Park Facts

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

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
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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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)
  • 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
National Park Service (January 2020)
  • Permanent: 386 total
    • Full time, year-round: 170
    • Career seasonal: 213
    • Part-time: 3
  • Term (variable duration): 4
  • Seasonal: 348
Concessioners

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

  • 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
Fiscal Year 2019 (in millions)
Total: $74.5
Federal Funding—
Congressional Annual Appropriations
  • Operations and staff (base): $40.9
  • Wildland Fire: $1.1
  • Other Appropriations: $5.6
Other Funding:
  • Donations and Grants: $1.7
  • Fees: $19.2
  • Utilities & Agreements (Reimbursable): $6.0
Distribution of Budget

Park Support: 9% Includes human resources, contracting, budget and fnance, partnerships, telecommunications, and information technology.

Facility Operations and Maintenance: 44% Includes utilities, roads, trails, structures, historic preservation coordination, construction management.

Park Protection: 20% Includes law enforcement, emergency medical services, search and rescue, entrance station operations, structural fre activities.

Resource Stewardship: 17% Includes management operations and monitoring of natural and cultural resources, invasive species management, research coordination.

Visitor Services: 10% Includes interpretation and education, and park concessions management.

The park recorded more than 4 million visits in 2019; down 2.3% from 2018. The last time the park recorded fewer than 4 million annual recreational visits was in 2014, with 3.5 million visits. Detailed park visitation information is available at https://irma.nps.gov/Stats/
Top 10 Visitation Years
1. 2016 4,257,177
2. 2017 4,116,524
3. 2018 4,115,000
4. 2015 4,097,710
5. 2019 4,020,287
6. 2010 3,640,185
7. 2014 3,513,484
8. 2012 3,447,729
9. 2011 3,394,321
10. 2009 3,295,187
 
A ranger answers questions after an eruption of Old Faithful.

FAQs

Read answers to many frequently asked questions.

Last updated: August 27, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168

Phone:

307-344-7381

Contact Us