Many visitors to our Montana Mountain Lodge spend at a day or two touring Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone National Park is worth every minute. However, the crowds can be a bit much. That's where our Montana Mountain Resort come in. Our guests return to peace, quiet, relaxation, great food, and comfortable lodging - and yet remain in the heart of nature. John Grimes, in the brief article which follows - overviews some of Yellowstone National Park's geo-thermal highlights.
When it comes to national parks, it is hard to imagine a more famous one than Yellowstone National Park. Here is a quick introduction to this amazing park.
Yellowstone is unique in many ways. One that most people do not realize is its place in history. Yellowstone was the first national park ever established in the United States. The park was established on March 1, 1872.
Yellowstone is a fairly large national park. It covers 2.2 million acres. Although located primarily in Wyoming, the boundaries of the park also extend into Idaho and Montana. The name of the park derives from the Yellowstone River, and is a twist on the name French trappers gave the river. While rumor has it the name refers to yellow stones in the river basin, the truth is it refers to the yellow color in the bluffs abutting the river.
One of the stunning things about Yellowstone is its geological nature. It has always been noted as a place of significant geological activity. From daily earthquakes to the major Old Faithful Geyser, the park seems to constantly move to and for. Only in the last 30 years have we really begun to understand what is going on in the park. It all started with the lakes.
Yellowstone is full of lakes, and one in particular has drawn much attention. Yellowstone Lake has become a gathering point for geologists. The reason? It has been shifting to and fro for some time. In the early part of this decade, scientists realized the shoreline was moving substantially. When data was reviewed back to the early 1950's, they realized the shoreline had advanced and receded with regularity. What could be causing it?
After a couple of years of confusion, scientists discovered that vast amounts of the park were heaving and depressing in elevation. As the land rose and fell, the lakes would be moved. The only answer could be volcanic activity of some sort, but nobody could identify anything that looked like a traditional conical volcano in the park. The problem was eventually solved by satellite imagery, which revealed the park is actually a series of giant volcanoes!
Simply put, the volcanoes at Yellowstone are huge, extending as far as 60 miles in diameter. There consists a series of 'calderas' that form when a hot spot in the crust of the planet breaks through the ground. The explosions occur about once every 600,000 years. In fact, we are just at the end of another 600,000 year cycle, which makes people a bit nervous and movie producers happy to exploit the situation.
Yellowstone is an amazingly beautiful national park. A visit to the park should be on your list of things to do in your life. Just try to get there before it blows again. When it does, much of the Midwest and East Coast of the country will be devastated from the ash fallout.
John Grimes is with All Terrain - makes of natural products for the outdoors.
Hundreds of thousands of visitors visit Yellowstone National Park each year. Most see the 'main attractions' and little else. Would you like to do more? Let us show you how.