There are many natural parks in the United States. Maybe you think of Yosmite, Wrangell-St.Elias (the largest US park) or Denali.
Yellowstone is not the biggest but it is on the first place as the oldest American and world natural park. Its area covers almost 9000 square kilometers (almost larger than Cyprus). This implies there is a lot to see.
The park is located mostly in Wyoming but significant parts reach to Montana and Idaho. Wyoming and Montana have very low population density (about 2 people on a square kilometer). When you enter Yellowstone from there you would not notice any large difference as there are no large towns around Yellowstone.
The park was founded in 1872 by President Ulysses Grant. When Union Pacific built railway up to Livingstone, attendance raised from dozens to thousands. Today about 3 million people visit the park every year.
To visit the park is really worth it. It is well-organized, there are several roads crossing it, so you can comfortably travel in car through it and there are also special tourist pathways with description of natural sights (you definitely want to visit Old Faithful).
You will often pass by scenic views. You should stop there because watching nature is amazing from there. Also, there are comforts of civilized life in the park, such as hotels and restaurants. But they do not disturb character of surrounding nature.
From anywhere in Yellowstone you will experience sights you will simply enjoy. Ridges covered with forests, this time of the year with bit of fresh snow, steam from thermal springs and also wild life.
While I was driving there I encountered a couple of elks. I stopped and went to see them more closely. To my surprise, they did not run away but one of them came closer. I also made few steps towards it. After a while of watching each other I returned to my car and just now I noticed a board with an information forbidding getting too close to animals.
Except elks you can see there bison herds, grizzly bears or wolfs. You may camp in the park or go fishing and canoeing.
Should you decide to visit Yellowstone you should visit and read thoroughly the park’s website. Many details considering opening hours and seasonal opening are there. A ticket for a car with up to six passengers costs about 25 dollars. An annual permit costs 50 dollars. You should consider buying an annual permit that will allow you to go to any other US national park. It is worth 80 dollars.
Text: Maxim Kucer
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