A Brief History
The First National Park
Yellowstone National Park was established on March 1, 1872 as the world’s first national park. Yellowstone is an active volcano with one of the world’s largest calderas, measuring approximately 45 miles by 30 miles.
Geological Hot Spot
There are over 10,000 geysers and hot springs in Yellowstone National Park (about 10 times more hot springs than geysers). Yellowstone National Park sits on top of a “geological hot spot.” Eruptions have taken place in the past roughly 650,000 years apart. While things are relatively quiet today, the many hissing, bubbling, steaming and rushing geysers and hot springs as well as minor earthquakes that jiggle Yellowstone hundreds of times each year suggest that the material underlying Yellowstone is still very hot and flexible. It’s a reminder that volcanic activity may be possible “any day”, geologically speaking.
Over time, Yellowstone’s diverse wildlife including bears, wolves, bison, pronghorn antelope, moose, bighorn sheep has rivaled the geothermals for visitor’s attention. The United Nations designated Yellowstone National Park as a biosphere reserve and a world heritage site in recognition of the worldwide significance of its natural and cultural resources.