Moving on through Wyoming and on to West Yellowstone, Montana (where we spend a couple of nights) we noticed that things kept getting more beautiful everywhere we looked. First of all, trying to cover a place like Yellowstone in just one post is not going to work. There are just too many beautiful and unique things here to try and cover it in just a few paragraphs and a picture. This was one of my favorite shots of what is known as the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. I truly thought is was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. Even thoough this is only the Upper Falls part of the canyon, it gives you an idea just how spectacular that end of the canyon was.
The park itself was established in 1872, Yellowstone National Park and it is proud of its heritage as America's FIRST national park. The part that kind of blew me away was that the park is located in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. We happened to stay right outside of the West Entrance to the park in a city called West Yellowstone, Montana, but the town was literally just blocks from not only the state line between Montana and Wyoming, but only blocks from the East gate that seemed to only be a few hundred feet beyond the sign saying “Welcome to Wyoming”.
Because of the park’s large size, it is home to a large variety of wildlife including grizzly bears, wolves, bison, and elk. Preserved within Yellowstone National Park are Old Faithful (a later post I’m sure) and a collection of the world's most extraordinary geysers and hot springs, and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone (which I’ve posted a picture of here). Our tour guide explained that the park alone is larger than the states of Delaware and Rhode Island put together. So that should give you a little perspective about its size. Plus the fact that it is in three states too.
The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is the primary geologic feature in the Canyon District of the park. It is roughly 20 miles long, measured from the Upper Falls to the Tower Fall area. Depth is 800 to 1,200 ft.; width is 1,500 to 4,000 ft. The canyon as we know it today is a very recent geologic feature. The present canyon is no more than 10,000 to 14,000 years old, although there has probably been a canyon in this location for a much longer period.
The exact sequence of events in the formation of the canyon is not well understood, as there has been little field work done in the area. The few studies that are available are thought to be inaccurate. They do know that the canyon was formed by erosion rather than by glaciations. The geologic story of the canyon, its historical significance as a barrier to travel, its significance as destination/attraction, and its appearance in Native American lore and in the accounts of early explorers are all important interpretive points. The "ooh-ahh" factor is also important: its beauty and grandeur, its significance as a feature to be preserved, and the development of the national park idea.
Even though this picture of mine cannot replace actually seeing the beauty of the canyon, it does show several of the significant things that I loved about the canyon. Like all of my photos that I included with my posts, you can click on the photo itself for a bigger and (hopefully) better view. I usually keep the size down to 800 pixels wide for a normal landscape mode photo, but for this particular one, I only scaled it down to 1,000 pixels. But like I said, even at that it cannot do the REAL canyon justice."There are two lasting bequests we can give our children. One is roots. The other is wings."
~ Hodding Carter, Jr.