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Yellowstone National Park turned 144 Tuesday. President Ulysses S. Grant established Yellowstone as America’s (and the world’s) first national park on March 1, 1872.
The 3,472-square-mile park is larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined. And, if you’ve never been, the park is truly something to behold.
According to the National Park Service, Yellowstone lays claim to the world’s greatest concentration of geysers. It’s also “the core of one of the last, nearly intact ecosystems in the Earth’s temperate zone.”
Yellowstone is home to bison, bear, elk, wolves and many other species, including 67 species of mammals, 285 species of birds, 16 species of fish, six reptiles and five amphibians.
Mammoth Hot Springs, Old Faithful, Lower Falls and Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone are just some of the sites that attract nearly 4 million visitors every year.
To celebrate the park’s birthday, check out these stunning photos of the park courtesy of Yellowstone National Park’s Instagram:
Where the Gallatins meet the Tetons: Antler Peak (10,023) dominates the view from the top of Quadrant Mountain, with our sister park peeking out in the distance. Thanks to Ky Koitzsch for making the effort to get this shot, and happy birthday to @grandtetonnps! #yellowstonenps #gallatinrange #grandtetonnp #grandtetonnationalpark
A blue ice chute sits at the base of a common cougar haunt in the Black Canyon of Yellowstone National Park. Few places in the world provide the solitude and protection for large carnivores and other species as does the wild Yellowstone River and its conjoining watersheds. @yellowstone_cougar_project team spends many hours exploring these habitats collecting noninvasive DNA samples and other data on cougars to learn more about this unique ecosystem (photo by D. Stahler/NPS).