The Yellowstone Park, the oldest nature reserve in the United States, this park is absolutely amazing.
In a slightly larger area than Madrid you can find lakes, waterfalls and canyons, enjoy the blows of geysers, walking beside herds of buffalo and giant moose and listen wolves howl. And of course you will see big bears and all sorts of animals’ large waist. But do not worry: with a few recommendations that nearly eight hundred encyclopedic Yellowstone park rangers will make you live a unique experience. Because that’s the beauty of Yellowstone: we are in Wyoming, in the heart of the United States, just few minutes of flight of the most modern cities of the earth. But in here nature still dictates.
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When traveling to Yellowstone
The Yellowstone Park, in fact, is always open, but if you visit the park in winter, you can have some problems. The snow around here is no joke. And indeed most of the roads are closed during winter. We can say the same about the park access. To enter the park , in fact there are five entries arranged roughly radially around the entire length of the park, and only one, the north entrance is open the whole year. The nearest town is Gardiner (right on the state line in Montana). The other entries are opened based on the climate: the west entrance, near the city of West Yellowstone, is open from late April to early November and for vehicles equipped with tires 4 x 4 or snow tires, from March 15 to December 15. This entry is considered as the best in finding accommodation as sites outside the park boundaries
The southern entrance, located on the road to Yellowstone National Park Grand Teton, you can enter from mid-May to early November and for the 4 × 4 with chains also from mid-December to mid-March.
Then there is the option Northeast (north entrance), not far from the town of Cooke City, normally closed from November to April and the East (east entrance) near Cody, open from May to December. But this is pure theory: the true calendar is related to climatic conditions. If winter brings big snowfall dates may change.
The best season to visit the national park Yellowstone runs from spring through early autumn: then, in mid-October, heavy snows begin. The average altitude of Yellowstone (1700 meters) makes the summer mild, also excludes wildlife and poisonous snakes that cannot live at this altitude. It Is true that summer is perfect in climate but remember that coincides with the holiday period of the Americans, so it is best to avoid, if possible, the second half of July and the first half of August. Best September and October or June.
The routes through Yellowstone Park
We are in America: here you travel by car. So get ready to drive your car along the park roads in good and long hours. The duration of the visit, of course, depends on the time you have available, but at least it takes three or four days. This allows you to enjoy the difference between the ecosystems of the park and make some stops.
There is also another important detail: the speed limit is fixed rigidly to 45 miles, or 73 kilometers. This is to avoid hitting bison or elk; there are always park rangers, so you really have to respect this, to avoid problems. The most typical route, is what is commonly called, Loop Road: it is a long road of more than 300 km long that touches all areas of the park and connects the different access.
The land of geysers
One area that should not be missed in the park is the geyser country: here are about 300 geysers. And about 180 are concentrated in the area called Upper Geyser Basin. For lovers of geology, it will be like living in a dream made of lava and heat. On the other hand, the primary force that is released here is unmatched, hot springs are more than ten thousand and subsoil and at least 20 km deep is located a super volcano, experts say, that if an eruption is produced, this could changed our world!
The Geyser most photographed from Yellowstone is undoubtedly the Old Faithfull: every half hour shoots a jet of steam between 30 and 60 meters. And the amazing thing is that since 1870 has not missed one of the appointments! But he is not alone: there is also the Castle geyser or Great Fountain.
Everyone can find their favorite geyser walking along the eight miles of walkways that connect them. And those who want to enjoy the view in peace just book a room in the Old Faithful Inn. The hotel is right in front of the geyser that has the same name, from the lobby can be seen as the hot jets up to the sky and the wooden structure of the hotel makes you relive the very epic atmosphere of the Old West. Continuing in this part of the park you can visit the other areas of warm earth: Norris area there are many gigantic geysers like Steamboat. But has a drawback: erupts only when it wants, without notice.
Further west is the Midway Geyser Basin and the Lower Geyser Basin, the latter a little further to the north than the last. Here also is one of the most important centers of Yellowstone Park visitors. In the first zone of fumaroles is one of the main attractions of Yellowstone, the Grand Prismatic Spring colorful, whose image is often displayed as if a strange place on our planet.
The colors depend on both the minerals and the different colonies of bacteria that live in the various layers of hot mud. The last fields of Yellowstone Park geysers are the Shoshone and West Thumb Geyser Basin.
You shouldn’t miss Mammouth Country Area, one of the most interesting places from a geological point of view: here the gateways allow walking on terraces of burning rocks. Amazing is the Minerva Terrace, a petrified waterfall similar to one in the city of Pamukkale in Turkey.
The best option is to ask a ranger which is the best walking route along these hills and red platforms: like a walk through hell in Dante. Be careful, in here is easier to find bears than sinners.
Dominating the canyon
In addition to the columns of steam, Yellowstone Park is famous for its cannon. It is certainly not famous and immense as his cousin from Arizona, but this cannon is impressive as well.
The huge crack in the mountain surprised by its size and also for the many shades of yellow rock from which also some impressive waterfalls escape. The Lower and Upper are little known: the lower falls has a fall that reaches 94 meters high, about twice Niagara Falls, and is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world.
From the top of the canyon there are several paths suitable for all types of walkers. The most trained can get to the bottom of the canyon while the laziest can remain on the higher fees and enjoy the view. One of the most striking points is on the south side and is called Artist Point: Rock looks like a pipe organ. And the way to reach the site is not too complex.
Not far away there are other valleys where paths are easy to walk surrounded by nature, such as the Lamar Valley. This is one of the areas where it is easier to find wild animals and this requires a certain degree of caution. Who wants can also participate in organized tours with guides. Worth because you will have the opportunity to see: face to face a moose coming down to drink at sunset on the river is an experience not to forget.
The Lake Country
Before steam, then rock. And finally the water comes. One of the more fascinating areas of Yellowstone Park is one that has like centre the Yellowstone Lake. The water, in summer, is crystal clear, like a mirror to admire the mountains. This is not only the largest mountain lake in North America, is also surrounded by a network of walking trails surrounded by an idyllic landscape.
From here the possibilities are many. Walking about ten km you can reach the unique landscape views of Hayden Valley or Pelican Valley. Not far from here you reach the lake Shoshone. It was named after the tribe of natives who lived here in 1807, when the first white came. But at sunset while you are watching the pelicans how they glide quietly through the Lewis River, seems impossible that here not always lived in harmony.
Walking and cycling
If you want, during the summer, you can take long walks on the trails through the park. According to a recent census in the Yellowstone Park there are over 2000 km of trails through a network of well-designed paths. In any case, to enter the park you need to pay an entry that is valid seven days and costs $ 25 for one car and $ 20 for a motorcycle.
If you arrive by foot or by bike, you have to spend $ 12. For those who decide to visit Yellowstone Park on two wheels no motorized there are special roads and you have to be careful not to use the paths reserved for pedestrians. Detailed maps and directions are available at the park entrances and parking areas, bungalows, camping, etc….
Finally we talk about animals. The rangers constantly remind us this: Keep a safe distance of at least 100 meters from bears and wolves! If you have such a bad luck of finding closely with a grizzly bear, the only chance you can have is that he might not be interested in you…
In addition you have to pay attention to the bison. They seem just big cows but you have to be very careful with their horns. Do not underestimate the encounter with a moose, gigantic and aggressive if they feel threatened.
The view here in Yellowstone Park, is moving and the view of the daily life of its “inhabitants” can be enjoyed also being a few steps behind, is for your safety.
Ultimately, it is also a matter of courtesy. The Yellowstone Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is actually Heritage nature. We are guests. You just be careful. And do not bother.
To visit Yellowstone Official Web page click here