With its sprawling expanse covering three states, Yellowstone National Park is the 8th largest National Park in the United States. But the Park’s immensity isn’t just surface level. Investigate a bit deeper, and you’ll discover other dimensions to its grandeur.

Yellowstone National Park is located primarily in the state of Wyoming, but it also extends into Montana and Idaho. The Park covers an area of 2,219,790 acres. To put that in perspective, Rhode Island is 776,320 acres. Yellowstone National Park is 2.86 times bigger than Rhode Island! Yellowstone is also home to the largest high-altitude lake in North America, Yellowstone Lake, which covers an area of 136 square miles. The Park’s size and diverse natural features make it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, scientists, and tourists worldwide.

Each fun fact about Yellowstone National Park paints a picture, revealing a facet of the vast expanse. Remember, while you marvel at Yellowstone’s importance, it’s ever-dynamic, with natural wonders continuously at play from beneath its core to its highest peaks.

My name is Rich, and I love to hike!

I grew up in Idaho, with plenty of hiking and camping just minutes away from our home. Growing up, we spent summers at the lake and falls in the mountains. Camping and hiking with friends was such a special way to spend time together. I’ve spent a lifetime outdoors, hiking, camping, fishing and hunting.

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