Description - Yellowstone National Park, located in northwestern Wyoming, offers an unlimited amount of outdoor activities and facilities in a beautiful setting which contains more geysers (over 10,000) and hot springs than all other regions in the world combined.
Copyright: National Park Service
Yellowstone National Park
- Yellowstone National Park lies in northwest Wyoming surrounded by four National Forests. This site was the first to be designated as a 'public park' by congress in 1872. The land forms that convinced Congress to preserve this area are geologic geothermal geysers. The region contains more geysers (over 10,000) and hot springs than all others in the world combined. The area also includes lakes, waterfalls, high mountain meadows and river gorges of spectacular natural beauty.
Ninety-nine percent of the park's two million acres remains undeveloped, providing a wide range of habitat types that support one of the continent's largest and most varied large mammal populations. Yellowstone is a true wilderness, one of the few large, natural areas remaining in the lower 48 states of the United States. Here, you meet nature on its terms, not yours. Park regulations exist for your safety and for the protection of natural and cultural resources. Please obey all park rules and regulations
Recreation - This park provides endless recreation opportunities for visitors of varied interests and ability levels. A few of the activities available in the park include hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, fishing, scenic driving, camping, viewing scenery, boating, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. An excellent place to begin your trip is at one of the nine visitor centers located around the park. These information centers will provide you with information about specific activities, special programs and road openings within Yellowstone. They also have knowledgeable staff members to answer your questions.
Lodging and camping facilities are available within the park. Most lodges and five of the 12 campgrounds accept reservations. Yellowstone has a designated backcountry campsite system and a permit is required for all overnight stays. These permits may be obtained at the visitor centers.
Visitors should keep in mind that, due to high levels of visitation, travel through the park can be slow, especially during July and August. Yellowstone is large and its major scenic attractions are widely dispersed. Make lodging and camping reservations as early as possible. Allow a week or more if you wish to see most major park attractions.
Climate - Summer temperatures within the Yellowstone Valley often reach 80 degrees F(30C). You can expect cooler temperatures in higher elevations. Nights are usually cool and temperatures may drop below freezing at higher elevations. Thunderstorms are common in the afternoons.
Winter temperatures often range from zero to 20F(-20 to 5C) throughout the day. Subzero temperatures overnight are common. Due to high elevations and snow reflection sunny days feel warm. Snowfall is highly variable. While the average is 150 inches per year, it is not uncommon for higher elevations to get twice that amount.
During the spring and fall daytime temperatures range from 30 to 60 degrees F (0 to 20C) with overnight lows in the teens to single digits (-5 to 20C). Snow is common in the Spring and Fall with regular accumulations of 12 inches in a 24 hour period.
At any time of year, be prepared for sudden changes in temperatures. Unpredictability, more than anything else, characterizes Yellowstone's weather. Always be equipped with a wide range of clothing options. Be sure to bring a warm jacket and rain gear even in the summer.
Yellowstone National Park encompasses two million acres in northwestern Wyoming. It is surrounded by National Forests on the east, west, north and south. The park is located within the Rocky Mountains with the Yellowstone River flowing southward through it.
Mid-May through Late September.