Exploring the World's First National Park - Yellowstone Park

There is a quote that resembles nature’s influence in life : “Life can’t be as good you think, but it won’t be as bad as you think.” from Maupassant’s Life.

In January 2021, Smithsonian Magazine wrote an article about the lost history of Yellowstone, debunking the myth that the great national park was untouched by humans. It is heavily prevalent that hunter gathers have occupied this territory before Yellowstone became a national park. As I reminisce my memories at this beautiful park, I can’t stop wondering about the life of the hunter gatherers, and their contribution to this land. Although this magnificent piece of land is known and beloved by many, there have been horrible atrocities that have taken place here, including the withdrawal of the native americans from their native land. Today however, the period of reconciliation is beginning with a dialogue and talks between different counterparts. As people, we have to be consistently aware of the importance of nature and the opportunity that it provides for all peoples.

Brief History:

Yellowstone is known as the world’s 1st national park, founded March of 1872 and elapses three different states including Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. The park is famous for its geysers, wildlife and natural scenery that attract millions of people from all over the world who come to see its natural wonder. I loved the natural scenery of the bison and the natural wildlife walking about the park and the miles and miles of untainted scenery through the mountains. This is the perfect road trip to take with your family to explore the wilderness of the wild west. From various locations along the West Coast, you can easily take a 10 day road trip to explore the wilderness and habitat of this wonderful ecosystem. I toke this particular trip from Vancouver,Canada and drove to the US border at Osooyoos, which makes it convenient to head towards Montana. Along your trip, you might also catch Bison and elk crossing the road,migrating to different areas of the road. The abundance of natural scenery will amaze you, leaving you breathless, from the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, to the multicoloured stratification of the geysers. The presence of the Native American history and their legacy to us is also important when learning that we all descended from hunter gatherers, and to acknowledge their history and customs along with the beautiful wilderness.

Becoming the world’s 1st national park on March 1,1872, Yellowstone is home to a supervolcano, countless geysers and hot springs, and natural creations. Occupied for more than 11,000 years by Native Americans and other tribes, European Americans began exploring the region in the 1800s, leading to the protecting of the park later on. Some of the most famous hunter-gatherers include the Clovis people, who were highly successful hunters that hunted mammoths and other animals, harvesting on the plains of the Yellowstone basin. Hunting spears made of obsidian where popular during this era and where traded to as far north as Canada. As a national park, conservation officers today protect the park’s natural ecosystem and active geysers, allowing this piece of history to be made available for years to come. The various lakes, geysers and other ecological forms have all been formed by eruption of volcanic magma, leaving us the colourful stratifications that we see today.

Top Things to Do & Experiences:

1.Gysers- Old Faithful

Old Faithful is one of the most famous geysers that erupts roughly on schedule, with its shows lasting for about 1-2 min. Located in Yellowstone’s Geyser Basin in the southwest section of the park, it erupts around 20 times a day. Summer brings the most visitors to Old Faithful and Yellowstone with over 4 million visitors a year, so be sure to come early to avoid the crowds or choose a preferable spot to watch. Old Faithful is known as one of the most famous geysers and a symbol of Yellowstone National Park, as its majestic height and eruption captures the imagination of millions.

2. Grand Prismatic Spring

This hot spring at Yellowstone’s Midway Geyser Basin is one of the most photographed thermal features in Yellowstone National Park because of the multitude of various colours. Visitors can be sure to discover and learn more about the history of the thermal features and geology when they walk around the circle shaped walkway. When you stand close to the waters, you will feel the heat of the coloured waters, which can rise to extreme temperatures. When walking around the wooden walkways around the geysers, you can learn about each particular spot that was formed by historic geologic processes.

3. Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Although not the Grand Canyon of Arizona, this grand canyon of Yellowstone was formed by erosion caused by wind, water and natural forces and stretches for over 600 miles. Discovered in 1869, the end of the last glacial period led to formation of Yellowstone canyon that it is today. There are multiple viewing platforms and also various trails down to edge of the basin, however the most famous is Artist’s Point. Often compared to the Grand Canyon, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone contains more coloured stratifications of colour and diverse wildlife that give it a more comprehensive structure.

4. Hiking Trails - Mount Washburn & Others

There are various hiking trails located all throughout Yellowstone National Park, but the most famous is Mount Washburn, a popular day-hiking destination. Located near Canyon Village, this hike offers panoramic views of the Yellowstone Panorama. Be sure to allocate at least half a day to a day for hikes in the Yellowstone region, and be prepared to encounter wild animals during your hike.

5. Diverse Wildlife

Yellowstone is home to over 300 species of birds and 67 different mammals, and it is here that you will see nature in its natural habitat. Carnivores such as the black bear, wolves, and wolverines are popular predators, while the more elusive Bison and mountain goats add to the mystique of the national park. The ecological processes that you see in this park reflect the natural ecology and ecosystem of the outer world. My favourite is the bison in this photo.

6. Yellowstone Lake

Yellowstone Lake is known to be the highest elevation lake in North America. The Native American presence can still be heavily detected at Yellowstone today, with artifacts discovered near the shores. One of the more popular keystone species to the lake include the Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout, which provides key resources for upper predators. Crystal blue waters sparkle in the sunlight as nature calls, however brutally concealing the cold waters of this lake. One can vaguely identity the chert flakes that are remnants of Yellowstone’s earlier age on the lake shores.

Chelsea Reviews: 4.5/5

I’ve always believed that nature balances the good and ugly in life. Anything with nature I am bound to rate above 4 stars because I believe that there is something magical about natural creations. The magical wonders of the world deserve our recognition and remind us that there is a beginning and ending to every life. If you haven’t been to Yellowstone National Park at least once in your life, then you are missing out on the incredible memories and scenery to last a lifetime. If you do visit, I hope you cherish the wonderful memories for a lifetime here, like this fading rainbow I once saw.

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