"Where the Buffalo Roam: Yellowstone" Yellowstone National Park by richiecdisc
Yellowstone National Park Travel Guide: 1,157 reviews and 3,744 photos
Yellowstone National Park means different things to different people. As the world's first national park it has an unchallenged pedigree. As a mass of land larger than some countries, it represents many terrains, much of its gentle beauty echoing its Native American roots. As home to a diversity of wildlife not easily viewed elsewhere in North America, it takes on a game park mentality for many of its visitors. Below its surface sprouting into the air for hundreds of feet, geothermic energy abounds. Whatever your reason for coming to Yellowstone National Park, it is unlikely you will be disappointed. It is the rare park that delivers dreams to a diverse group of devotees, each very much contingent on preconceived ideas and the very vision of what a national park is. For it is the concept of Yellowstone as such that invented this very idea. An idea that many hold close to their hearts and come to see first hand rather than as figments of their imaginations. Experience colors unworldly, hear the howl of the lone wolf or bubbling mud, feel the rumble of buffalo shake the ground on which you stand, and breathe deeply fumes of sulfur or air so pure it pierces your soul. Remember how special our planet is and why it is our duty to preserve it, the very idea of what a national park is, the very idea of Yellowstone.
Oddly enough, Yellowstone has never been a personal favorite even though I enjoyed the two times I visited it. I guess I view it as primarily a non-active park, lacking the glossy hikes of Grand Teton National Park just to the south and Glacier National Park north. The truth is there is a fairly extensive network of trails that delve deeply into a park interior that is rarely visited. It is not promoted compared to the park's other attractions and being prime grizzly habitat, many people shy away from them. Perhaps it lacks the stunning scenery or reputation but for some reason, it does not attract avid hikers in the same numbers as does it southern neighbor. That lack of hikers should be a plus for me but I must say I have done little true hiking in the park and have never approached a visit with the idea that I will.
Perhaps next time I visit, I will but chances are other parks will lure me for hiking and my potential return to Yellowstone will be prompted by wildlife viewing and casual strolls by admittedly beautiful geothermic sights. For me, it's a place for a few days before going to the Grand Tetons while for most, the Grand Tetons are a side trip from Yellowstone. I guess it's good everyone doesn't like the same things or the world would be an even more crowded place.
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