10 Fun Facts About Yellowstone National Park

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Here at Austin Adventures, Yellowstone National Park is a place very near and dear to our hearts!

The world’s first national park, Yellowstone was established in 1872 by President Ulysses S. Grant. For almost 150 years, Yellowstone National Park has given its visitors experiences and memories to last a lifetime. The adventures of the wild west await you in Yellowstone. 

Explore Yellowstone National Park. It is a must-see destination for everyone. Any time of year, there are engaging activities that provide something to do for all ages. It is an extraordinary insight into the natural beauty of the west and creates a picturesque panorama into sensational landscapes, inspiring wildlife, and the remarkable natural environment.

  

10 Fun Facts about Yellowstone

 

1. Yellowstone is an active SUPERVOLCANO! 

Did you know that Yellowstone sits on top of one of the world’s largest volcanoes? The Yellowstone Caldera, left behind by an eruption 640,000 years ago, is approximately 1,000 square miles. That’s roughly the size of Rhode Island! Don’t worry though because Yellowstone Caldera has not erupted for more than 640,000 years.

2. Yellowstone is home to natural PHENOMENA. 

Did you know there are four different types of geothermal features in Yellowstone? You can find them all – geysers, hot springs, mud pots, and fumaroles – at the Fountain Paint Pots boardwalk. Famous geysers like Old Faithful explode into the air and are powered by the supervolcano! 

3. Yellowstone is the WORLD’s FIRST NATIONAL PARK! 

Did you know that Ulysses S. Grant signed the Yellowstone Park Act in 1872 creating the world’s first national park? Incredibly...there were only three expeditions that explored the area over the years of 1869 – 1871 before Yellowstone being protected. 

Thank goodness for the conservation efforts so that we can continue to enjoy this majestic environment for generations to come! 

 

 

4. Yellowstone is home to THE MOST FAMOUS GEYSER on EARTH!

Did you know that Old Faithful is the most famous geyser on earth, yet it’s not the tallest geyser in the park? Steamboat Geyser is the world’s tallest active geyser and it’s located in Norris Geyser Basin, about an hour’s drive (with no buffalo jams) from Old Faithful. However, Steamboat’s eruptions are unpredictable and you have to be pretty darn lucky to witness its nearly 400-foot high blast, whereas Old Faithful’s eruptions predictably stick to a schedule; hence, its famous name!

5. Yellowstone has an inn that is CENTURY OLD!! 

Did you know that the Old Faithful Inn, built in 1903-1904, is the brainchild of a 29-year-old architect named Robert Reamer? Most park hotels designed during this time were made to stand out from their surroundings, giving visitors a vision of home that would help calm their fears (if you’ve ever seen Yellowstone’s bright yellow, Queen Anne Victorian-style Lake Hotel, you understand what I’m talking about). Not Old Faithful! It appears to be an extension of the wilderness itself – and we’re happy it turned out this way!

6. Yellowstone has the most MAGNIFICENT VIEWS!

Did you know that there isn’t one place in the park where you can see both the Upper and Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River at the same time? This is because after plunging 109 feet over the Upper Falls, the Yellowstone River makes a large S-turn before it plunges another 308 feet over the Lower Falls. Our favorite spot to view the Upper Falls – the brink! Our favorite spot to view the Lower Falls – Artist Point. 

7. Yellowstone has some of THE MOST DIVERSE WILDLIFE, but a year-round home to ELK!

Did you know that the Madison River Valley just inside the park’s West Entrance is home to one of the only herds of elk that don’t migrate out of the park during the winter months? Most elk migrate to lower elevations during the winter to seek out food as well as shelter during the calving season. This valley though appears to contain everything they need to maintain a year-round presence; hence, the lack of movement! 

How’s that for a Yellowstone fun fact?!

8. Yellowstone has the largest HIGH-ALPINE LAKE in North America! 

Did you know that Yellowstone Lake is the largest high-alpine lake in North America? Sitting at 7,733 feet above sea level, this lake is better for photographing than swimming. Average summer water temperatures sit at around 45 degrees Fahrenheit! Perfect for a chilly polar bear plunge on a hot summer’s day!

9. Yellowstone has THE BEST WILDLIFE VIEWING! 

Did you know that the two best locations for spotting wildlife (at least, in our humble opinion!) are the Lamar Valley on the northeast side of the park and Hayden Valley in the central part of Yellowstone? We haul along our spotting scopes to search for wolves in Lamar and keep a close eye out for lumbering bears in Hayden Valley. However, you can see any of Yellowstone’s wildlife in either valley (and throughout the park), so keep your eyes peeled! 

 

 

10. Yellowstone has the 3rd largest HOT SPRING in the WORLD! 

Did you know that Grand Prismatic Spring is the third largest hot spring in the world? It’s located in the Midway Geyser Basin and is 121 feet deep; this spring could swallow a 10+ story building!

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Visiting Yellowstone


When is the best time to visit Yellowstone?

September offers lovely weather, summer is great for families and wildlife spotting, and wintertime is fantastic for less crowds and seeing the park with its winter coat on. But in truth, there are many different things to get out of each season, making the best time to visit Yellowstone the time that aligns with what you want to get out of the park.

What are the best things to do in Yellowstone?

From abundant wildlife to witnessing geothermal wonders like Old Faithful, kayaking Yellowstone Lake to hiking Mount Washburn, there are countless amazing things to do in Yellowstone for all ages, regardless of one's appetite for adventure. We recommend making a list and planning ahead so you get to experience exactly what you are most interested in.

 

Ready to Visit Yellowstone?

Obviously, Yellowstone National Park is one of our favorite national parks! So, it was a challenge to only pick 10 Fun Facts about this incredible destination! This wonderland has delighted visitors for over 150 years and can only be truly appreciated through your five senses. When you’re ready to feel the kiss of steam on your face, to breathe deeply of pine-scented air, to watch geyser water sparkle against blue sky and warm sun, and to hear the guttural intensity of an elk bugling to win love, just say the word and we’ll be by your side to help you experience it all. Austin Adventures expertly plans active vacations on all seven continents, but Yellowstone has been our #1 since the day we opened our doors. We can also help you decide what the best time to visit Yellowstone for you and family is.

It is no secret that we, at Austin Adventures, love all national parks. After all, each and every one of our domestic adventure vacations include national park tours. But do you know what else we love? Fun facts! 

Our vacation planners love to talk with guests about a park’s history and unique highlights when consulting about vacation options. Here’s our list of top 10 national park facts to consider before booking your next national park adventure.

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