Wyoming Visitor's Guide

Yellowstone Hiking
Yellowstone National Park, encompassing 2.2 million acres, is one of America's premier wilderness areas. Most of the park is backcountry and managed as wilderness. Over 1,100 miles (1770 km) of trails are available for hiking. However, there are dangers inherent in wilderness: unpredictable wildlife, changing weather conditions, remote thermal areas, cold water lakes, turbulent streams, and rugged mountains with loose, rotten rock.

Geysers
Expanding steam bubbles generated from the rising hot water build up behind these constrictions, ultimately squeezing through the narrow passageways and forcing the water above to overflow from the geyser. The release of water at the surface prompts a sudden decline in pressure of the hotter waters at great depth, triggering a violent chain reaction of tremendous steam explosions in which the volume of rising, now boiling, water expands 1,500 times or more. This expanding body of boiling superheated water bursts into the sky as one of Yellowstone's many famous geysers.

Camping
There are 12 campgrounds in Yellowstone National Park. Seven of these campgrounds are operated by the National Park Service at Indian Creek, Lewis Lake, Mammoth, Norris, Pebble Creek, Slough Creek, and Tower Fall.

Geoecosystem
The distribution of rocks and sediments in the park also influences the distributions of flora and fauna. The volcanic rhyolites and tuffs of the Yellowstone Caldera are rich in quartz and potassium feldspar, which form nutrient-poor soils. Thus, areas of the park underlain by rhyolites and tuffs generally are characterized by extensive, monotypic stands of lodgepole pine, which are drought tolerant and have shallow roots that take advantage of the nutrients in the soil. In contrast, andesitic volcanic rocks that underlie the Absaroka Mountains are rich in calcium, magnesium, and iron.

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