(Editor’s Note – This original blog post from December 2010 has been updated to better reflect current details about Caravan’s Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore tour.)
America’s First National Park
Caravan is one of America’s top tour companies for fully guided Yellowstone Park tours.
Established on March 1, 1872, Yellowstone was the first appointed national park in North America and indeed the first national park in the world. Yellowstone National Park has in excess of 19,000 square miles, most of which is mountainous; there are five mountain ranges covering the perimeter of the park.
The majority of Yellowstone Park is in Wyoming, with portions of it occupying Idaho and Montana. Over 80 percent of Yellowstone Park is covered with forest, 5 percent with lakes, and 15 percent is grassland. The park is also located on a high altitude plateau 8,000 feet above sea level.
It is quite perplexing to note that the Yellowstone was only really explored in the 1860s, even though it was home to the local Native American Indians since as early as 9,000 BC.
Yellowstone Park Attractions
With major tourist attractions like Old Faithful geyser (one of over 300 in the park) Yellowstone Park tours have become very popular. Other major Yellowstone attractions on Yellowstone Park tours include unique volcanic rock formations, Yellowstone caldera (a ‘super volcano’) and Yellowstone Lake.
Yellowstone Park History
Around 1807, traveler John Colter reached Yellowstone quite by accident and discovered the unfamiliar geothermic wonders of the region, which he subsequently disseminated to an unbelieving ‘outside world’.
A half a century later in 1856, a certain John Bridges reported ‘boiling springs and spouting water’ in describing Yellowstone but failed to convince others of this tall tale.
The Folsom Expedition in 1869 eventually went on to fully investigate Yellowstone, surveying the vicinity from Yellowstone River to Yellowstone Lake. Their findings ended the supposed myth about Yellowstone and gave credence to the many natural wonders of this remarkable place. Because of growing public interest the area was designated as Yellowstone National Park on March 1, 1872. Within a few short decades, guided Yellowstone Park tours became common, allowing astonished visitors the opportunity to explore one of America’s most incredible natural wonders.
Yellowstone Geysers & Volcanic Activities
Although there are a plenty of natural attractions in Yellowstone Park, the geysers are perhaps the most popular and most visited on Yellowstone Park tours. Yellowstone is home to what some deem to be the earth’s most prolific volcanic hot spots and has a colorful history of strong eruptions. The various volcanic activities in the park can be seen in various manifestations.
Yellowstone Park tours explore geysers that work under pressure and escape the earth as fountains of hot water and steam. Then there are the lower pressured hot springs that have just hot water flowing in them. There are also fumaroles, which let of pure steam at extreme temperatures, plus many mud pots that spew out hot mud combined with steam. These different geothermal anomalies number at around 10,000 within the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park.
Old Faithful Geyser
Old Faithful, the most requested destination from travelers on Yellowstone Park tours, is also the world’s most renowned natural geyser. Old Faithful received its name in 1870 during the Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition. The expedition was a more complete venture to the Yellowstone area where comprehensive mapping of Yellowstone’s lakes, mountains, geysers, and wildlife was completed. The name of Old Faithful was given to express the uniform eruption of this unique geyser.
Yellowstone Lake is another favorite destination of Yellowstone Park tours. Yellowstone Lake envelops the Yellowstone Caldera and is one of the continent’s largest high-level lakes. It is situated at almost 7875 feet above sea level. The deepest portion of Yellowstone Lake is nearly 400 feet deep, its shoreline has a perimeter of 109 miles and the overall area of Yellowstone Lake is roughly 217 square miles. The lake is home to the largest of the swan species, the Trumpeter Swans, which are almost 6 feet long and has a wingspan of nearly 10 feet. Yellowstone Lake also holds what some consider to be the tastiest trout in the world.
About Caravan Tours
For more than 65 years (since 1952) family owned and operated Caravan Tours has been offering highly affordable all inclusive tours throughout the USA, Canada and Central America.
Our Mt Rushmore Yellowstone Park tours are very popular and also include visits to the Grand Tetons, Little Big Horn, and Crazy Horse Monument. Visit our Yellowstone Tour Reviews page to read what others have said about Caravan’s all inclusive Yellowstone National Park tours.
For more information or to make a booking, please call Caravan toll free at 1-800-Caravan (227-2826).