Receiving on average, more than 4 million visitors each year, Yellowstone is one of the most popular national parks in the United States. Those new to the park may not be aware that its roughly 2.2 million acres lie in the northwestern corner of Wyoming.
The park offers outdoor activities for all ages and an opportunity to be up close with nature. It’s history is pretty fascinating too as it created the beginning of the national park system in our country. With amazing wildlife, outdoor recreation, and geological wonders, Yellowstone is a complete destination.
At Adventure EXP, our aim is to bring our participants closer to the action with program destinations that offer more than just a job. That’s why we partner with local hospitality businesses in the Pray, Montana area to open up new opportunities to participants from around the country. Discover Yellowstone National Park and more when you participate in our Yellowstone Work Adventure.
A Brief History of Yellowstone National Park
Founded as the first national park in our country in 1872, Yellowstone has been home to humans for more than 11,000 years. Long before it became a national park, the land was used by as many as 26 Native American tribes that are still associated with the park to this day.
Its early history as a park began with Nathaniel P. Langford who served as the park’s superintendent, and although an unpaid position, he did his best to protect the wildlife and natural features of the land. It wasn’t until the second superintendent Philetus W. Norris, who began to build roads and a park headquarters, where the park was better managed and understood.
The superintendents that followed Norris were not able to fully protect the land from destruction due to squatters, woodcutters, vandals, and poachers. It wasn’t until 1886 when the U.S. Army was called in by the Secretary of War to assist in preserving the beauty that is Yellowstone. Poachers continued to be a problem though and as other national parks were founded, the management of Yellowstone became inefficient and lacked direction.
Management of the Park Improves
The management of Yellowstone in the late 1800s and early 1900s helped provide a precedent for the newly formed National Park Service to follow in 1916. Park rangers that included veterans of the Army helped enforce rules beginning in 1918.
During the following years, the parks borders were altered to reflect the natural topography of the region, including a 7,000 acre expansion under an executive order issued by President Hoover. Although the park’s future looked promising, World War II took a toll on the park’s budget and number of visitors. It wasn’t until Mission 66 from 1955-1966 where Yellowstone returned to its former glory.
3 Incredible Ways to Enjoy Yellowstone National Park
Whether you’re looking to hike, bike, or take a boat ride, Yellowstone National Park offers something for everyone to do. Its unique landscape, larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined, offers a variety of activities for anyone who loves the outdoors.
See the Amazing Natural Hot Springs & Geysers
There are more than 10,000 hydrothermal sites in Yellowstone including geysers, hot springs, mud pots, and fumaroles. The most notable of the hot springs in Yellowstone – the Grand Prismatic Spring – is also the largest in the country and the 3rd largest in the world.
It not only boasts an impressive spew of 160-degree water but also offers an incredible array of natural colors due to the natural minerals and bacteria in the water. Pictures of this massive hot spring don’t do it justice. It’s bigger than a football field and as deep as a 10-story building. You’ll find this fantastic sight in the Midway Geyser Basin.
Other notable hot springs and geysers to see include:
- Old Faithful Geyser
- Mammoth Hot Springs
- Upper Geyser Basin
- West Thumb Geyser Basin
- Norris Geyser Basin
- Midway Geyser Basin
- Black Star Basin
Read more on the science behind these geological wonders here.
Experience a Wide Range of Incredible Wildlife
According to the National Park Service, Yellowstone is home to the largest concentration of mammals in the lower 48 states, totaling 67 species. The park also boasts a whopping 285 species of birds, with as many as 150 of them nesting. Although the entire park hosts various unique species, Lamar Valley is a notable place to interact with the most famous of them all, the bison.
Be warned, though – when a herd of these bison crosses the road, you may be stuck for quite some time. It’s all part of the experience. Be sure to visit Lamar Valley during the morning or late afternoon as that is when the bison are most active. In addition to bison, you’ll be able to see several other hooved (or ungulate) animals.
This includes mammals such as:
- Bighorn sheep
- Mountain goats
- Mule deer
- White-tailed deer
Watch out for the larger predators, though. Yellowstone is also home to:
- Black bears
- Canada lynx
- Grizzly bears
- Mountain lions
The grey wolf is a more recent addition, thanks to their restoration in 1995. Read more here on the animals found in the park.
Take on Your Favorite Outdoor Recreation
With more than 1,000 miles of trails and reachable peaks as high as 10,000 feet, hiking is just the beginning of available outdoor adventures. Speaking of reaching new heights, a handful of ziplining excursions are also available as a thrilling activity. If you prefer to stay closer to the ground, you can explore the Cascade Canyon via a guided horseback ride too.
The largest high elevation lake (above 7,000 feet), Yellowstone Lake also offers water recreation like boating, kayaking, paddle boarding, and fishing. The cold water temperatures of the lake make it unsuitable for swimming, though. Beyond the park’s borders, it’s possible to find gushing rivers where white water rafting is the sport of choice. The Snake River, Yellowstone River, Gallatin River, Madison River West, and Shoshone River are just a few ideal locations.
Experience More Than Just a One-Time Visit to Yellowstone
If you’re like most people who love the outdoors, a short stint in a national park doesn’t always satisfy a need for adventure. With AdventureEXP, you can take on the opportunity of a lifetime where you’ll get to see the park and surrounding areas on many occasions.
The Yellowstone Work Adventure with Adventure EXP is one of the most suitable programs for those in need of an experience after high school or between semesters. It runs during the fall and the start date and end date are flexible.
Some other amazing benefits the program offers are:
- A discounted ski pass (in winter season)
- Included meals
- Shared, affordable housing
- Monthly excursions to local points of interest
Live and Work in Pray, Montana
Located approximately one hour from Yellowstone and situated along the Yellowstone River, the town of Pray, Montana is a true gem tucked in this gorgeous part of the country. It sits at roughly 5,000 feet in elevation, giving you the true experience of mountain-town living.
The town and its surrounding area hosts businesses that fall within the Food and Beverage, Housekeeping, and Hospitality sectors of tourism in the region. For that reason, they are always looking for seasonal support to meet the needs of tourists. One of the most notable sites in town is the Chico Hot Springs Resort and Day Spa.
Pray boasts incredible views of the Absaroka Mountain Range within the Custer Gallatin National Forest. This charming town offers activities like camping, river fishing, hiking, skiing (at Big Sky Resort), and much more – all just a short drive away from wherever you are staying. Other nearby towns offer grand adventures as well. Bozeman, Big Sky, and West Yellowstone are just a few.
If you’re fascinated by what Yellowstone National Park and the entire region has to offer, then the Yellowstone Work Adventure is right for you. You can spend your days balancing work and new adventures where amazing animals, outdoor recreation, and natural wonders are bountiful. If you’re ready for the opportunity of a lifetime, reach out to us today for more information.