Park Facts

Yellowstone National Park was established on March 1, 1872.

Yellowstone is the world’s first national park.

Geography

  • 3,472 square miles (8,991 km2)
  • 2,221,766 acres or 899,116 hectares. Note: No area figures have been scientifically verified. Efforts to confirm the park’s total area continue.
  • 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
Temperature
  • Average daily, at Mammoth: January: 9ºF (–13ºC); July: 80ºF (27ºC)
  • Records: High: 99ºF (37ºC), 2002 (Mammoth); Low: –66ºF (–54ºC), 1933 (West Entrance, Riverside Station)
Yellowstone Lake
  • 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)

Geology

  • 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: 7 species of native ungulates and 2 species of bears
  • 285 species of birds (150 nesting)
  • 16 species of fish (5 nonnative)
  • More than 7 aquatic nuisance species (3 having significant detrimental effect)
  • 5 species of amphibians
  • 6 species of reptiles
  • 2 threatened species: Canada lynx, grizzly bears

Vegetation

  • 9 species of conifers (more than 80% of forest is lodgepole pine)
  • 1,000+ species of native flowering species (3 endemic)
  • 225 species of invasive plants
  • 186 species of lichens

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
  • 1 National Historic Trail
  • 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 (July 2015)
Permanent (330 total):
  • Full time, year-round: 176
  • Subject to Furlough: 146
  • Part time: 8
  • Term (variable duration): 37
  • Seasonal: 406
Concessioners
About 3,200 people work for concessioners at summer peak

Facilities
  • 9 visitor centers, museums, and contact stations
  • 9 hotels/lodges (2,000+ hotel rooms/cabins)
  • 7 NPS-operated campgrounds (450+ sites)
  • 5 concession-operated campgrounds (1,700+ sites)
  • More than 1,500 buildings
  • 52 picnic areas, 1 marina, 13 self-guiding trails

Roads and Trails

  • 5 park entrances
  • 466 miles of roads (310 miles paved)
  • More than 15 miles of boardwalk
  • Approximately 1,000 miles of backcountry trails
  • 92 trailheads
  • 301 backcountry campsites

Budget

Fiscal Year 2015 (in millions)
  • Total: $69.1
Federal Funding
  • Congressional Annual Appropriations: Operations and staff (base): $34.6
  • Wildland Fire: $1.2
  • Other Appropriations: $17.5
Other Funding
  • Donations and Grants: $3.0
  • Fees: $7.5
  • Utilities & Agreements (Reimbursable): $5.3
Distribution of Budget
  • Administration: 8% Includes human resources, contracting, budget and finance, property management, telecommunications and information technology
  • Facility Operations and Maintenance: 42% Includes utilities, roads, trails, structures, historic preservation coordination, construction management
  • Resource Protection: 15% Includes research and monitoring of natural and cultural resources, invasive species management
  • Visitor Services: 35% Includes interpretation and education, law enforcement, emergency medical services, search and rescue, entrance station operations, structural fire activities, and park concessions management

Visitation

  • In 2015, park visitation topped the 4 million. More than one-fourth of the park’s total annual visitation was recorded during the month of July.
  • The last time the park recorded fewer than 3 million annual recreational visits was in 2006, with 2.87 million visits.
  • Detailed park visitation information is available at https://irma.nps.gov/Stats/
Top 10 Visitation Years
  1. 2015: 4,097,710
  2. 2010: 3,640,184
  3. 2014: 3,513,484
  4. 2012: 3,447,727
  5. 2011: 3,394,321
  6. 2009: 3,295,187
  7. 2013: 3,188,030
  8. 2007: 3,151,343
  9. 1992: 3,144,405
  10. 1999: 3,131,381
 

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168

Phone:

(307) 344-7381
Recorded information. For road and weather information, please dial 307-344-2117.

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