Check out these Fun Facts put together for your enjoyment by, Michael Joseph Oswald, author of Your Guide to the National Parks


March 1, 1872 ◆ Yellowstone ◆ It is the world’s first national park.

At more than 2.2 million acres, it is larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined. Roughly 96% of the land is in Wyoming, another 3% in Montana, and 1% in Idaho. About 80% of the park land is forested.

Yellowstone Lake (131.7 mi2) is one of the largest high-altitude lakes in North America.

There are approximately 290 year-round waterfalls higher than 15 feet, including Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River (308 feet), tallest in the park.

Half of the world’s geothermal features, including 300 geysers, are found at Yellowstone.

Steamboat Geyser (Norris Geyser Basin), at more than 400 feet is the tallest geyser in the world, erupting with no noticeable pattern and sometimes years between eruptions.

Old Faithful spouts 3,700 to 8,400 gallons of 204°F water about 100 feet in the air every 60 – 110 minutes.

Mammoth Hot Springs deposits an estimated two tons of calcium carbonate each day.

Geyser basins are full of interesting color combinations. The blues of Norris are due to silica in suspension in the water. Redorange colors are often caused by cyanobacteria or iron-oxides and arsenic compounds. Some springs are emerald green in color; this is due to blue refracted light in combination with yellow sulfur lining the pool.


Your Guide to the National Parks offers step-by-step planning, activities that are great for the kids, and the most popular ranger programs to help your family vacation. This book also provides thousands of hotels, restaurants, and attractions beyond the parks. Eleven suggested road trips make it the ultimate dashboard companion. You can pick up your copy of Your Guide to the National Parks right here or wherever books are sold.

About the Author

Michael Joseph Oswald is an American travel writer. In 2003, he graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with degrees in electrical engineering and chemistry. After four years of working in a corporate environment, he escaped to a more adventurous lifestyle traveling and pursuing his passion for kayaking, biking, and hiking across America’s National Parks.


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