The Entire Park Mapped Out For You
Yellowstone is an alluring place; a land of spectacular views, majestic features, wondrous wildlife, a land to be explored, and a land of individual discovery for all.
Many, if not most, visitors to the park will experience the grandeur of iconic features such as Old Faithful Geyser, Mammoth Hot Springs, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Yellowstone Lake, Hayden and Lamar Valleys, the ever changing and peculiar geyser basins, and of course the abundant and diverse wildlife. However, along the way to these and other acclaimed features are hidden gems of the park, lesser known things to see, do, and experience. Each of these providing unique opportunities to enjoy both the famous as well as the little things of this land of wonder, experiences we are confident that you look back on, and recognize them as time well spent and memories created.
The Yellowstone Interactive Map is an awesome tool to help you customize your own Yellowstone exploration -- your adventure, your way. Research each Yellowstone road section and choose those areas or points of interest and those activities that fit your likes and priorities, and where you want to spend your time. Use the Yellowstone Interactive Map to plan your trip – the stops you will make and the adventures you will experience. It provides detailed information about notable features, campgrounds, hiking trails, picnic areas, historical markers, rivers to fish and the flies to use, key animal spotting areas, park activities, roadside restrooms, wheelchair friendly locations, unique family/children activities, and other important features – those hidden gems not to be missed along the various road sections throughout the park.
What is the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem?
The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE), with Yellowstone’s 2.2 million acres at its core, comprises 34,375 square miles (covering parts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho) and is one of the largest nearly intact temperate-zone ecosystems on earth. Its diversity and natural wealth includes half the world’s active geysers, the largest free-roaming, wild herd of bison in the United States, one of the largest elk herds in North America, one of the few grizzly populations in the contiguous United States, and unique geological interplay between volcanic, hydrothermal, and glacial processes, and the distribution of flora and fauna. Most of the park is 7,500 feet above sea level (2,286 m) with snow covering the terrain most of the year. The terrain supports forests dominated by lodgepole pine interspersed with alpine meadows, and sagebrush and grasslands on the park’s lower-elevation northern range provide essential winter forage for elk, bison, and bighorn sheep.
Where is Yellowstone National Park Located?
Yellowstone National Park is located in the northwest region of the United States, covering parts of the states of Wyoming (96% of the park), Montana (3% of the park), and Idaho (1% of the park), and in the core of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The park covers 3,472 square miles or 2.2 million acres.
The park has five entrances. To help you determine which entrance is best for you to enter the park, “Entrances to Yellowstone National Park” provides information specific to each entrance community such as its history, lodging, places to eat, specific attractions, stores, churches, and activities. “Things to Do, See, and Experience Along Your Way to the Park” provides some awesome and highly recommended adventures to consider along your way to the park, specific to each respective entrance. The Yellowstone Park Interactive Map provides you with information of what to do and see while in the park and breaks it down by road sections.
A Brief History of Yellowstone National Park
Scientists believe that human history in Yellowstone National Park dates back approximately 11,000 years based on evidence at archeological sites, trails, paleoindian artifacts, etc. Early Native American tribes, such as the Crow and Sioux, arrived sometime during the 1500s and 1700s, respectively. Other tribes, some dating prior to this time, are known to have lived in and passed through the park as it was a place where they hunted, fished, gathered plants, quarried obsidian, and used thermal features for religious and medicinal purposes. One such group, known as the Sheep Eaters were Shoshone Indians who adapted to mountain existence. Their name has its origin from the bighorn sheep whose migrations they followed. The sheep provided meat for their diet, hides for clothing, and other parts for crafting tools. More than 1,800 archeological sites have been documented in Yellowstone National Park, with the majority from the Archaic period (1,500 to 7,000 years ago).
There are five entrances to the park. From what direction you approach the park, and what you want to do and see while in the park, will ultimately determine which entrance is best for you when traveling to Yellowstone. Click on the specific Park Entrance to find information about that community, such as its history, lodging, places to eat, specific attractions, stores, churches, and activities.