Search My-West

"Informative and entertaining, My-West will be a valued destination for westerners and devotees of all things western. Well-written posts, evocative photos and fine art, valuable travel tips, and an upbeat style make this a destination site for travelers and web surfers. Go West!" - Stan Lynde, Award-winning Western novelist and cartoonist
Subscribe to Hit the Road
« Hot Springs Eternal – 10 Curative Qualities of Western Hot Springs | Main | Post Script »

We Bearly Knew Ya’ – 10 Surprising Facts About Yellowstone

By Bennett Owen

As part of the My-West fall road trip, we took an early October swing through snow-capped Yellowstone Park…no lines, no traffic jams…and no lollygagging either, because it was freakin’ COLD! The kids will most likely remember one very photogenic chipmunk, a few snowball fights and the view of Yellowstone Falls from Artist’s Point, which suitably blew away the CGI saturated munchkins. 


In an effort to entertain and enlighten the kids en route, I uncovered some things about Yellowstone that entertained and enlightened me more than anyone else and since they didn’t impress the kids I’m trying ten of them out on you:

10 – Tiny little Isa Lake is the only body of water that empties into both sides of the Continental Divide…feeding both the Missouri and mighty Columbia rivers.

Credit: aj_jones_IV

9 – Redwoods once grew in Yellowstone. Geologists say the Petrified Tree near Tower Junction is “anatomically indistinguishable from modern Redwoods growing today along the California coast.”

Credit: RaShi

8 – Gardner, Montana at the north entrance of Yellowstone is located directly on the 45th parallel…halfway between the Equator and the North Pole.

Credit: jpc.raleigh

7 – There is an appropriately named ‘Mae West’ curve on the Grand Loop Road near the Antelope Creek overlook.

Mae West Curve. Credit: mccormacka

6 - You can tell the temperature of the water by the color of the algae. Bright yellow survives at 160 F, while the green stuff means the water temperature is a mere 120 F.

Morning Glory Pool. Credit: jpc.raleigh

5 – That thing hanging from a Moose’s neck is called a Dewlap.

Credit: Jvstin

4 – Bill Clinton was the last of eight presidents who visited Yellowstone Park while in office.

Credit: Washington Post

3 - Steamboat Geyser is the highest erupting geyser in the world, shooting water as high as 400 feet.

Credit: Joe Shlabotnik

2 – The fastest animal found in Yellowstone is the Pronghorn Antelope, with top speeds of 50 MPH…slightly slower than ME after spotting a Grizzly Bear.

Credit: Talking Tree

1-    Yellowstone Park is not only the first US national park but the world’s first as well, and sparked a global effort to preserve and maintain places of rare natural beauty.

Credit: SeattleRay

Reader Comments (3)

I remember going to Yellowstone as a child and loved looking at all of the beauty. I would really like to go back now that I am older and I know that i would appreciate it even more!

October 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjesica

While I agree that Yellowstone is an awesome place, many of your "facts" are not quite right. For example, President Obama and his family visited Yellowstone in the summer of 2009, so President Clinton was not the last President to visit the park. The town of Gardiner, MT, sits 2 degrees north of the 45th parallel. It is not located "directly on the 45th parallel" as you suggest. The 45th parallel actually runs parallel to much of the park's border some two miles or so south of the park boundary and the town of Gardiner. And the photo accompanying your verbiage about Mae West Curve is actually the Golden Gate Viaduct, the bridge that takes people through Kingman Pass and the Golden Gate Canyon down into Mammoth. Mae West Curve is on the opposite side of the park.

November 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Technically, Isa lake is also not the only body of water that empties into both sides of the Continental Divide either. As far as the others are concerned we'll have to urge the park service to update its literature! ;-) Thanks for the comment!

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMy-West

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>