In 1872 Yellowstone National Park was established making it the world's first national park. It’s location is in Wyoming, USA, exactly halfway between the Equator and the North Pole.
The Continental Divide of North America runs diagonally through the south-western part of the park. The divide is a topographic feature that separates Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean water drainages.
The park sits on the Yellowstone Plateau, at an average elevation of 2400 m above sea level and at the plateau you also find Mount Washburn at 3122 m.
The park has one active volcano, 300 active geysers, 290 waterfalls, one of the worlds largest volcanic explosion craters and approximately 2000 earthquakes a year.
The highest waterfall is the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River at 94 m.
Yellowstone has the largest concentration of free-roaming wildlife in the global temperate zone, for example Black Bear, Grizzly Bear, Coyote, Swift Fox, Red Fox, Wolf, Lynx, Bald Eagle, Moose, Bison, Canada Goose and White Pelican.
Old Faithful Geyser is one of the most popular features in the park and erupts every 65 minutes, which lasts from 1,5 minutes up to 5 minutes. It has been measured to 22m deep and a 129 degrees Celsius. When it erupts it expels 14 000 to 35 000 litres of water and reaches heights from 30m to 55m.
There are three canyons located in the park, cut through the Yellowstone Plateau by rivers over the last 640,000 years. For example, the Yellowstone River has carved two colourful canyons, one of them being the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.
The Beauty Pool is one of many colourful thermal pools in Yellowstone.
The Grand Prismatic Spring is the largest hot spring in the United States, and the third largest in the world.
Mammoth Hot Springs features unique hot spring pools, called terraces, where geologic formations have come about from the heat, flowing water and limestone.
Although there is a lot of mud at Yellowstone, Mud Volcano is actually labled wrong. It is not a mud volcano, but rather a mud pot. And a mud pot is a hot spring formed in high-temperature geothermal areas where water is in short supply.
Yellowstone is included on the United Nations World Heritage List.
A few fast facts:
*Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park area is roughly half the size of New Zealand.
*In 2006, the Federal Government budget for maintaining the park was over $30 million.
*5% of Yellowstone Park is covered by water. 80% of the park is mountain forest and approximately 15% grasslands.
*Yellowstone Park is home to two endangered species; the Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) and the Whooping Crane (Grus Americana).
*There are estimated to be over 10,000 thermal features/attractions in Yellowstone National Park.
*Lodge Pole Pines make up 80% of the forest in Yellowstone.