The Ordinary Beauty of Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park Horseback Ride Landscape

Yellowstone is anything but ordinary. Diverse may be a better one-word description of this iconic park. Huge is another good contender.

At 3,472 square miles, Yellowstone is more than two times larger than the entire state of Rhode Island. Even the massive volcanic caldera that gives rise to its signature hot springs and geysers still only represents about 40% of the park. The rest is covered by seemingly endless miles of natural beauty that is more typical of what we’ve come to expect from our national parks.

The Upper Falls of the Yellowstone River is just one of 290 waterfalls in the park measuring fifteen feet or higher.

Yellowstone National Park Upper Falls Waterfall Landscape Canyon

While the Lower Falls, the tallest in Yellowstone, rises almost twice as high as Niagara.

Yellowstone National Park Lower Falls Rainbow Waterfall

Lewis Lake, seen here at sunrise, is just one of more than 240 lakes and ponds in the park.

Lewis Lake Sunrise Yellowstone National Park Cloud Reflection

67 species of mammal call Yellowstone home, including this bison whose humped back prevented him from successfully rolling over for a scratch.

Yellowstone National Park Bison Rolling on Back

And looked none too pleased after the failed attempt.

Yellowstone National Park Bison Buffalo Wildlife


For other looks at this most diverse of U.S. national parks also check out The Colors of Yellowstone and The Otherworldliness of Yellowstone.

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25 Comments on “The Ordinary Beauty of Yellowstone National Park”

  1. ryanvonruben October 24, 2012 at 7:59 am #

    What a shame “Awesome” has lost some of its meaning – these are some seriously awe inspiring sights. Thanks for the great photos.


  2. Bama October 24, 2012 at 8:40 am #

    It is indeed anything but ordinary. But the fact that it is actually a supervolcano always intrigues me.


  3. October 24, 2012 at 8:53 am #

    Gorgeous! I recall as a child my parents bought us a viewer. One inserted a round disk with slides inserted at intervals. We had wonderful times viewing pics of Yellowstone Park and I recall wishing I could go there one day. Well, it’s never too late, eh?


    • Brian October 26, 2012 at 9:56 am #

      Nope, it’s never too late. I hear “Road Trip!” BTW, places like Yellowstone must be totally incredible in the winter. Cold, but awesome and different. There are a bunch of these parks that we’d like to get back to with snow on the ground or, better yet, falling. You’ll miss the annoying crowds too.


  4. Honie Briggs October 24, 2012 at 9:10 am #

    You’ve made Yellowstone the next place on my list to visit!


    • Brian October 26, 2012 at 9:54 am #

      It really is a must see. So different from anywhere else we’ve been.


  5. Mark Sand October 24, 2012 at 9:41 am #

    So many fantastic places to see, so little time!


    • Brian October 26, 2012 at 9:53 am #

      Too true. That’s why we’ve dedicated ourselves to seeing them fulltime. And we’ve found that there still isn’t enough time, even when you have all the time there is.


  6. Grass Oil by Molly Field October 24, 2012 at 10:44 am #

    so beautiful! and that bison reminds me of some people i know… great pics!


  7. Ms. Jolly Blogger October 24, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    Beautiful pics!


  8. earthriderjudyberman October 24, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

    Brave man, Brian. I wouldn’t be that close to that bison. Great photos.


    • Brian October 26, 2012 at 9:48 am #

      Thats why God created long lenses (and planned escape routes / cover ;-))


      • earthriderjudyberman October 26, 2012 at 10:57 am #

        Superb thinking. I’m behind you the whole way (or way out in front of you). 🙂


  9. LeSILICIUM October 24, 2012 at 11:58 pm #

    Awesome photos!


  10. NewLifeOnTheRoad (@NewLifeOnRoad) October 25, 2012 at 12:09 am #

    Incredible photos! Incredible colours 😉

    Hey I nominated you for a Liebster blog award which is given to inspiring blogs because I love reading about your travel adventures.

    You can find more information over on my blog 🙂


    • Brian October 26, 2012 at 9:47 am #

      Thanks, we’re honored to be nominated.


  11. zelmare October 25, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    What stunning photos! Wow.


  12. dchideaway October 27, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

    Haha… The bison really does look mad


  13. swabby429 October 28, 2012 at 11:15 am #

    I’ve enjoyed several visits to this “holy land” of native Americans. There is much to contemplate.


  14. Pretraveller October 29, 2012 at 6:12 am #

    Thanks for your great photos of Yellowstone. I keep being inspired on a regular basis to include Yellowstone NP into our planned trip to the USA and Canada. It will be great when we finally get there!



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