The New Student's Reference Work/Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park, a tract 62 miles in length and 51 in breadth, situated mainly in the northwest of Wyoming, which has been withdrawn from settlement by action of the United States government and set apart as a public park. The area of the national reservation is 3,412 square miles, exclusive of the area on the south and east of the park proper, set aside by Congress as a forest-reserve (q. v.). Yellowstone Park was created by an act approved in March, 1872, and is under the supervision of the secretary of the interior. Leases were in 1889 granted by the national government to Yellowstone Park Association to erect at certain suitable points hotel accommodation for visitors to the park and to maintain a naphtha launch on Yellowstone Lake, conformable to certain restrictions. The government has also provided that care shall be taken of the remnant of North American fauna and of the ruminants of the western plains and mountains, with such fish as may live in the waterways of the park outside of the geyser region. The park abounds in scenery of unparalleled grandeur. It is a region of hot springs and geysers, mountains and cañons, lakes and waterfalls. Its surface mainly is an undulating plateau, with a mean elevation of 8,000 feet above the sea, upon the surface of which flow the minor streams, while the larger ones have cut cañons for themselves, several of them of great depth. The eastern portion, however, is occupied by a mountain chain known as Absaroka Range, peaks of which rise to heights exceeding 11,000 feet. These mountains, which separate the waters of the Yellowstone from those of the Big Horn, are unsurpassed by any in the United States for grandeur and sublimity of scenery. Another group of mountains, in the shape of a horseshoe known as Washburne Mountains, occurs in the middle of the park, the highest peak of which has an elevation of 10,000 feet. The Red Mountains are in the southern part, Mt. Sheridan, their culminating peak, being likewise about 10,000 feet in height. The park has an abundant rainfall and its streams are numerous and bold. Within its area are the sources of the Yellowstone and the Madison, which go to make up the Missouri, and of the Snake, one of the tributaries of the Columbia. It also contains many beautiful lakes and ponds. A convenient way of reaching the park from the east is by the Burlington route from Chicago via St. Paul (Minn.) and Bismarck (N. Dak.) to Livingston (Mont.), thence southwest to Cinnabar, and thence by stage through the park. From St. Louis, Kansas City and from Burlington (Ia.) the Burlington route, via Omaha, is also available, the entrance being also by way of Livingston (Mont.) and Cinnabar, on the northwestern boundary of Wyoming. From Cinnabar a daily stage sets out for Mammoth Hot Springs, by way of Gardiner, a distance of six miles, where good accommodation for sight-seers is to be had, as well as at convenient points in the five days’ staging throughout the park, under a franchise from the United States government. From Mammoth Hot Springs the stage-route embraces the Norris Geyser basin, the Lower Geyser, the Upper Geyser and the Lake Geyser at the western arm of Yellowstone Lake (over which a steamboat now plies), thence on the return route by way of the Grand Cañon and the Falls of the Yellowstone. The roads throughout are good, being maintained by the government.