Yellowstone National Park covers 3,472 square miles or 2.2 million acres consisting of varied wilderness terrain filled with precipitous canyons, towering waterfalls, roaring rivers, pristine lakes, rugged mountains, misty meadows, and plateaus of tawny sagebrush. Located astride the Continental Divide, most of the park centers on a 7,500' high plateau, the collapsed caldera of an enormous volcano.
In 1871 Chief Geologist Ferdinand V. Hayden, with the United States Geological Survey, led a government expedition to document the wonders of Yellowstone. The survey's report, illustrated by painter Thomas Moran and photographer William Henry Jackson, convinced Congress to create the world's first national park in 1872.
Known worldwide for its volatile geologic features; the landscape is alive with steaming hot springs, spouting geysers, bubbling mudpots, and smoking fumaroles. Yellowstone contains more geysers than anywhere else in the world, Old Faithful being the most famous erupting to heights of 180 feet.
The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone features one of the grandest falls in the park. Lower Yellowstone Falls plunges 308 feet to the canyon floor creating a spectacular display of color.
"I sat there in amazement, while my companions came up, and after that, it seemed to me it was five minutes before anyone spoke. Language is inadequate to convey a just conception of the grandeur and sublimity of this masterpiece of nature's handiwork" Artist Point - Charles Cook 1869
"There is something in the wild scenery of this valley which I cannot describe: but the impressions made upon my mind while gazing from a high eminence on the surrounding landscape one evening as the sun was gently gliding behind the western mountain and casting its gigantic shadows across the vale were such as time can never efface. For my own part I almost wished I could spend the remainder of my days in a place like this where happiness and contentment seemed to reign in wild romantic splendor" - Lamar Valley, Osborne Russell 1835
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