Yellowstone National Park

PHOTO COURTESY RENEE ZIMMERMAN

Learning naturally

Yellowstone National Park has inspired countless poets, writers, politicians, dreamers and children since it was established by Congress on March 1, 1872, as the world’s first national park. Since 1985, Expedition: Yellowstone!

Tourists ignore signs warning of danger this past summer and descend from the boardwalk at Lower Geyser Basin to submerge their hands in the thermal water.

A hard-earned winter

Yellowstone National Park rests beneath a blanket – much earned respite from the nearly 4.2 million visits it now typically accommodates. If the trend holds from 2012-17, visits will crawl to just about 20,000 this winter - a sharp decline from the almost 2.5 million occurring June, July and August, on average.

Thunderstorm at sunset, looking from Swan Lake Flat in Yellowstone National Park at a lightning strike on Electric Peak.       Ron Holle, with the Vaisala Network Operations Center in Tucson, Ariz. reminds lightning watchers not to say “bolt.”       “Don’t use that word,” said Holle. “It doesn’t exist. It’s a flash or a stroke."

Don't say bolt

The famed geographer Henry Gannett was about 50 feet from the top of an unexplored summit not far from Big Sky on a stormy July day when he felt an electrical current pass through his body.

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