50 Interesting Facts About Yellowstone National Park

Last updated on May 12th, 2022

41. The highest point in Yellowstone is Eagle Peak with a height of 11,358 feet. The runoff from its southern slopes drains into Yellowstone Lake and there are hikes available in the area though the peak is inaccessible to non mountain climbers.

42. The US Navy has named three vessels with the name Yellowstone: a cargo hauler built in 1918, a destroyer tender built in 1945 and a destroyer (USS Yellowstone) in 1979.

43. The Nez Perce creek in the Lower Geyser Basin in Yellowstone was named to commemorate a group of native Indians that settled there after fleeing a massacre in the Pacific Northwest in which women and children were killed.

Artist Point. Yellowstone. NP
Artist Point on the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River in Yellowstone National Park. Artist Point is one of the marquee overlooks on the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, with an exceptional perspective of canyon’s most famous feature, the 308-foot Lower Falls. … One of the most photographed views in Yellowstone. Image credit – Bernard Spragg. NZ

44. Thomas Brock, a microbiologist, was awarded a Nobel prize for his discovery of an organism that lived in water hotter than 160 degrees. He discovered it in the waters of the Lower Geyser basin in 1966.

45. Bacteria living in the hot waters of the park create mats with unusual shapes that contain trillions of individuals. In 2005 researchers discovered that the bacteria (called thermophiles) feed on molecular hydrogen (rather than sulphur as was first thought).

46. At Grand Prismatic spring, the largest hot spring in the US, the shores appear to be painted with all the colors of the rainbow as a result of the bacteria that live there. Each color is based on the different temperature levels at locations radiating from the spring.

Photo taken at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.

47. The first landscape painting featured in the US Senate lobby was a painting of Yellowstone created by Thomas Moran called ‘Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone’ which he sold for $10,000.

48. A congressman commented at the time of the establishment of Yellowstone that the park would become ‘a breathing place for the American lungs.’

49. Yellowstone was initially marketed as ‘Wonderland’ in early advertising campaigns by the Northern Pacific railroad. They hoped to take advantage of the popularity of Lewis Carroll’s book ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ and included breathless descriptions of the attractions of the area.

Yellowstone Lake
Yellowstone Lake. Situated at 7,733 feet (2,357 m) above sea level, Yellowstone Lake is the largest high elevation lake (above 7,000 feet / 2,134 m) in North America. Image credit – Trekking Days

50. Yellowstone once had a ‘Bear Lunch Counter’. This resulted from open air trash dumps that would attract hungry bears looking for a free meal. Park operators set up seating and created a sign that read: ‘Lunch Counter – For Bears Only’

Yellowstone National Park – Quick facts

LocationWyoming, Montana and Idaho. (United States)
Area2,219,791 acres (8,983.18 km2)
Elevation8,104 ft (2,470 m)
EstablishedMarch 1, 1872
Governing bodyNational Park Service
Mailing addressPO Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168