*Best of the Hub. This post was originally posted last spring on the SocialHub. If you missed it, it is worth a read to learn more about Yellowstone.*
We’re a little gonzo for national parks here at Sierra Trading Post. Our corporate office in Cheyenne, Wyo. is brimming with outdoor nuts, and our Cody outlet store is just 50 miles from one of the most iconic national parks in the country. What makes Yellowstone such a treasure? For one thing, it’s the nation’s first national park, established in 1872 by President Ulysses S. Grant. Nowhere else can you see so many geysers, colorful hot springs, bubbling mud pots and fumaroles in one location, so it makes sense that Yellowstone has captured the imaginations of outdoor lovers for more than 100 years.
Do you consider yourself a Yellowstone expert? Let’s find out! If you already knew all three of these interesting facts, then you definitely know more about Yellowstone than the average Joe.
#1: An Ancient and Sacred Place
Long before explorers like John Colter like Jim Bridger first discovered the captivating geological landscapes of Yellowstone, aboriginal Americans had been hunting and fishing in the area for thousands of years. According to Yellowstone historian Lee H. Whittlesey, there was a common misconception among whites that native people were afraid of the area’s geothermal features. This was later disputed by historians who discovered that native tribes most likely considered the area sacred. Some natives even kept the area secret from early white settlers and trappers. Whittlesey explains that the Crow Indians called Yellowstone “land of vapors,” while the Blackfeet called it “many smoke.” Also, the Crows specifically referred to Yellowstone geysers as “BideMahpe,” which means “sacred or powerful water.” For more info about the native history of Yellowstone, check out Yellowstone: America’s Sacred Wilderness.
#2: Fossil Forests
Yellowstone is famous for its geysers and bubbling hot springs, but did you know it also has one of the most extensive petrified forests in the world? That’s right. According to F. H. Knowlton of the U.S. Geological Survey, the northeastern section of Yellowstone is loaded with some pretty fantastic fossilized forests. Many of the petrified trees are still standing upright, like the one in the photo above. If you ever visit the park and have extra time, be sure to check out this fascinating geological feature.
Did you know that in 1994, there wasn’t a single wolf left in Yellowstone? According to the National Park Service, after wolves were reintroduced into the park in 1995 and 1996, they began to make a comeback. At the end of 2011, there were at least 98 wolves in 10 different packs occupying Yellowstone National Park. The wolf population is closely monitored, and approximately 17% off the wolves in Yellowstone are tracked with special collars. You can read more about the wolves and their reintegration at www.nps.gov/yell/naturescience/wolves.htm.
Know any other obscure facts about Yellowstone? Leave a comment and share them!
- 51Here are the answers to our National Park Trivia Game. Review you answers then comment on the quiz to let us know how you did. 1. Yosemite 2. Yellowstone 3. Glacier 4. Rocky Mountain National Park 5. Arches National Park 6. Everglades 7. Great Smoky National Park 8. Joshua Tree 9. Rainier 10. Acadia
- 44It is National Parks Week, that time each year when we celebrate the beautiful areas that have been preserved through our national park system. To celebrate, all national parks are free of admission Monday through Friday April 22nd - 26. Did you know that our national park system has preserved over 84 million acres of…
- 39We all love visiting national parks. Each year when national parks week rolls around we hear about all of the best-known national parks like Yellowstone National Park, Arches National Park, Yosemite National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park or Grand Canyon National Park. Those are all amazing parks but check out these lesser known national parks…
- 33Dry conditions have fueled nine different fires which are all burning across the state of California. The Yosemite National Park fire known as the Rim Fire has burned over 160,000 acres and is the 13th largest wildfire in California history. The fire started burning along the mountain ridges of the Stanislaus National Forest on August…
- 33As huge fans of the outdoors and outdoor recreation, we naturally love the national parks system. Whether you hike, bike, backpack, car camp or enjoy long road trips, the national parks offer the perfect get-away. Have you visited a bunch of national parks? Do you know a lot about these parks? Play our National Park…