Those thinking about taking a family trip this year should consider visiting the Yellowstone National Park Sites. It is the oldest national park in America having been established in 1870, and Yellowstone is still very popular with our current generation. It is also a huge park, placed so that it wanders into Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. Many know it as the home of Old Faithful, the water geyser that sends up a spray of water like clockwork. The entire park is full of interesting geological formations, such as columnar basalt near the oft photographed Tower Fall.
Old faithful and many other pools of water are heated to beyond boiling temperatures by lava coursing under the Earth’s surface. Visitors can’t enjoy these as they would hot springs, because the water way too hot, but they are unique examples of the strange geology the world can produce. Many of the pools are completely sterile of life, but are surrounded mats of living bacteria that can exist on the fringes of such heat.
Yellowstone National Park vacationers can go hiking, horseback riding, mountaineering, kayaking, animal watching, and fishing. There are a total of 11 campgrounds and 11 other kinds of accommodations available for guests including, the Old Faithful Lodge, hotels, and cabins.
The park is open all year round. It is more crowded in the summertime, but the park is so big that it’s easy to get away from it all even if the campground happens to be busy as ever. The park is also available to those who simply wish to go on a day trip and leave the camping to more adventurous sorts. Visitors to the park can also check out the Museum of the National Park Ranger, which shows the development of the park ranger profession. There are also plenty of Ranger stations and visitor’s centers. For those science buffs there is the Norris Geyser Basin Museum that has displays on the nature of geothermal activity and what life can exist in the areas around the thermal pools and springs.
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