Yellowstone National Park, WY

During our cross country road trip this past summer, we were lucky enough to make stops in various National and State parks. If you’re making a similar journey, Yellowstone National Park (which is primarily located in Wyoming, but extends into Montana and Idaho), though a bit out of the way, is an absolute must-see. Yellowstone is one of the most unique places I’ve ever been, and the history and information behind it all makes it even more interesting. We spent a hot summer day exploring a portion of the park located in Wyoming. 

The majority of the world’s geysers can be found here in Yellowstone. While we waited patiently for Old Faithful to erupt (which it does religiously approximately every 90 minutes), we learned that Yellowstone sits on top of a large volcanic caldera. All of the constant thermal activity that goes on in Yellowstone - the geysers, hot springs, mud pots, etc, indicate that the earth is releasing the pressure below us. Thousands of mini earthquakes occur here each year, but most are not large enough to be felt by visitors. Pretty wild. No worries, though - the possibility of the supervolcano below the park erupting and causing catastrophic destruction is unlikely to go down for a good 10,000 years...

As beautiful as the hot springs and geysers are, they are far too hot to touch or swim in. The hot springs are well over 150 degrees Fahrenheit, and the geysers can hit well over 300 degrees Fahrenheit! However, this doesn’t mean you can’t find a nice place to take a dip in Yellowstone. We stopped at Firehole River on our way out of the park, and proved to be a great decision after a sweaty July day. Because of all of the thermal activity under the earth, the water was a little warm and lovely to relax in.