Thursday, October 10, 2013


Yellowstone National Park Facts & Figures
(This was taken from a Yellowstone website.  The photos are mine)

 At 2.2 million acres, Yellowstone National Park is larger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined.  It's 54 miles east to west and 63 miles north to south.
 Overall, the average elevation of Yellowstone is about 8,000 feet.
 The highest temperature ever recorded in Yellowstone Park is 98F set in Lamar Valley in 1936. The record low temperature for Yellowstone is 66 below zero, set in February 1933 at Madison.
 Five (5) percent of Yellowstone's surface area is water.  This amount, totaling 177 square miles, is largely made up by Yellowstone Lake consisting of 136 square miles.
 In spring when snow is melting and rain is falling, 64,000 gallons of water go over the Upper and  Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River every second.
 Yellowstone Lake sits an elevation of 7,733 feet above sea level, making it the largest high-elevation lake in North America.
 The average depth of Yellowstone Lake is about 140 feet, but the maximum depth is 390 feet.
 There are 340 waterfalls in Yellowstone, including 290 that were recently discovered.
 Of the approximately 200 lakes in Yellowstone, only 45 have fish in them.  The others are
too small, too shallow, too hot, too alkali, too acidic, or have access blocked by waterfalls.
 A sagebrush plant can live for 200 years.
 The average year-round temperature of Yellowstone National Park is 35F.
 The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is 20 miles long, 1,500 to 4,000 feet wide, and up to 1,500 feet deep.  If you hike all the way to the bottom of the canyon and all the way back up again, that would be equal to taking the stairs to the top of the Sears Tower in Chicago and back down again.
 There are about 2,000 campsites in the park accessible to vehicles, and there are 300 back country campsites.
 If you drive every road in Yellowstone National Park, you will see only two (2) percent of the park.
 The only section of road that remains open year-round in Yellowstone is from the north entrance at Mammoth to the northeast entrance at Cooke City, where it dead-ends in the winter.
 The park receives between 50 and 200 inches of snowfall in a typical year.
 Roads in the park are closed to wheeled vehicles for the winter beginning the first Sunday in November.
 Roads generally open in the spring by late April; usually most of the roads are open by mid-May.
 Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and Old Faithful Snow Lodge are the only lodges in the park that remain open year-round.
 Pushed upwards by a churning sea of magma, land in Yellowstone has been rising at the rate of around an inch per year.
 86 percent of the rock in Yellowstone Park is volcanic; the rest is sedimentary.
 The Yellowstone caldera is the largest known center of active volcanism on the planet. The caldera measures 45 miles by 30 miles, an area big enough to fit the entire city of Tokyo.
 90 percent of Yellowstone was buried under ice during the last Ice Age, which ended about 10,000 years ago.  That ice age lasted 17,000 years.
 About 15,000 years ago, a glacier carried Glacial Boulder from the Beartooth Mountains north Yellowstone and deposited it near Inspiration Point on the north rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.  The rock is 24 feet wide and 18 feet long and weighs about one million pounds.  The Glacial Boulder traveled 40 miles from its probable point of origin.
 Upper Geyser Basin, the home of Old Faithful, contains the densest concentration of geysers in the world with 140 geysers in a single square mile or 25 percent of the world's geysers. 
 During the summer months, 25,000 people visit Old Faithful daily.
 Water erupting from Old Faithful Geyser is 244F.
 Of the more than 3 million visitors to Yellowstone annually, 85 percent will see Old Faithful erupt. 
 Old Faithful shoots out about 8,500 gallons of water every eruption.
 Riverside Geyser is one of the most predictable geysers in the park, erupting once every six (6) hours.
 The only place in the United States that has more earthquakes than Yellowstone is California.
On average, seismographs pick up about 2,000 small tremors in the Yellowstone area in a typical year.
 In 1988, forest fires burned approximately 800,000 acres inside Yellowstone Park and another 400,000 acres around the park.
 In an average year, 22 forest fires are started in the park by lightning.
 In 1988, about 50 fires were started in the park by lightning.
 During the fires of 1988, the park was completely closed to visitors for the first time since it opened in 1872.  The park was closed for one day on August 20, 1988.
 Smoke plumes from the Yellowstone fires could be seen from the space shuttle, and ashes fell 100 miles away in Billings, Montana.
 August 20, 1988 became known as "Black Saturday" when hurricane-force winds blasted through the park, whipping fires to a frenzy and burning 165,000 acres in one day.
 About 80% of Yellowstone Park is forested.
 About 50% of the 60 mammal species in Yellowstone Park are rodents such as voles, pocket gophers, and mice.
 60% of a coyote's diet is made up of rodents.
 A muskrat can stay underwater for up to 20 minutes.
 A single five (5) ounce pocket gopher can move up to five (5) tons of soil in a typical year.
 A moose can keep its head underwater for three (3) minutes.
 There are 100 to 200 wolves in Yellowstone Park, but there are 1,000 coyotes in the park.
 It's estimated that about 10,000 elk, 4,000 bison, 1,000 deer, and 500 pronghorn antelope live in Yellowstone National Park.
 An average porcupine has 30,000 quills.
 The trumpeter swan is North America's largest waterfowl, weighing about 30 pounds with wingspan of eight feet.
 There are 40 species of mosquitoes and 80 species of bees living in Yellowstone Park.
 A grizzly bear will typically eat 35 pounds of food in a day, consuming 20,000 calories daily, and gain 40 pounds of weight every week.
 Bears have 42 teeth.
 The hump on a grizzly bear's back is made of muscle, which aids in digging for food and to make dens.
 A typical female grizzly bear will give birth once every three years.
 About 40 percent of grizzly cubs die in their first year of life.
 A male grizzly bear will typically lose 30 percent of its body weight during hibernation.  A female grizzly bear will lose 40 percent or more of its weight if she is nursing cubs.
 A bear cub weighs about one pound when it is born in the den in January.  Having eaten nothing other than the mother's milk since birth, the cub will weigh about 20 pounds when it exits the den.
 From a standing start, a grizzly bear can run 100 meters in just six (6) seconds.
 Cow milk is two to four percent fat, but grizzly bear milk is 50 percent fat.
 A black bear's hearing is about twice as sensitive as a human's hearing.
 Grizzly bears can live up to 30 years in the wild.
 An adult male black bear can weigh 300 to 500 pounds while an adult male grizzly bear can weigh  500 to 800 pounds.
 96 percent of Yellowstone is in Wyoming, 3 percent in Montana, and 1 percent in Idaho.
 Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel was the first lodge built in Yellowstone, opening in 1883.  It was torn down in 1936, an a new complex was built.
 Former President Gerald Ford worked as a seasonal employee in Yellowstone in 1936.
 The top causes of death in Yellowstone are car crashes, illness, drowning, and falls.
 On average in the summer, the water temperature of Yellowstone Lake is 41F.  The 
average survival time in water that cold is 30 minutes.

   The sign reads, "Old Faithful Geyser" not "Old Geezers!"

Watch Old Faithful grow!  Behind John it is just beginning.  Behind me, it is has grown just a bit and you can see the progress of the eruption. 


More sights from Yellowstone National Park.  

Beautiful Colors found all around

The "Mud Pots"

 Our stay at Yellowstone was interrupted by the weather man.  He brought us the threat of six to ten inches of snow.  We made our escape with bad weather following us for days.  

We spent the night in Wapiti, Wyoming at Green Creek RV park.  The altitude was still more than we wanted, but were able to leave without being snowed in.  For a full hook up on a level gravel lot, we paid $40.  

The only scenery was sitting atop  the hill in from of our motorhome.  It is an interesting piece of construction with a fascinating history.

Francis Lee Smith, The architect, and builder, worked for twenty years on his home.  His intention was to have 360 degree views.  Smith died in a fall while building his five story, seventy five foot dream topped with a crow's nest. 

As soon as the first floor was "completed," Smith moved in and continued to work on the rest of the house.  

The snow was still a threat so in spite of wind and rain, we left proceeding through Cody, Casper and Cheyenne Wyoming. 

Mount Rushmore and South Dakota had to wait for another time since the weather was relentlessly chasing us south and east on U.S. 20.  It finally caught up with us two days later in Kearney, Nebraska.  


  1. I remember seeing that place. Wondered what it was. We didn't stop. Just saw it from the van. $40 for a place to park over night? Wow. Take care, have fun but most of all be safe.

    1. We paid that only because of the weather. Too rich for our blood! And it was a nothing kind of place.

  2. FYI, Nan, the font color you used for this post is incredibly hard to read. It is much too light for my eyes.

    I love Yellowstone, but it's probably a good idea you got out of there before all of that snow.

    1. Hopefully, it has changed on our end. I did some repair and changes so people would not have a hard time reading.

  3. Yellowstone facts was a fun read. Agree with Judy and Emma on the font color. Bill and Kris

  4. I am going to assume you were there older than 10 days ago since our Government has closed down all NP.

    We loved Yellowstone. So sorry to read that the weather didn't cooperate. Seems the weather is acting up all over the country.

    Hope you are in a warm place now.

    1. Yes, it was a late post. We are now in Indy.

  5. Great pictures. Outrunning the weather is not fun. Glad you're safe.

    1. Thanks Sandie, We are safe and sound in Indy

  6. Good you got your visit in before the government shut down! If the snow hadn't chased you out, the government sure would have.

  7. They certainly do get a lot of snow at Yellowstone! Our nephew manages some of the facilities there. During the winter he gets to lead some of the snowmobile trips. It's a beautiful area and so are your photos.

    1. We'd love a snowmobile trip out there. Thanks for the photo complement.

  8. Glad you got away from that snow, not a lot of fun.

    1. Snow is a four letter word in our opinion!

  9. Glad to see you made it safely out of Yellowstone. Several years ago we worked and lived there for two full years so know how quickly the weather can change. Safe travels.

    1. Fickle is the word for yellowstone weather.


Thank you for leaving your comment. We do enjoy hearing from you.