Interesting Facts about Yellowstone National Park

Attention all trivia junkies! Here are some fascinating facts about Yellowstone National Park!

  • Did you know that Yellowstone was the world’s first national park? However, unlike many people believe, Theodore Roosevelt did not establish the park. Congress and President Grant created it in 1872.
  • Nearly everyone is familiar with Old Faithful, but did you know that Yellowstone National Park encompasses nearly half of the world’s geothermal features? In fact, the park includes nearly 500 geysers, 10,000 thermal features, mudpots and hot springs.
  • Old Faithful is actually not the park’s largest geyser. Old Faithful can only shoot 200 feet high, but Steamboat Geyser can shoot up to 300 feet. However, Steamboat Geyser has unpredictable eruption times. In fact, since 1991, it has only erupted eight times, with eruptions varying from 30 days to nine years.
  • The Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition in the 1880s once used Old Faithful as a laundromat. The geyser actually cleaned cotton and linen well, but the expedition soon discovered that the geyser’s eruptions shredded wool clothes.
  • The Thorofare Ranger Station is reported to be the most remote occupied dwelling in the lower 48 states. Located more than 32 miles from any dwelling or road, a park ranger must travel by horse to reach this station.
  • Contrary to popular belief, it is very uncommon for humans to be killed by bears in Yellowstone. Rumors blindly fly around, especially when visiting the park, however, animals try to keep their distance from humans, provided humans respect animals’ spaces. This does not mean bears do not kill humans. In fact, in 2015, a bear was responsible for killing a man, while trying to defend her cubs.
  • Yellowstone experiences more than 2,000 earthquakes a year. In 1959, an earthquake between 7.3 and 7.5 created new geysers, destroyed roads and caused a landslide that killed 28 people.
  • Yellowstone is a super volcano. The three most recent eruptions occurred 2.1 million years ago, 1.3 million years ago and 640,000 years ago. These eruptions all contributed to forming the Snake River Plain. Scientists believe that molten lava exists as few as two miles below the surface of the park.
  • Yellow’s Grand Canyon is only one of 300 waterfalls within the boundary of the national park. The canyon reaches up to a half-mile in width and features an array of browns, reds and oranges.

Yellowstone Holiday is located outside the West Entrance to Yellowstone National Park. As the park is exceptionally crowded, it is peaceful for visitors to unwind each day after visiting different areas within the park. Yellowstone Holiday offers Hebgen Lake cabins, Yellowstone campgrounds and Yellowstone RV parks.

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Tips for Visiting Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is open year-round; however, access is very limited due to snowfall and harsh weather conditions. In fact, most roads are only open to snowmobiles and snow coaches. The only exception is the road between the north and northeast entrance, which is open to traffic year-round. The other park’s entrances opening dates vary depending upon weather conditions.

Peak travel season is during the summer, when the Grand Loop is easy to travel. Most animals give birth in the spring or early summer.

It is important to always remember to pull into a designated pullout area to view wildlife. This prevents traffic delays and obstructions, which helps keep the park running smoothly.

Travelers should also bring binoculars to view wildlife. Some wildlife is far from roads and only viewable in the distance, especially big horn sheep, herds of antelope, wolves or grizzly bears.

In fact, bison injure more visitors than any other animals in the park each year. Regulations require visitors to the park to stay 100 yards away from bears and a minimum of 25 yards away from elk or bison. Feeding any wild animal is strictly prohibited.

Yellowstone weather can be unpredictable. Due to the high elevation, summers can be hot one day, while it is snowing the next. Visitors to the park need to pack layers of clothing, sunscreen and continuously check current road and weather conditions before traveling. It is important to plan and travel with water too.

The park also offers disabled access. The park’s website and visitor area offer maps for wheelchair-friendly trails.

Visitors need to stay on marked trails help protect fragile plant and fauna habitat, as well as to protect them from boiling temperatures around geothermal areas.

Visitor centers, which are located throughout the park, offer information and maps on Yellowstone’s ecology and geology exhibits.

Yellowstone Holiday is approximately 15 minutes from Yellowstone National Park’s West Entrance. Featuring a convenient location to restaurants, museums, a Yellowstone RV park and Yellowstone RV camping, visitors can escape the park’s crowds and unwind at night.

The facilities at Yellowstone Holiday also include Hebgen Lake cabins and lodging. Nearby activities include fishing, hiking, horseback riding and other historic sites.

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Bob MacKinnon,
(877) 707-7080
Ellen Hodgson
Yellowstone Holiday
(877) 646-4242


            Yellowstone, MT, March 1, 2016 – Yellowstone Holiday was one of only 34 campgrounds, RV parks and resorts across the country to earn an all around “A” grade in the seventh annual GuestRated™ satisfaction survey of RV parks and campgrounds.  This Yellowstone Holiday-site park, located at 16990 Hebgen Lake Road, received an “A” grade in overall satisfaction from their guests during 2015.

More than 30,000 camping and RV enthusiasts completed reviews in the online survey, grading their experiences at nearly 4,000 individual RV parks and campgrounds.

“Consistently earning an overall ‘A’ grade from guests is difficult, and our 34 winners this year represent less than 1% of all of the nation’s campgrounds.” said Bob MacKinnon, President and CEO of, the company that compiled the results of the nationwide online reviews.

MacKinnon suggests that campers visit the “Best Rated Parks” page at to see where each award-winning park is located and view their individual web pages.

Camping enthusiasts are also encouraged to submit their own reviews of the campgrounds and RV resorts they have recently visited by going to and clicking on the “Rate a Park” tab.  Each park receiving reviews displays a GuestRated™ Report Card showing the current year’s ratings along with comments from individual campers.  Review results are also widely promoted by various campground directory websites, including,,,,, and

Former Disney Company executive Bob MacKinnon established the online review program in 2007 as a way to help public and privately operated campgrounds measure guest satisfaction and prioritize improvements.  For more information about the GuestRated program, please contact Bob MacKinnon of at (877) 707-7080 or


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Yellowstone National Park: Helps Combat Bison Extinction

America was once the land of plenty, inhabited by countless numbers of bison. Buffalo were significant to the Native Americans that roamed the prairies and plains. In fact, the near-extinction of the buffalo is among one of the most significant stories that affected the history of the environment in North America.

Buffalo once freely roamed the entire continent, grazing from Canada to Mexico. The most concentrated areas of bison population were western grasslands. By the time Europeans settled in America, buffalo were extinct east of the Mississippi by 1833.

Native Americans used the entire buffalo, including the hides, hair, sinew, horns, hoofs, tibias, bones, ribs, brains, fat, feces, teeth, intestines, gallstones and reproductive organs. Bison were an essential component to Native American survival.

The bison chase or kill involved an entire community of hunters and included several different techniques. Some Native American tribes drove buffalos over steep embankments, while others simply lay in wait for the kill.

The decline of bison largely occurred in the 19th century. The cause is contributed to several factors, including humans and wolves, fires, disease, climate changes and competition from horses over grasslands. The most significant reasons the buffalo nearly became extinct included the railroads, which expanded the population, and buffalo commodities, such as meat, skin, robes and tongues.

Railroads made it easy for sportsmen and farmers to transport buffalo hides. Within a mere three years, more than 4 to 5 million buffalo were slaughtered and by the fall of 1883, the commercial hunt was finished. The final shipment of hides was in 1884 and Native Americans were confined to reservations.

More than 100 years later, buffalo have finally returned from the brink of extinction. Thanks to the plentiful grasslands within Yellowstone National Park, buffalo herds are roaming freely and naturally reproducing.

When visitors travel to Yellowstone, they can witness nature’s beauty, as untouched and preserved as the Native Americans saw this vast wilderness years ago. Herds of buffalo freely roam and baby bison are abundant in the summertime.

Visitors will want to book their trips early. Yellowstone RV parks or Yellowstone campgrounds are often full. Staying outside the park is often easier, which is why Yellowstone Holiday features abundant accommodations and activities and is located close to the West Entrance of Yellowstone National Park.

Yellowstone Holiday makes it simple to book a trip. Simply log online to the website and book a RV site, camping cabin or cottage.

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Forgo “National Lampoon’s Vacation” and Book a Yellowstone Holiday Exclusive Cabin Part 2 of 2

By Anna Gentry

My first night staying within the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park is frightening. I felt as though staying at Uncle Eddie’s house in “National Lampoon’s Vacation” would be far cleaner and more sanitary.

If you have not already noticed, my dad does not like to spend money. So, when he thought about having another fishcation and a cheap un-insulated shack within the park’s borders, he jumped at the opportunity. Unfortunately, for him his desire to spend less money feeding us and hauling coolers took priority over him leaving his fishing gear at home or finding us better sleeping quarters.

I could not sleep in these horrible camping areas. I was terrified creatures would eat our dog. Buffalo’s snorting in the windows and urinating outside was common, as were other large creatures of the night. I could hear them as I was lying in bed at night. I also knew the reason they removed all the mirrors in the cabin was because if you said, “Candyman” five times in the mirror, someone was going to be fed to an animal. For this reason, I only enjoy my days at Yellowstone Park, fearful of the nights.

My dad has already planned our entire trip. In true dad-style, no unscheduled stops are allowed. My dad grows more irritated as he stops at streams and begins to “hunt” the fish. Growing up fishing, I agree they are mammoth trout and I see the drool wetting my dad’s mustache, but then I consider that is more likely sweat in this 104-degree temperature.

The complaining starts. He should have brought his fishing rod. Now that us ravaging teenagers eat half the food, of course, there is extra room in the car and my dad cannot seem to remember why he did not pack his gear. I feel certain I have no embarrassing surprises in store. At least we did not have a specific destination, such as Clark Griswold did in “National Lampoon’s Vacation.” I am just a teenager that has to listen to my dad complain the rest of the trip how he should have brought his fishing gear. I decide to start keeping a journal at night to drown out the complaints.

We visit the West Entrance one day, the East Entrance another day and the South Entrance into the Grand Tetons is our grand finale.

Overall, on our trip we survive a minor earthquake, the worst living quarters I have ever been subjected to and my dad complaining non-stop it is painful not having a fishcation.

My dad takes 30 rolls of film. When we arrive to the Grand Tetons, he leans forward and the entire lens on the camera falls forward six inches. That is when he learned he should listen to my mom and watch the instructional video. He really did purchase an expensive zoom camera after all.

I have been back to Yellowstone National Park twice in the past two decades. There is something so incredible about the beauty of this great park that it lures your soul to nature. I, however, have never stayed in those horrible cabins again. If I ever get my dad to take another
fishcation in another state, we will stay in Hebgen Lake cabin rentals while he spends his days fulfilling his dreams of fly-fishing in Hebgen Lake. This is one circumstance where we will both be satisfied with the results and fishcation.

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Forgo “National Lampoon’s Vacation” and Book a Yellowstone Holiday Exclusive Cabin Part 1 of 2

By Anna Gentry

My first trip to Yellowstone National Park was 22 years ago. I remember it like it was yesterday. My parents’ Subaru piled high with suitcases and coolers was far too reminiscent of “National Lampoon’s Vacation.”

The night before we left my dad was struggling to pack his fly-fishing gear. Yellowstone was, after all, the land of plenty. My dad, the avid angler had never taken us on a “vacation,” because it was always a fishcation. Finally, without any room to give and the tire pressure ready to burst, he had to admit defeat and leave his rod, tackle box and waders at home. The middle seat in the back was valuable car square footage for our dog, Sophie, whom we failed to secure a dog sitter for, as my dad is a fan of last minute trips.

My dad decides to run down to the local camera store, when such a thing existed, and purchases a $600 camera. (If anyone is wondering, inflation is over 60-percent.) It comes with a VHS instructional video and my mom urges my dad to watch it, but he is insistent he will bring 35 rolls of film instead.

The next morning we leave. My dad has the entire trip planned, down to restroom stops, gas fill-up breaks, where we are staying, cooler cold cuts we are eating and when we are departing each morning. From Washington State into Idaho and Montana we venture, arriving through the North Entrance into Yellowstone.

My mom is an amazing navigator. A stack of books at her feet, she reads off facts, citing upcoming sights that are just around the bend. (Those were back in the days when I got carsick reading and here all these years later, I am now the navigator and my mom was right: age does cure reading in the car.)

We see our first antelope and we screech with joy. We have never seen an antelope. I grew up with an ancient set of encyclopedias my dad’s parents bought the year after he was born, circa 1951. I remember seeing black and white pictures of antelope in the books and in the library. I did not grow up with the Internet, as Al Gore got a late start on that in my early college years.

We then see another antelope, and another, and another and then an entire herd. Soon antelope grow tediously boring and my attention span wanes. I have seen enough antelope. I want to move along to something bigger and better.

My dad continues making stops, hunting animals for close-ups and swearing under his breath that his fancy new camera is not any better than his trusty 35MM. Meanwhile, I am in charge of the video camera. I am sure it weighs more than my entire teenage right arm.

My mom offers to drive, for which I am forever grateful. My dad is far too busy looking for wildlife and his driving is reminiscent of Chevy Chase’s when he sees Christy Brinkley on their way to Wally World. In fact, my brother and our dog are both feeling as nauseous as I am.

We run into our first Yellowstone traffic jam. I recover from teetering on the edge of queasiness to see a bison alongside the road. My brother and I are excited it is not an antelope. And then it happens. My dad rolls down his window and a park ranger comes over. “Excuse me sir, you may want to stay in your car. There’s a grizzly 35 feet from this area.”

I cannot see the grizzly, but my heart leaps into my throat. I want to see an animal that is both dangerous and beautiful. My dad waits for the park ranger to visit several more cars behind us and he slips out of the car to take pictures with his camera. He has since dubbed the contraption “the expensive 35MM that does not zoom.”

I slide out of the car amidst all the commotion my dad causes by not listening to the park ranger or my mom. It was at that moment I see the grizzly and I make slight eye contact. Everything else around me is a ghost-like fog. The grizzly is clear, his stride highlights his strawberry blonde coat and fearsome bulldog like stance. He makes roaring growls as he walks, announcing he is not happy about having an audience in his once peaceful meadow. I feel as though I am a stone statue and cannot move. I suddenly experience the force of my dad and the park ranger ripping my feet from the ground and forcing me in the car. My moment connecting with this peaceful grizzly is taken, but it is one I remember and cherish forever.

Anna Gentry has visited Yellowstone National Park three times over the last two decades. She has also visited Hebgen Lake and stayed in Yellowstone campgrounds.

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West Yellowstone: The Home of Grizzlies, Black Bears and Wolves Oh My!

West Yellowstone is home to a plethora of Native American wildlife. A home to grizzlies that pierced the flesh of trout, sinking their teeth into the skin and bones of these aquatic granddaddies, this mysterious land belonged to our ancestors and their fathers before us. Freely roaming bison grew thick winter coats, only to shed them in the summer, giving birth to blossoming calves and growing their herds. Crossing the streams with elk and moose, these animals knew their existence was to coexist, which did not always result in perfect harmony. Humankind is learning to respect these mammals, which is helping to bring them back from the brink of extinction.

Today, Yellowstone National Park is home to grizzlies and black bears, bison and most recently reintroduced wolves. It is very important that humans should never feed wild animals. While it may seem cute to reprise the role of “Bambi,” and befriend a wild animal, this hurts them. Human food harms wild animals’ digestive system in addition to making them less cautious of approaching poachers, cars or other dangers. In fact, feeding wild animals causes them to fend less for themselves, which puts them at greater risk for death. Park rangers recommend staying a minimum of 25 yards from large mammals and a minimum of 100 yards from a bear.

Other popular animals in and around Yellowstone include the pronghorn antelope, which run at speeds of up to 45 to 50 miles per hour! They generally hang out in grass areas in the North of the park, near Yellowstone River and in Lamar Valley.

A bull elk can reach up to 700 pounds and when he is in elk mating season, he will fight over female elk. Visitors need to keep their distance. Elk are generally found in the high country from midsummer through fall.

Mule deer, also known as blacktail deer, are less common than elk in the park, but are easy to distinguish by their large ears. Moose prefer the edges of streams, lakes or marshy meadows. Female (cow) moose with young ones can be extremely dangerous. Bighorn sheep live in the high country and in the late fall, they can be heard battling for rank up to one-mile away. Coyotes are found throughout the park and hunt in large packs.

Smaller mammals within the park include the yellow-bellied marmot, Unita ground squirrel and chipmunk.

Avian species are also very popular within the park. The most common bird sightings include the osprey, bald eagle and peregrine falcon. However, there are many other species of birds in Yellowstone National Park and nearby areas, such as Hebgen Lake or West Yellowstone RV parks. Other sightings include the black-billed magpie, gray jay, raven, Canadian geese, mallard ducks, trumpeter swans, white pelican and mountain bluebirds.

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West Yellowstone Offers Outdoor Recreational Activities

There are many outdoor hiking and recreational activities in West Yellowstone.

Hebgen Lake is located near West Yellowstone in southwest Montana. It was formed by the manmade construction of Hebgen Dam, which was built in 1914. This lake is a premier fly-fishing area for cutthroat, brown and rainbow trout, attracting anglers worldwide.

A striking earthquake created Earthquake Lake in 1959, shaking this area to nature’s core. The result of damage to Hebgen Dam, the overflow of Hebgen Lake waters created this lake only a few miles east. This area offers boating, fishing and hiking. The visitor center features a breathtaking panoramic view of the nearby landscape, highlighting the damage caused by the earthquake.

Yellowstone National Park is full of hikes. Some of the most amazing hiking trails include Mystic Falls, Fairy Falls, Mallard Lake and Lone Star Geyser. These areas are not overrun with vehicles, meaning they are only seen by the few adventurists that are dedicated enough to travel on foot. Additional mini-day hikes include the Fountain Paint Pot, Artists’ Paintpots Trail, Mount Washburn, Purple Mountain Trail, Uncle Tom’s Trail, North Rim Trail, Lone Star Geyser, Beula Lake, Natural Bridge Trail, Yellowstone Lake Overlook Trail, Beaver Ponds Loop Trail and many more. Yellowstone National Park could literally be the hiking adventure that takes decades of summers of complete.

The Gallatin River offers outstanding rafting, which ranges from adrenaline-rushing whitewater to scenic floats. This river is famous for the Mad Mile, which rates as a Class IV. The water here is high early in the season and low in the late season. Some rafting companies combine both horseback riding and rafting trips for the ultimate outdoor adventure.

Horseback riding tours allow visitors to see Yellowstone from a Wild West and Native American perspective. The scenic, backcountry views of Yellowstone National Park are sure to bring a new perspective to seasoned park goers. The rolling hills, mountains, peaceful meadows, abundant flowers and miraculous wildlife are sure to provide thrilling nature-filled views of this untamed park.

West Yellowstone offers some of the most famous mountain biking trails. The Upper and Lower River Looks and Rendezvous Trail systems wind through pine forests, wild animals and provide a view of the park where non-motorized travel is restricted.

While Hebgen Lake fishing is popular worldwide, there are also several other rivers and streams that anglers seek to conquer in this mighty wilderness. This includes the Gallatin River, Madison River, Yellowstone River, upper Madison, Henrys Fork of the Snake River, Firehole and the Gibbon Rivers.

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Yellowstone Holiday Offers RV Reservations

Yellowstone RV parks are hard to come by during peak Yellowstone National Park season. In fact, Yellowstone National Park has 12 campgrounds that accept RVs, all with restrictions. Additionally, some may be first come, first serve, which makes it even more stressful and difficult to enjoy vacationing in this land of natural beauty.

Yellowstone Holiday is located in West Yellowstone and is a premiere Yellowstone RV park. A mere 15 minutes from the West Entrance to Yellowstone National Park, this affordable resort is open Memorial Day through the end of September. As always, weather is permitting in this area, just as is the opening of the Park itself.

Yellowstone Holiday offers excellent prices for three different types of RV sites. They feature Lakeside/Premium sites, RV Park East and RV Park North. All RV parks feature full hookups, which includes 20/30/50 amp electrical, water and sewer. They do offer different rates, which vary between low and regular season. Reservations and can easily be made online. Wireless Internet access is also available at no charge to customers.

Additionally, Yellowstone Holiday offers a small general store that provides various necessities. The general store offers bait, beverages, snacks, fuel, fishing supplies, propane, firewood, ice and much more. More substantial shopping is only minutes away in the town of West Yellowstone. The resort center provides a laundry area, modem data port desk and a small camper kitchen.

The onsite marina is a huge draw for RV enthusiasts that are looking for a little water action, which includes but is not limited to, paddle boats, canoes, fishing boats and kayaks. The grounds also feature barbecues, fire pits, volleyball, a horseshoe area, tetherball, shoreline fishing and even a swimming beach for the warmer months.

The Beaver Den Meeting and Cooking Facility are ideal for reunions or large groups that would like to gather for dinner. This area features an equipped kitchen, party area with porch, bathrooms, fire pit, audio equipment, tables and chairs. This is only available to guests and can be booked for additional fees.

Aside from having Yellowstone National Park nearby, the area teams with wildlife, scenic mountain trails, horseback riding ranches, world-class fishing, white-water rafting, historic sites, museums, rodeos and much more.

It is important to reserve RV spaces early, as Yellowstone Holiday is a destination vacation that books fast. Guests return year-after-year and word of mouth business is booming. This resort is the talk of West Yellowstone and is a friendly destination for summertime fun!

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Fishing on Hebgen Lake

The Hebgen Lake Dam created Hebgen Lake more than 100 years ago. Lying more than 20 miles west of the West Yellowstone entrance, this legendary dry fly lake is approximately 15 miles long and nearly four miles wide. An abundance of rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout live in these healthy waters.

Fly-fishing is addictive and exciting. Anglers come from worldwide to experience the tantalizing Madison, Grayling and South Fork of the Madison, which flow into Hebgen Lake. This provides anglers more than 50 miles of trout-fishing shoreline.

Among the best dry fly lake in all of North America, Hebgen Lake does not disappoint anglers, as it produces some of the most consistent populations of trout.

June marks the beginning the summer. As the winter ice melts, the hungry, starving trout look for the opportunity to gorge themselves on as many hatching bugs as possible. This provides anglers with the optimal opportunity to set their sights on feeding frenzies, which provide superb photo opportunities.

Generally, lake Hebgen trout will swim just below the surface of the water. They prefer to feed on egg-laying mayflies. Fly-fishing is a form of art. Anglers have to get into position, working the line back and forth before delicately setting the fly adrift on the lake’s surface.

Fly-fishing is challenging, often being compared to hunting. Trout are intelligent and can detect the subtlest of movements, changes in direction or disruptions in water flow. Typically, anglers can wade within 25 feet of trout or in a boat 35 to 40 feet.

Many knowledgeable guides in the area can help anglers’ achieve their dreams of catching a trophy trout, which is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Guides are very understanding, patient and helpful. They specialize in knowing their surroundings, which includes what trout are feeding are and what is currently hatching.

Fly-fishing is an incredible art. It takes talent, skill to predict fishes’ locations, getting flies on target and the ability to not spook fish.

Hebgen Lake boat rentals are also available through Yellowstone Holiday. They offer 14-foot boats with six-horse-power engines for two hours, three hours or more hours, if needed. Their rates include gas, paddles, cushions and life vests. They also offer non-powered boats, which include kayaks, paddleboards and canoes.

For visitors that bring their own boats, Yellowstone Holiday offers boat slip rentals and affordable boat launch fees.

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