Yellowstone & The Tetons Tour MAY 2021...
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK – An America Wonder!
Visiting Yellowstone National Park is a feast for all senses! Year after Year, DIRECTIONS Tours has the pleasure of hosting traveling guests to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.
Yellowstone National Park was America's first National Park, established in 1872 by pioneer Ferdinand Vandiveer Hayden. Located along the upper RockyMountain range in the northwest corner of Wyoming, Yellowstone is one of America's most remote National Parks. Surrounded by dense forest and mountain ranges, beautiful lakes, canyons, rivers, mountain ranges and features some of the world's most dynamic natural features. The park was the first of its kind in our country and is known for its wildlife and geothermal features. More than two million acres, or 3,000 square miles, stretch over the surface area that is known as Yellowstone.
The park is so diverse and large that the park is literally divided into many climate and natural zones. The most famous area is known as the Yellowstone Caldera. Half of the world's geothermal features are in this area of Yellowstone. Fueled by an ongoing underground volcano, lava flows and rocks from volcanic eruptions cover most of the land area of Yellowstone. It is one of the largest remaining ecosystems on our planet. The caldera area features some of the most impressive geysers and hot springs in the park. The most famous geyser in the park, and perhaps in the world, is Old Faithful Geyser. Although not the largest or most powerful geyser in the park, Old Faithful is just that... "faithful" and dependable. Park Rangers have been able to estimate Old Faithful's eruptions for over 100 years. Today, crowds line the boardwalk around Old Faithful for the geyser's "show" approximately every 90 minutes. The largest geyser is located just west of Old Faithful, known as Steamboat Geyser in the Norris Geyser Basin. There are over 300 geysers in Yellowstone and a total of at least 10,000 geothermal features throughout the park. Amazingly over two-thirds of the world's geysers alone are located within Yellowstone!
Northern areas of the park feature some geothermal features, however, is most known for its rugged mountains and vast prairie ranges in between. Hundreds of species of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles make Yellowstone their home, including several that are either endangered or threatened. Many unique and found only in this region of North America. Grizzly and Black bears, wolves, and free-ranging herds of bison and elk are native to Yellowstone. Visitors often encounter many of the park’s wildlife. Driving through the park offers views of many herds of animals as well as an occasional bear sighting as well. But don't get too close, these animals are still "wild”, and Yellowstone is their home, not ours. Park officials made it illegal in the 1980's to feed or approach any animal in the park for your safety and theirs.
Forest fires occur in the park each year; in the large forest fires of 1988, nearly one third of the park burned. However, forest fires are also good and a natural occurrence in the park as well. Many of the park's yearly fires are caused by lightning strikes and not by man. Today, natural fires burn, but controlled for the safety of man and the park's infrastructure. Many plants in the park will only reproduce after a fire. The intense heat allows many acorn and seeds to open and fertilize the new landscape scared by the forest fire.
One of our guest’s favorite focal points of the park is Lake Yellowstone. Located in the center of Yellowstone and flowing into the majestic Yellowstone River to the south, the lake compromises more than 100 miles of shoreline. Yellowstone Lake is the largest body of water in Yellowstone National Park and is the largest freshwater lake above 7,000 feet. Many Geysers, fumaroles and hot springs are found alongside and even in the lake making some spectacular scenery!
Yellowstone has numerous recreational opportunities, including hiking, camping, boating, fishing and of course, fantastic sightseeing! We invite you to join us again this year as we return to this American Wonder!