As we take time this Thanksgiving to appreciate our life’s greatest gifts, let’s pause for a moment to give thanks for one we all share: the glorious natural treasure that is Yellowstone National Park. Here’s our list—in no particular order—of 10 Reasons to be Thankful for Yellowstone.
Bison Yellowstone is the only place in the United States where bison have lived continuously since prehistoric times. While you can’t see a live dinosaur, you can see a herd of wild and woolly Yellowstone bison, and that’s almost just as good.
Geysers & Hot Springs Having heard this statistic before doesn’t make it any less mind-blowing: Yellowstone has more geysers and hot springs than the rest of the world combined. We’ll probably never manage to see all 10,000 of these hissing, bubbling, colorful, or odd-smelling phenomena. But we can try!
Old Faithful Inn It has been called the world’s largest log cabin. While we can’t confirm that distinction, we think it’s safe to say it’s the coolest. When you visit, it’s hard not to feel like a kid in your own giant, fantasy treehouse.
Grizzlies Grizzly bears currently occupy only 2% of their historic range in the lower 48 states. We are thankful that Yellowstone provides habitat where this magnificent creature can endure.
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River The canyon has inspired many artists, but the true artist is Mother Nature, having carved this extraordinary masterpiece with volcanic activity and water over the course of millennia. Learn more
Yellowstone Lake Although we can’t witness the eruption of the Yellowstone volcano, we can see one of its products. Yellowstone Lake is part of the caldera formed after the last major eruption 640,000 years ago. Today, we can enjoy boating, fishing, or just marveling at its 136 square miles of splendor.
Yellowstone Rangers Those high-tech companies might have ping-pong tables, but if you want to meet someone with a true passion for their workplace, all you need to do is talk to a Yellowstone Ranger. They are always happy to share their immense knowledge and enthusiasm for the park.
Trails With more than 1,000 miles of trails, there is a hike to suit every taste. The only bad thing we can say is that it’s so very hard to choose which trail to take! Want some hiking ideas and inspiration? See our Staff Members’ Favorite Hikes.
Wolves Since the wolves were reintroduced in 1995, Yellowstone is one of the best places worldwide to watch wolves in the wild. Today, the park provides the optimal place to research how this amazing predator affects many aspects of the ecosystem. The Yellowstone Wolf Project has been funded by Yellowstone Forever since 1996.
Opportunity to Unplug No TVs in the hotel rooms, spotty cell service, barely any WiFi… What is a modern family to do? Oh yeah, talk to one another! And share the amazing wonders of the world’s first national park.
Photos ©Tom Murphy: Grand Prismatic (cover), Bison, Geyser, Grizzlies. Old Faithful Inn, Ranger, and Roosevelt Lodge porch (“Opportunity to Unplug”) courtesy of the National Park Service.