Some take it for granted but as we mark 150 years of Yellowstone it is worth reprising the words of a Ranger who was asked what he would do if he had just one day in the US National Park.
‘Cry’ was his rather laconic but revealing message.
‘Twas Ulysses S. Grant, hero of the North, who opened Yellowstone National Park, the first of its kind anywhere in the world, on March 1, 1872.
Although we prefer to mention the work our very own Scottish explorer John Muir did there and elsewhere in the States which earned him the mantle ‘Father of the National Parks.’
But it is important to acknowledge that the Native Americans (Red Indians in 19th Century parlance) had been there for 11,000 years.
Thanks a million
No wonder our Ranger of course would weep if he was only offered one day in Yellowstone.
Because there are 2 million acres of the park.
And while we’ve all heard of Old Faithful, you’ll also want to take in Lower Falls and Yellowstone Lake.
One million of us visit Yellowstone every year (in a Covid-free year) and with that amount of space you’ll never feel congested.
And here are some useful tips for our visit.
The entrance fee for each of Wyoming’s national parks (Yellowstone and Grand Teton) is $35 per vehicle to visit for one to seven days. Entrance fees for other National Park Service sites, such as Devils Tower National Monument, vary.
Reservations are required to camp anywhere within Grand Teton National Park and open six months prior to the date you wish to camp. Book early to reserve a spot.
Reservations are required within certain campgrounds in Yellowstone National Park. Plan ahead and reserve campsites early.
Backcountry permits are required to backpack within national park boundaries.
Pets are only allowed where vehicles are allowed in national parks and must be kept on a 6-foot leash. Pets are prohibited on trails, pathways, and swimming in any park waters.
The wildlife is wild. Do not approach, chase or feed animals, and stay in your vehicle if you’re stuck in a wildlife jam.
Grizzly bears reside in both Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. Stay safe by carrying bear spray, being alert, making noise and traveling in groups of three or more.
Masks are required on all federal lands when social distancing isn’t possible.
How to get there
There are smaller airports around Yellowstone but we’d advise the old Road Trip around the Great American West.
In an RV mind, and not the rodeo which we’ll tell you more about soon.
So get your 150 Years of Yellowstone up and running. You’ll cry with joy.