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Hiking at Yellowstone National Park

Meira Feinman

Hope you’re ready to go on a great adventure, because Mishpacha Junior’s taking a tour of the big, beautiful, strange, and amazing mountains, waterfalls, forests and geysers of ... Yellowstone National Park!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Yellowstone is America’s oldest national park, established in 1872. It takes up over 2.2 million acres (that’s larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined, and about two-thirds the size of the state of New York!), and spreads over parts of three states in the western US: Wyoming (that’s the “Cowboy State”), Montana, and Idaho. One of the park’s most famous features is its many geysers — springs of hot water and steam that shoot up many feet out of the ground.

Hi-Ho Geyser!

The tallest active geyser in Yellowstone is actually the tallest active geyser in the world. That’s the Steamboat Geyser in Norris Geyser Basin. Its sprays can reach up to 300 to 400 feet (90 to 120 meters) in the air! But the most famous geyser in Yellowstone is called Old Faithful. This geyser got its name because you can count on it to erupt “faithfully” multiple times per day. Most geysers erupt sporadically, and it can be hard to tell when the next eruption will happen. Sometimes it can be hours, days, and even years until that hot spray of water comes shooting up. But Old Faithful erupts about every one or two hours. Everyone knows they can count on this geyser to provide an exciting show.

What makes geysers spout water? Four elements: heat, water, earthquakes, and “plumbing.” Channels in the earth provide “pipes” for the hot water to snake its way up to the top where it explodes in a showering tower. Yellowstone has so many geysers because it’s located on some pretty hot earth — a volcano, to be exact.


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