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Yellowstone National Park, Idaho - Montana - Wyoming

elk

Millions of visitors come each year to the Yellowstone National Park, America's oldest national park and the largest in the lower 48 states. The park attracts tourists looking to enjoy its magnificent mountain scenery and abundant wildlife, and above all to witness hydrothermal phenomena on a unique scale.

The park centers on a 7500 ft high plateau, the caldera of a vast volcanic eruption. In the park are present half the world's geysers, in which the rain and snow water escape the pressure cooker conditions with intermittent spectacular blasts, plus thousands of fumaroles and hot springs which gush plumes of steam. The dependable Old Faithful is the most popular geyser in the park. On average, it "performs" for the crowds every 78 minutes. The column of water shoots up to a height of 100 to 180 ft, a total of 11,000 gallons.

Yellowstone amounts to an extraordinary experience, combining the colors of the lakes, wild flower meadows and the rainbow colored geyser pools; the sounds of stem hissing from the mountainsides, and the constant smells of sulfurous fumes. For good measure, the park has an assortment of wildlife that includes bull moose, bears, bison, herds of elk and scurrying marmots. The key to appreciating the park is to take your time, and try to stay for at least three days.

Visitors should also go to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. The canyon, formed by the action of the Yellowstone River, is punctuated by two spectacular waterfalls. Both rims of the canyon offer superb views. If you go in summer, also visit the Yellowstone Lake, America's largest alpine lake.

 
 
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