Yellowstone National Park
the oldest national park in the world
Yellowstone National Park, the oldest national park in the world, is famous for its many natural wonders. The park has more geysers and hot springs than any other area in the world. Yellowstone's scenic attractions include deep canyons, thundering waterfalls, sparkling lakes, and vast evergreen forests broken by rolling meadows. Yellowstone is also one of the largest wildlife preserves in the United States. It has a greater concentration of large and small animals than any other area in the United States except Alaska. Bears, elk, and bison (American buffaloes) roam the park, and bald eagles, trumpeter swans, and white pelicans nest there.
Yellowstone lies in the northwest corner of Wyoming and spreads into Idaho and Montana. The park covers 2,200,000 acres. A series of high plateaus extends across the park, and mountains rise along Yellowstone's northern, eastern, and western boundaries. The highest point, Eagle Peak, rises 11,358 feet in the Absaroka Range in the east.
Most of Yellowstone's landscape was created by volcanic eruptions more than 60,000 years ago. A large mass of molten rock still lies beneath the surface of the park. This rock, called magma, furnishes the heat for the park's geysers and hot springs. Yellowstone has more than 200 active geysers and thousands of hot springs.
The government established Yellowstone in 1872. It was named for the yellow rocks that lie along the part of the Yellowstone River that is north of the park. Over 2˝ million people visit Yellowstone yearly. Most of them drive through the park, but many explore large wilderness areas that can be reached only by foot or on horseback. The park has more than 350 miles of roads and over 1,200 miles of trails.
SOURCE: IBM 1999 WORLD BOOK
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