Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is a geothermal and wildlife-filled wonderland, a park so big that it takes up more space than Rhode Island and Delaware combined at a whopping 2,219,789 acres. Yellowstone was established in 1872 as America’s first national park, continuously inviting millions upon millions of visitors per year.
One of the biggest attractions to this park is the geyser superstar, Old Faithful, but this park also holds the majority of the world’s geysers, over 300 to be precise, being the main reason for creating the park in the first place. This land of lakes, canyon, rivers, and mountain wilderness is home to grizzly bears, wolves, bison, elk, and over 76 other mammal species, not including the 377 species of birds and 16 species of fish. Not only is the animal world quite diverse within this subalpine forest, but there are also over 1,100 native plant species, 200 exotic plant species, and over 10,000 thermal features in total!
Yellowstone is located mainly in Wyoming, but also partially Montana and Idaho. It is technically within the south-central Rockies district, in the core of one of the last remaining nearly intact temperate-zone ecosystems. While here your group should take advantage of Grand Loop Road, a great way to take in all the major sites and get around easily (you don’t even have to leave your car to see it all!). Your group will have a great time exploring one of the world’s largest petrified forests, 300 waterfalls, thousands of miles of trails, 2,000 camp, and picnic sites, and the largest high altitude lake, Lake Yellowstone. The outdoor recreation options here are outstanding, and the views aren’t half bad either! This destination is on our Most Photogenic Places in the U.S. list, and bringing a camera with plenty of memory is highly recommended, as well as bringing a jacket for the changing weather in the park.
Located within Yellowstone National Park, Old Faithful is one of the world’s most visited and most predictable geographic features! This cone geyser was discovered on an 1870 expedition and has been studied in great detail since then. Old Faithful erupts every 35-120 minutes, with between 3,700 to 8,400 gallons of boiling water spraying 145 feet into the air on average. Over 137,000 eruptions have been documented so far! You can also see the close-by Yellowstone Caldera from this area, an active supervolcano that is considered the largest on the continent! A visit to the nearby buildings and Old Faithful Inn will show your group a historic district with rustic architecture and a large role in development and tourism in this area. This is another stop you won’t want to be without your camera!