Yellowstone National Park has been designated as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of North America. It is a truly unique place with many of its features having the distinction of being the most, the longest, the largest.
What makes Yellowstone so special?
Yellowstone is home to about half of the world’s geysers—the largest concentration on earth — around 10,000 in all. The park includes 300 geysers and hot springs including Old Faithful and Grand Prismatic Hot Spring. Geyser basins throughout the Park feature groups of steaming, gurgling, and spraying spectacles, many in glorious color.
Of Yellowstone’s geysers, Old Faithful is the most famous. It is named “Faithful” because of the predictability of its eruptions. The geyser’s timing has changed over time, but it consistently erupts every 60-110 minutes (about 17 times per day.)
The Yellowstone River features three of the largest waterfalls in the park, Upper Falls, Crystal Falls, and Lower Falls. It is the longest undamned river in America.
Yellowstone has over 45 named waterfall, and hundreds of unnamed falls. The Lower Falls of the Grand Canyon is the tallest, plunging 308 feet. The view is so picturesque that an overlook has been named, Artist Point.
Yellowstone Lake, at 20 miles long, 14 miles wide and 390 feet deep is North America’s largest mountain lake. The bottom of Yellowstone Lake is hydrothermally active, and has hydrothermal vents, spires, craters, domes, and rhyolitic lava flows.
The Yellowstone River sits at the bottom of a pink and yellow, pastel-colored canyon. The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is twenty miles long, and is up to 4,000-feet wide and 1,200-feet deep in places. Bring your camera and stop at Artist’s Point for breathtaking views.
Did you know that Yellowstone National Park is actually an active supervolcano? As you walk around the park you may think: “I don’t see any volcanos?!” That’s because much of the entire park is a volcano – and the bubbling geysers and hot springs are an indication of the churning activity below the surface.
Not as well known as the geysers and waterfalls are some fantastic sights such as petrified trees and a natural bridge (arch). On your way to Yellowstone are also many wonders worth stopping at, including Devil’s Tower in Gillette, Wyoming, the Flaming Gorge and Red Desert of Southwest Wyoming, and Earthquake Lake north of West Yellowstone.
Beyond Yellowstone – Visit Neighboring Parks
Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Utah, and Colorado are barely big enough to hold all the natural wonders that are ready for you to explore. Popular park side trips include Glacier National Park, Grand Teton National Park, and Devils Tower.