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Fact: The oldest National Park in the U.S. is located in Wyoming — oh, and it’s partially in Idaho and Montana, too. Here are a few more facts you might not know about Yellowstone National Park.
Established in 1872
Not only is Yellowstone National Park in the U.S., it possibly may be the oldest national park in the world. It was established in 1872 and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant.
It’s a big one
Yellowstone National Park is enormous — not only does its land rest in three different states, you can find it in five counties. It’s over 2 million acres, which is pretty gigantic. To put it into perspective, Yellowstone National Park is larger than both Delaware and Rhode Island.
Its tourism season is short
While parts of the park remain open in winter, most of the park’s facilities are only open from around April to the early October. If you’re up to it, you can get around on snow-packed roads via snowmobile, but the harsh winter conditions aren’t really suitable for normal tourist traffic.
You can work there
Yellowstone National Park hires hundreds of employees for seasonal jobs every year. Your room and board comes out of your paycheck (based on actual hours worked), so you don’t even have to worry about housing or food bills. You can work at any one of a number of hotels, restaurants and shops to make some money, and you’ll have an amazing backyard to play in while you’re off duty.
There are a lot of geysers
You’re likely familiar with Old Faithful, but there are tons of other geysers to check out over the expanse of the park. Interestingly enough, Old Faithful isn’t the largest active geyser in the park — that distinction goes to Steamboat Geyser, whose eruptions can shoot up 300 feet into the air. A recent study claims that 1283 geysers, at a minimum, have erupted at some point in Yellowstone. And more than 400 are active in a given year.
And a lot of bison
Yellowstone is home to the largest herd of American bison in the nation. There are thousands of bison in the park, and they wander around everywhere, including on the roads that traverse through it. Bison are large animals, and can weigh up to 2,000 pounds. And definitely, definitely don’t throw newspapers at them. They are large animals that can charge you if angered, and they can stomp you to death.
It has its own Grand Canyon
One of the most beautiful areas of the park is called Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, which runs for 24 miles throughout Yellowstone.