Yellowstone’s not out to get you; but it can.   The park service has been sued many times about whether it does enough to protect visitors. Over the years a kind of legal framework has been built that, roughly speaking, entrusts the park service with the job of informing the public about the dangers of Yellowstone, of erecting sufficient barriers …

Read More »

When to Go?

Crazy Creek, Beartooth Mountains

When to go to Yellowstone? Other than the obvious answer (when you can) it’s helpful to know that every season has its attractions, as well as some negatives.

Read More »

Bears force closure of part of YNP

Two attacks by grizzly bear in the northern part of Yellowstone National Park forced park officials to close a section near Gardiner.

Read More »

Yellowstone Plants and Animals

From heat-loving microscopic microbes to the big lumbering beasts such as bison and bears, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is world-famous for its plant and animal life. When you ask visitors what was it about Yellowstone that they found the most interesting, more often than not the first in the list is animals — not geysers. In the developed world where …

Read More »

Yellowstone’s Active Geology

Yellowstone Caldera

Something changes almost every day in Yellowstone: a geyser erupts that hasn’t erupted in years, a new fumarole pushes steam out of the ground, a hot spring runs dry. Almost every day there are earthquakes, most of them detectable only by the most sensitive of seismographs. Every once in a while there are bigger earthquakes, not necessarily as big as the one that caused the Hebgen Lake disaster, but still big enough to rattle dishes and people’s nerves.


Read More »

Destination Yellowstone

If you told your friends or family that you were going to spend some of your vacation in an active volcano, they might think you were crazy. Yet every year more than three million people do exactly that. Yellowstone National Park is a volcano. Almost everything that is special in Yellowstone is the result of being one of the world’s largest active volcanoes, in fact, a super-volcano. Fortunately, Yellowstone’s current volcanic activity is limited to hot water and earthquakes -- no eruptions, flowing magma, or cataclysmic explosions. Yellowstone did the cataclysmic explosion thing about 640,000 years ago and is resting for a possible encore in some more tens of thousands of years. Yellowstone the volcano is not going to erupt anytime soon.

Read More »

Fishing and Boating

Fishing is one of the great appeals of Yellowstone National Park. Though fishing in summer 2007 was curtailed by warm weather leading to a ban on fishing in certain parts of the park, fishing is still allowed in the rest of the area. Here’s a look at the fishing regulations for Yellowstone. 1.    Fishing Hours and Dates ·     Season begins …

Read More »

The Lay of the Land

Yellowstone geography

Described simply, most of Yellowstone National Park and region is a collection of high volcanic plateaus surrounded by mountains. Plateaus are associated with being flat, or relatively flat, but driving around Yellowstone doesn’t give that impression: There are too many mountains all over the park (for example, Mount Washburn and Sheridan Peak). There are several broad valleys, most with canyons, including the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. There are some big lakes, including Yellowstone Lake. Even the true plateau areas, such as the Central Plateau or the Pitchstone Plateau, seem to be pitted, scarred, and not very flat. The ring of mountains around most sides of the park is fairly obvious (Absarokas east and north, Gallatin Range north and west, Red Mountains and Tetons south). In a word, the park’s terrain is best summed up as rugged.

Read More »

Ranger Stations

Emergencies occur in Yellowstone all the time. Should something happen to you on your trip -- major or minor -- you'll want to know where the nearest ranger station is.

Read More »

Visitor Centers

A little bit of context greatly enhances the Yellowstone National Park experience. Anyone spending time in the park will want to check out the various visitor centers maintained by the National Park Service. No two are alike, and they cover all aspects of the Yellowstone experience. They're presented here in alphabetical order.

Read More »