Nov 05

10 Great Big Yellowstone Facts

Early explorers marveled at the other-worldly features and abundant wildlife found in the Yellowstone region. The tall tales they told of geysers, waterfalls, boiling mud, grizzly bears, and more seemed larger than life. In fact, what they saw and knew of Yellowstone just scratched the surface of its sheer magnitude and wealth or wonders. We pulled together just 10 larger than life stats and facts that help define why Yellowstone National Park is a world treasure worthy of our admiration and protection.

Help preserve Yellowstone for the next generation.

1. Yellowstone encompasses 3,472 square miles (2,221,766 acres) which makes it larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined.

Aerial view of the Upper Geyser Basin. Old Faithful can be seen in the top right corner of the photo.


2. There are more than 10,000 hydrothermal features in Yellowstone. The four types of thermal features are geysers, hot springs, mud pots, and fumaroles.

Sapphire Pool on a summer day at Yellowstone’s Biscuit Basin.


3. Yellowstone is home to more than 500 active geysers (more than half the world’s geysers).

Grand Geyser erupting in Yellowstone’s Upper Geyser Basin. Grand Geyser is one of only a handful of geysers that are predictable.


4. Yellowstone Lake has 131.7 sq. miles of surface area and 141 miles of shoreline. It is the largest high elevation lake in North America.

View from Mary Bay. Yellowstone Lake freezes each winter and begins to thaw in late May or early June. A thin layer of ice can be seen in this image towards the edge of the horizon.


5. Yellowstone is home to the largest concentration of mammals in the lower 48 states (67 species).

Grizzly sow and cubs seen near Yellowstone Lake in late May.


6. 285 species of birds can be found in Yellowstone (150 nesting).

Osprey perched with a brown trout caught in the Gibbon River.


7. There are more than 1,800 known archaeological sites within the park.

Yellowstone Museum Curator Colleen Curry shows off an arrowhead excavated in the park.


8. About 290 waterfalls can be found throughout Yellowstone’s 2.2 million acres.

At 308 feet, the Lower Falls of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is the tallest waterfall in the park.


9. Yellowstone houses more than 720,000 museum items, including 30 historic vehicles, millions of archived documents, and more than 20,000 books (many rare), manuscripts, periodicals.

Just a small portion of archive documents housed at Yellowstone’s Heritage and Research Center.


10. There are approximately 1,000 miles of hiking trails in Yellowstone.

Hiker on Avalanche Peak on the east side of Yellowstone Lake. Avalanche Peak is just one of our Staff Members’ Favorite Hikes.

Go to Yellowstone National Park’s official website for a complete list of park facts.


Photos of grizzly bear and aerial view of Upper Geyser Basin courtesy of NPS/Jim Peaco; All others by YF/Matt Ludin

Thanks for learning more about Yellowstone! Can you commit $10 to support Yellowstone?