Yellowstone National Park: Facts & Information

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Courtesy of Kennan Ward

Yellowstone National Park is the first established national park in the United States, and is widely held to be the first established national park in the world.

Yellowstone National Park spans an area of over 3,450 square miles that is made up of lakes, geysers, canyons, rivers, and mountain ranges.

Yellowstone National Park is so large that is covers three states, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. The majority of the national park is located in Wyoming and is truly one of America’s greatest treasures.

Activities & Things to Do in Yellowstone National Park

Day Hiking: Yellowstone National Park encompasses over 2 million acres and boasts more than 900 miles of hiking trails.

When hiking in Yellowstone National Park make sure you are prepared with your own water source, tell someone your hiking plans, including the destination, route, and estimated time of return. This is because the majority of hiking trails are classified as “backcountry” and “wilderness.”

This means that there will be unpredictable wildlife, changing weather conditions, and potentially dangerous natural formations such as cold lakes, thermal areas, and loose rocks.

Yellowstone National Park is a wonderful place, if you come prepared, you may just have the time of your life!

Wildlife Viewing: There are over 67 species of mammals and 330 species of birds within the park!

Some of the larger species include bears, wolves, the American bison, bobcats, moose, and elks.

As wildlife viewing is a wonderfully awing and enriching experience, remember, approaching on foot within 100 yards of bears or wolves or within 25 yards of other wildlife is strictly prohibited and could lead to serious injury and you will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law if found guilty.

So it is always better to remain within a safe distance of all wildlife when visiting Yellowstone National Park.

Boating: Private Boating is permitted on most of Yellowstone Lake and on Lewis Lake. Only non-motorized boating is allowed on most of the other lakes in Yellowstone National Park. The Lewis River channel between Lewis and Shoshone lakes is the only river that is open to non-motorized boating.

When boating in Yellowstone National Park each person must have a Coast Guard approved floatation device and have the appropriate permits for their vessel.

Ranger Led Activities:Yellowstone offers ranger-led walks and talks, in various locations throughout the summer months. Summer ranger-led programs run from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekends.

These ranger-led programs are a great way to learn about the park in an interactive setting, the kids will love them!

Yellowstone National Park is so large and there is so much to do there we couldn’t fit all the activities on one page. For more activity based information please visit our friends at the National Parks Service here.

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Weather in Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park’s climate is greatly influenced by its altitude, with areas in the park at lower elevations generally found to be warmer year round.

Summer Weather: The summer months of June through early September, are a great time to visit the park, depending on what altitude you’re at. Daytime highs are normally in the 70 to 80 °F range, while night time lows will vary drastically depending on what altitude you are at but can go to below freezing at the highest points in the park.

Spring and Fall Weather: Temperatures range between 30 and 60 °F with chilly nights in the teens to single digits depending on your elevation in the park.

Winter Weather: Winter in Yellowstone is very cold with high temperatures usually between zero to 20 °F and nighttime temperatures below zero °F for most of the winter.

Always be sure to have the appropriate gear for when you plan to visit Yellowstone National Park!

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Map of Yellowstone National Park

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