Yellowstone National Park Facts:
- The world's first national park and one of the largest in the contiguous United States.
- Established in 1872.
- Land area: 2.2 million acres of forest, grassland, rivers and lakes. Roads and facilities take up to 3% of the park; the rest is wilderness, steaming geysers, crystalline lakes, thundering rivers and roaring waterfalls.
- Diverse mammals, birds and fish make up the Yellowstone wildlife sanctuary.
- 96% of Yellowstone is in Wyoming, 3% is in Montana, and 1% is in Idaho.
- The volcanic Yellowstone Caldera is approximately 34 x 45 miles taking in a large percentage of Yellowstone National Park and about half of Yellowstone Lake. At certain points you can actually view the caldera rim.
- Highest summit is Eagle Peak.
- Hiking: 1,000 miles of backcountry trails.
Grand Teton National Park is located in Wyoming and 10 miles south of Yellowstone National Park. It is named for the Grand Teton, the tallest mountain in the Teton Range. At 13,775 feet, it rises abruptly more than 7,000 feet above Jackson Hole and is almost 850 feet higher than Mount Owen, the second highest summit in the range. There are no foothills to obstruct the view from anywhere in the valley.
In 1807, John Colter left the Lewis and Clark expedition to hunt and trap in the Jackson Hole area. By 1823, the first settlers arrived in the valley.
The Grand Teton National Park was established in both 1929 and 1950. The original 1929 park protected the mountain peaks and the lakes near the base. The boundaries were later expanded in 1950 to include much of the adjacent valley floor. The Teton Range extends 40 miles by 12 miles.
In the late 1800's, 60,000 elk wintered in the valley. The first elk refuge was established in 1911. Antler sheds are collected by the Boy Scouts as a fund raiser. The central park in Jackson sports 4 elk antler arches as a symbol of the elk refuge.