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When I visited this place a couple of years ago I imagine I felt how anyone else would be when you come across this creation of nature. It was simply breathtaking.
I was approaching from the North having just come across from Montana. This place kind of creeps up with you and the only way we first of all knew we were in the park was when we went under a small stone archway welcoming us (although that was followed by a toll booth and an entrance fee soon afterwards)
The ecosystem there is just astounding, you have heard of Bison walking aimlessly in the middle of the road at their own speed which are simply wonderful animals. Word of warning though, don't get out of the car to pet them as they can easily turn nasty and I believe you're consistently reminded of this when you're in there by way of signs and leaflets.
There's a strong smell of sulphur and there's hot water running freely which you just couldn't imagine until you've seen it, all of which is flowing down white rocks where sulphur has settled and crystallised. The closest analogy I can compare it to is a garden rockery with the plastic waterways. Except this is real in every single way and heated by geothermal activity.
Eventually we got to the geysers and old faithful. I don't know how this is done but they appear to know right to the very minute when old faithful will go off. And when it does, it's one of those moments for me that made me glad to be alive by witnessing nature in all of its glory. Incidentally, while you're waiting for this there are loads of chipmunks around which are incredibly cute. They'll happily sit around you, just up on you and stand and entertain for you. They've obviously become very comfortable around humans.
There's also another geyser next to Old Faithful which I believe is called Bumblebee. This goes off far less frequently and we were lucky to see this too.
Overall this is a wonderful experience and a review like this simply can't do it justice. I really recommend seeing it as part of a wider holiday. The park has a very detailed website and has a live streaming website so you can see it before you go. There's also plenty of footage of old faithful on YouTube along with the rest of the park and its animals. This is definitely one place I will visit again if I ever get the opportunity to do so later in life.
As a Geography student, I knew I would find Yellowstone interesting, but it was truly one of the most amazing places I have ever been! I went in July with my family, driving in a hire car for two days. The wildlife we saw was fantastic, often having to stop the car for elks to pass the road! Or a herd of bison! It was a great chance to practice photography because of the colours in the trees and grass. The geological features were fascinating with informative visitor centres and boards telling you about the area. Old faithful was a bit of a let down as I have seen many geysers before and, although it went off when planned, the surrounding crowds, car parks and buildings ruined the magic of seeing a natural geological feature (go to Iceland for un ruined geysers!) . The sulphur pools were interesting but be prepared to stink! The gas in the steam is very eggy so have a strong stomach. There are lots of safety features to discourage people from straying from the walkways which makes it possible to take children but keep a close eye because you wouldn't want them wondering off anywhere!
I would recommend ANYONE and EVERYONE to visit Yellowstone if given the chance, whether interested in geology/geography or not. It is a natural wonder of the world and there are sights/sounds/smells everywhere you look!
Yellowstone National Park is probably the most beautiful place that I have visited. Yes it is chock full of tourists (but I was one of them), but there can’t be many places on Earth which will give you such a rich vein of contrast. Let me explain… I visited Yellowstone in June 1999, having driven over 2 days from Seattle. Upon arrival at Mammoth Springs at the north west, Montana/Wyoming border we booked into a largeish wooden hotel, which reminded me of a cross between the hotel in “The Shining” and “The Waltons” (a scary concoction!). It was quite cheap too, no dearer than a motel. Here we made our base, even though the park itself is huge. My advice is not to stay in one of the motels outside of the park, they charge much more than usual motels and are dearer than the accomodation inside. The Park hotels are basic (no TVs and on-suite), but they are well worth curring out the drive to the park, since you will enevitably cover many miles in the park itself (I did over 1000 miles!). The park is a plateau at around 7000 feet, so make sure you are fit if you plan to ski or cycle. It is in fact a super volcano, which when it blows (statistically soon) it will probably take out all of North America (one way or another). However, that’s the downside, the upside is that is contains, a grand canyon, a huge lake, towering mountains (you can drive to over 10,000 feet) and most famously of all, Geysers, bucket loads of them. Also, one thing that you notice pretty quickly is the climate, one minute you can feel the sun scorch your skin, then next it’s snowing, wonderful. Drive around the park and you’ll visit geyser basins galore, some of which are much prettier than Mr. Big Himself, Old Faithful, which really is chock full of camera wielding tourists and gift shops. There are also plenty Bison wandering around and blocking up the roads. Also, if you are an American, then don’t get too ex
cited, but yes, there are deer, bloody millions of them just like the rest of your country. Something that I will never understand is the average American's total surprise and delight at deer. It would be like me being surprised and excited at seeing a sheep in Yorkshire. I could quite happily spend several weeks in Yellowstone, there is so much there and it is about the size of the Lake District. The roads resemble a figure of eight and these have all the main attractions on them, all lovingly labled. However, you can get away from the bustling car tourists and get one one of the many hiking trails (it is really like the Lake District in this respect). Yellowstone is far far more than a National Park with Old Faithful in it. The only real downside is getting there. It is not near any centre of population. You would face a pretty still drive from the likes of Seattle (took me 2 days), Denver, or Salt Lake City. However, there is an airport at Jackson towards the south of the park (small planes), but I won't respect you if you fly there. Oh and don’t forget that there is another national park tagged right at the southern exit, Grand Teton is a range of razor sharp mountains and is pretty spectacular, if you get as far as Yellowstone, don’t forget Teton (the admission is inclusive and is only $20 per car for the pair)! I can not recommend American National Parks enough, they are not commercial as they are state run.
Yellowstone National Park became the world's first national park on March 1, 1872. Located mostly in the U.S. state of Wyoming, parts of the park also extend into Montana and Idaho. The park is the centerpiece of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem which is the largest intact ecosystem in the northern temperate zone on Earth. The park is famous for its geysers, hot springs, supervolcano and other geothermal features and is home to grizzlies, wolves, and free-ranging herds of bison and elk. The famous Old Faithful Geyser is one of the best known features in the park.