The Very First National Park


Clare Shen, Journalist/Editor

Yellowstone National Park is the U.S’s and maybe even the world’s first national park. It was established by the U.S Congress on March 1, 1872. Yellowstone is one of the largest and probably the best known national park in the United States. It is larger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined!

Yellowstone National Park is in a total of three states. It is 96% in Wyoming, 3% in Montana, and 1% in Idaho. It is 3,472 square miles and is 5% covered by water, 15% grasslands, and 80% forests. The park actually sits on top of an active volcano with more than 500 active geysers, which is more than half the world’s geysers. There are 5 park entrances with 466 miles of roads, 92 trailheads, approximately 1,000 miles of trails, and 301 campsites.


Yellowstone has many different wildlife animals, there are 67 species of mammals, including 7 species of native ungulates and 2 species of bears. They also have 285 species of birds, 150 of which nest in the park, 16 species of fish, more than 7 aquatic invasive species, 5 species of amphibians, 6 species of reptiles, and even two threatened species: the Canada lynx and the Grizzly bear.


Vegetation at Yellowstone is also vast, there are 9 species of conifers, 1000+ species of native flowering species, 225 species of native plants, and 186 species of lichen.


Yellowstone’s principal attraction has to be the many hydrothermal features. Since the region has a deeply fractured crust, groundwater is able to seep down to where it comes in contact with magma, The super-heated water then returns to the surface as steam vents, colourful hot pools, geysers, and more. Many of the park’s 300 geysers erupt to heights of 100 feet or more. The most famous geyser in the park is probably Old Faithful, Old Faithful is located in west-central Yellowstone and erupts roughly every 90 minutes.


There are 9 visitor centers, museums, and contact stations, 9 hotels with over 2,000 rooms or cabins and twelve campgrounds with over 2150 individual sites. Yellowstone receives about 4,000,000 visitors a year!


With many different activities to explore, Yellowstone National Park is overall a great place to visit!