Yellowstone National Park. USA
The most famous park in the world has a proud name of Yellowstone National Park. It took this name after the Yellowstone River, at the headwaters of which it is located. This International Biosphere Reserve, a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the world’s first national park was founded March 1, 1872. Its area occupies about 900 000 hectares, and extends to three states – Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. In percentage terms it looks like this – 96% of the park is located in Wyoming, 3% in Montana, and another 1% in Idaho.
Yellowstone Park is located on a plateau, which was formed due to the constant volcanic eruptions. Yellowstone caldera is the largest volcanic system in North America. This supervolcano was formed as a result of the catastrophic eruption 640,000 years ago. It is so huge that has no form of the cone. Its upper part has simply collapsed under the ground. As a result, there is a tremendous hole – a caldera with size of 55 by 75 kilometers.
The height of the unique Yellowstone Plateau ranges from 1710 m in the north and up to 3463 m in the central part of the park. It includes a lot of exciting attractions – geysers, hot and sulfurated springs, mud volcanoes; canyons, caves, Rocky Mountains; 300 waterfalls, the biggest – Lower Falls, which is almost two times higher of well-known Niagara; coniferous forests, rivers and very special lakes with various shades of green and orange to gray-blue. Moreover, it is home for dozens of species of amazing animals – 60 species of mammals, 18 species of fish, 6 species of reptiles, 4 species of amphibians and 311 species of birds. The largest bison herd in the United States called “buffalo” dwells here, as well as moose, deer, grizzly bears, wolves, lynxes, coyotes, cougars, antelopes, bighorn sheep. Here you can enjoy picturesque landscapes, views of the frozen lava flows, explore the 1770 kilometers of marked trails, make boat trips and fishing (if you get an appropriate license). You should find at least 3-4 days in your schedule to capture all this boundless beauty by your attention. Through continuous small earthquakes the relief of the park is gradually changing.
Here are the sources of the largest rivers in North America, such as Snake River and the Yellowstone River, which flow from the lake of the same name “Yellowstone”. This one of the largest mountainous lakes in the world is located at an altitude of 2135 meters.
There is a road in the form of large eight – the Grand Loop Road, the so-called “Big ring”, which goes through all the important sights. Its length is about 225 km. The total length of all roads in the park is 499 km. But almost all of them are closed in the winter because of the possibility of landslides. For the same reason, climbing is also prohibited here – the mountains in Yellowstone Park consist of rather brittle volcanic rocks.
The main feature of the park is the number of geysers of course – about three thousand. This is where you will see how our earth is breathing! The half of all the geothermal sources in the world is located here. One of the world’s highest active geysers “Steamboat” is located within the park. The column of hot water which he throws has a height of 122 meters (the Statue of Liberty – 93 meters).
Every year the park is visited by over two million tourists. Everything here is thought out for this purpose – camping, shops, gas stations, hotels, museums, and information centers.