One of America’s most beloved and well known destinations is Yellowstone National Park, whose founding began a worldwide national park movement. With an estimated 4.12 million annual visitors in 2018, it is one of the top ten most visited of the 60 United States National Parks.
Here are some historic and fun facts about Yellowstone.
1. Yellowstone is the world’s first national park, established by Act of March 1, 1872, in what was then, the Territories of Montana and Wyoming, created as a public park for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.
2. The park is 96% in Wyoming, 3% in Montana, and 1% in Idaho, however when Yellowstone National Park was established, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana were not yet states.
3. At 3,472 square miles—over 2.2 million acres—Yellowstone is larger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined.
4. This National Park is also a designated World Heritage Site and designated Biosphere Reserve.
5. Yellowstone was originally nicknamed “Wonderland.”
6. Yellowstone is home to more than 500 active geysers (more than half the world’s geysers).
7. The park sits atop the largest supervolcano in North America.
8. Yellowstone Lake has 131.7 sq. miles of surface area and 141 miles of shoreline. It is the largest high elevation lake in North America.
9. 80% of the land in the park is covered by forest, 15% is grassland, and 5% is water.
10. Painter Thomas Moran of the 1871 Hayden Expedition sold his 7’x12’ canvas painting Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone for $10,000 to Congress. It was the first landscape painting ever featured in the United States Senate lobby.
11. The United States Engineer’s Office, located kitty corner to the Visitors’ Center, was built in 1903 and was designed by the same architectural committee behind New York’s Grand Central Station.
12. Isa Lake in Yellowstone National Park is the only natural lake whose water ends up in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans – straddling the continental divide at 8,262 feet.
13. The 47-mile road east from Mammoth to Tower-Roosevelt junction and beyond to the northeast entrance to Yellowstone is the only highway in Yellowstone open through the winter.
14. Yellowstone has the largest, free-roaming herd of American Bison in the world. These are commonly “incorrectly” referred to as “Buffalo.”
About the Authors:
Founded in 2014, Travelin’ Cousins, is an award-winning blog for those who love all things travel, local and afar as well as cultural experiences, events and the local foodie scenes – vegan and non-vegan – around the world.
Cousins Elisa and Tanya share their daily adventures near and far, together and separately with the goal of inspiring people to embrace their inner traveler whether it be close to home or afar.