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.


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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.

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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.

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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 …

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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.

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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.

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Seasons and Weather

Nothing is normal in Yellowstone National Park when it comes to seasons: summers are hot, winters are amazingly cold, and spring and fall are short and sweet. There's something for everyone during the four seasons in Yellowstone National Park.

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Medical Services – Post Offices

You’re never too far away from a clinic or post office in Yellowstone. Medical Services There are three medical facilities in Yellowstone National Park: Mammoth Clinic is open year-round Oct. 1 – May 30, open Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. (closed for lunch 1-2 p.m.), closed Friday afternoons. June 1 – Sept. 30 open daily, 8:30 a.m. …

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Park Fees & Prices — 2009

Nothing worthwhile in life is free, and that includes Yellowstone National Park. Here are the 2009 prices for park admission for vehicles, RVs, commercial vehicles and seniors.

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Yellowstone Park Entrances

Entrances Map

Entrances to Yellowstone National Park are known by their geographic direction in relation to the park, not by the cities near the entrance.

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