The First National Park

The unique natural wonders of Yellowstone were preserved for future generations when it was introduced as the first of America’s national parks in 1872. The beauty and surreal landscapes have been amazing generations for thousands of years even before the park was established. In Diane Smith’s book Letters from Yellowstone, a young botanist describes Yellowstone upon her first day as “It is though I have stepped back in time, to the very edge of the universe, where the earth, still in it’s most primordial stage, sputters and bubble and spews out the very origins of life.”. It is located in the northwestern corner of Wyoming, it’s boundaries possess more geysers than can be found any where else on earth. These hot water geysers consistently spew water over one hundred feet into the air. Although most are located beside the most frequent tourist spots, many can be found in the wilderness, off the roads, and next to hiking trails. These are the most interesting because when hiking along in the wilderness in the beauty of the park, the last thing one expects is to see a geyser shot off. And the same can be said for the hot water pools, which contain brilliant colors of green, orange, blue, and yellow. Bacteria and algae give it the unworldly hews that make them look like paint blobs on an artist’s palette. The water can reach temperatures of up to 200 degrees. Many people and animals have met their deaths in these pools. The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone in my opinion is the most incredible site out of all that the park has to offer it’s visitors. Above the scenic waterfalls, the Yellowstone river flows from the Yellowstone lake at a docile flat and slow pace. It looks like any other Piedmont river. But then it turns it’s last corner before the gorge , it becomes loud and violent as it instantly drops 109 feet. The first waterfall is called Upper Falls, and it marks the junction between a hard rhyolite lava flow and weaker glassy lava that has been more heavily eroded. The river meanders a little further until it falls again this time even more violent and further than the Upper Falls. The Lower Falls drops 308 feet. Here, the river has eroded and carved out a deep gorge in the softer glassy lava laid out from a volcano. The river snakes it’s way north through the park and into Paradise Valley in Montana. Another wonder of Yellowstone that does not get the same attention as the geysers is the lake. Some of the bast hikes are along this picturesque shoreline. The forest creeps right up to the edge and hides a land beyond it’s shores that reminded me of the Narnia woods beyond the wardrobe. Animals are frequent along the shores as well. The yellow bellied marmot is a curious animal that frequently follows hikers while seeking attention. Elk are also common among the woods that surround the lake. The waters of the lake are frigid to say the least. Many boaters that have capsized have also died in the park due the the cold Arctic like waters.

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2 Responses to The First National Park

  1. amalderm says:

    Yellowstone is one of the most beautiful places in the world. I have applied for an internship with the US Forest Service to go out to Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Wyoming doing stream assessments. I am hoping that Yellowstone will be one of the places that we get to go.

  2. samparton says:

    I think that National Parks are great and that there should be more of them to help preserve nature in our growing country. Yellowstone started it all and still remains on of the greatest national parks.

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