Park Facts

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History

  • Yellowstone National Park was established on March 1, 1872.
  • Yellowstone is the world’s first national park.

Geography

No area figures have been scientifically verified. Efforts to confirm the park’s total area continue.

  • 3,472 square miles (8,991 km2)
  • 2,221,766 acres or 899,116 hectares.
  • 63 air miles north to south (102 km)
  • 54 air miles east to west (87 km)
  • 96% in Wyoming, 3% in Montana, 1% in Idaho
  • Highest Point: 11,358 feet (3,462 m; Eagle Peak)
  • Lowest Point: 5,282 feet (1,610 m; Reese Creek)
  • Larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined
  • About 5% covered by water; 15% by grassland; and 80% by forests

Precipitation

  • Annual precipitation ranges from 10 inches (26 cm) at the north boundary to 80 inches (205 cm) in the southwest corner. Learn more about weather in Yellowstone.

Temperature

  • Record High: 99ºF (37ºC), 2002 (Mammoth Hot Springs)
  • Record Low: -66ºF (-54ºC), 1933 (West Entrance, Riverside Station).
  • Average daily at Mammoth Hot Springs: January: 9ºF (-13ºC); July: 80ºF (27ºC)
  • Learn more about weather in Yellowstone.

Yellowstone Lake

  • Elevation: 7,733 feet above sea level
  • 131.7 square miles of surface area (341.1 km2)
  • 141 miles of shoreline (227 km)
  • 20 miles north to south (32 km)
  • 14 miles east to west (22 km)
  • Average depth: 138 feet (42 m)
  • Maximum depth: 430 feet (131 m)
  • Learn more about Yellowstone Lake

Geology

  • The park sits on top of an active volcano.
  • One of the world’s largest calderas at 45 x 30 miles (72 x 48 km)
  • 1,000–3,000 earthquakes annually
  • More than 10,000 hydrothermal features
  • More than 500 active geysers (more than half the world's geysers)
  • About 290 waterfalls
  • Tallest waterfall near a road: Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River at 308 feet (94 m)

Wildlife

  • 67 species of mammals, including seven species of native ungulates and two species of bear
  • 285 species of birds (150 nesting)
  • 16 species of fish (five nonnative)
  • More than seven aquatic invasive species (three having significant detrimental effect)
  • Five species of amphibians
  • Six species of reptiles
  • Two threatened species: Canada lynx, grizzly bears

Vegetation

Cultural Resources

  • 26 associated Native American tribes
  • More than 1,800 known archeological sites
  • More than 300 ethnographic resources (animals, plants, sites)
  • 25 sites, landmarks, and districts on the National Register of Historic Places; many more eligible for listing
  • One National Historic Trail (Nez Perce)
  • More than 900 historic buildings
  • More than 720,000 museum items, including 30 historic vehicles
  • Millions of archived documents
  • More than 20,000 books (many rare), manuscripts, periodicals

Employees

National Park Service (December 2018)

  • Permanent: 382 total
    • Full time, year-round: 177
    • Career seasonal: 202
    • Part-time: 3
  • Term (variable duration): 4
  • Seasonal: 370

Concessioners

About 3,200 people work for concessioners in Yellowstone at summer peak.

Facilities

Roads & Trails

  • Five park entrances
  • 466 miles (750 km) of roads (310 miles [499 km] paved)
  • More than 15 miles (24 km) of boardwalk, including 13 self-guiding trails
  • Approximately 1,000 miles (1,609 km) of backcountry hiking trails
  • 92 trailheads
  • 301 backcountry campsites

Budget

Fiscal Year 2018 (in millions)

  • Total: $118.7

Federal Funding

  • Congressional Annual Appropriations: Operations and staff (base): $39.9
  • Wildland Fire: $1.2
  • Other Appropriations: $26.6

Other Funding

  • Donations and Grants: $1.7
  • Fees: $43.9
  • Utilities & Agreements (Reimbursable): $5.4

Distribution of Budget

  • Park Support: 7% Includes human resources, contracting, budget and finance, partnerships, telecommunications and information technology
  • Facility Operations and Maintenance: 43% Includes utilities, roads, trails, structures, historic preservation coordination, construction management
  • Park Protection: 13% Includes law enforcement, emergency medical services, search and rescue, entrance station operations, structural fire activities
  • Resource Stewardship: 9% Includes management operations and monitoring of natural and cultural resources, invasive species management, research coordination
  • Visitor Services: 28% Includes interpretation and education, and park concessions management

Visitation

  • Yellowstone hosts around four million visits each year. More than half of these visits happen during June, July, and August.
  • The last time the park recorded fewer than 4 million annual recreational visits was in 2014, with 3.5 million visits.
  • Detailed park statistics are available at https://irma.nps.gov/Stats/

Top 10 Visitation Years

  1. 2016: 4,257,177
  2. 2017: 4,116,524
  3. 2018: 4,114,999
  4. 2015: 4,097,710
  5. 2010: 3,640,184
  6. 2014: 3,513,484
  7. 2012: 3,447,727
  8. 2011: 3,394,321
  9. 2009: 3,295,187
  10. 2013: 3,188,030
 
A ranger answers questions after an eruption of Old Faithful.

FAQs

Read answers to many frequently asked questions.

Last updated: June 27, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168

Phone:

307-344-7381

Contact Us