Congress established Yellowstone as the world’s first national park in 1872. Nowhere, including New Zealand and Iceland, are there as many geysers as in Yellowstone. The latest volcanic eruption occurred here 640,000 years ago and spewed out nearly 240 cubic miles of debris. The present central portion of the park collapsed, forming a 30 by 45 mile caldera, or basin. The magmatic heat powering those eruptions still powers the park’s geysers, hot springs, fumaroles, and mudpots.
We’ve been to Yellowstone before – winter and summer – so we limited this trip to the southeast side of the park. We entered the park via the south entrance and stopped at Grant Village for lunch. We traveled along Yellowstone Lake (North America’s largest mountain lake) past Natural Bridge, Bridge Bay and Fishing Bridge. Yellowstone Lake is 20 miles long, 14 miles wide, and 430 feet deep at its deepest point. Our only wildlife sighting was an elk crossing the road and bringing traffic to a halt while he meandered around deciding where to head next. What a rack he had! Evidence of the devastating fires of the 80's is visible everywhere -- many of the destroyed trees still stand but are now surrounded by new trees. The park is still magnificent and a favorite.
|Waiting on lunch|
|Geysers at Yellowstone Lake|
|New growth following fires in 80's|
|Sunset at the Campground|