Safety Tips in Yellowstone National Park

  • Pool looks cool, but is hot
    Pool looks cool, but is hot
    by grandmaR
  • Danger Thermal Area
    Danger Thermal Area
    by grandmaR
  • Dangerous Ground signs are ubiquitous
    Dangerous Ground signs are ubiquitous
    by grandmaR

Most Viewed Warnings and Dangers in Yellowstone National Park

  • KimberlyAnn's Profile Photo

    Earthquakes and the Volcano Part II

    by KimberlyAnn Updated Oct 28, 2010

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    So, should this prevent you from visiting Yellowstone? The chance of a visitor being injured by any of these seismic activities would be very rare. The park is mostly wilderness, and unexplored, covering about 2 million acres of land. As an example, two of our smallest states, Road Island and Delaware, could be placed side-by-side inside the park, and they wouldn’t completely fill it. Also, the park is most heavily used for only about three months a year. Seismic activity, and geyser areas range through out this vast park all year. These facts make the odds that an explosion would take place exactly where you are standing in the park extremely remote.

    If you would like to learn more about the volcano while you are in the park, the Canyon Visitor Education Center museum highlights the super volcano that lies beneath Yellowstone. My photo is of a fountain globe in the Canyon Visitor Center that highlights hot spots in the world.

    If you have read my other warnings, you will find that being injured because you broke the rules and walked too close to wild life, or stepped off the designated trails and boardwalks are much more of a real danger to you while visiting the park.

    For more information on the volcano that lies below the park, a volcanic alert level, a current Ground Deformation Summary, and the number of monthly earthquakes recorded, visit
    http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/yvo/, an official websites that deals with these topics.

    Hot Spots In the World
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  • KimberlyAnn's Profile Photo

    Additional Park Rules to Remember

    by KimberlyAnn Updated Oct 26, 2010

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    It is illegal to collect any objects, including the picking of wildflowers while in the park.

    Geysers and hot springs are fragile areas that can be easily damage, plus in some areas the ground is so fragile that one can fall through. For these reasons you must stay on the trails and boardwalks. It is also illegal to throw coins or other items into the thermal pools as this damages them.

    Feeding any wild life, or getting too close is illegal. Animals who get handouts may become use to humans, then become aggressive toward people. Aggressive animals can cause you injury, and when this happens the animal often has to be destroyed. It also is very unhealthy for the animal, so don’t even feed the small chipmunks and ravens that will be looking for a handout. The raven in my second photo, was standing right next to the sidewalk in a parking lot, hoping for a handout. Much of the human food thrown to these birds have no nutritional value at all. Besides not purposely feeding them, don’t accidentally feed them. Store all food in your car, never leave it in a tent or on a picnic table. Dispose of your garbage in bear-proof garbage cans.

    Black Sands Basin Ravens Are Common Beggers, Resist Feeding Them
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  • BrandonComstock's Profile Photo

    Weather in the Yellowstone

    by BrandonComstock Written Feb 25, 2010

    lol, we can get a foot of snow any day of the year...any. However this year looks to be a warm June, as the winter seems to be wrapping up currently 2-4 weeks ahead of schedule. The first part of June is looking wallet-friendly, and not over crowded. September isn’t bad either. There are crowds in summer, but if you just get up a little earlier, eat a little earlier or later, then the crowds wont be a problem. The real aggravation comes when bison are migrating on the roads. Buffalo-jams can cause delays of 15 min-2 hours. It helps not to be in a hurry, slow down and enjoy the little things, and have a sense of humor. Oh, and be ready for all types of weather.

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  • KimberlyAnn's Profile Photo

    Earthquakes and the Volcano Part I

    by KimberlyAnn Updated Jan 3, 2010

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    A large portion of Yellowstone National Park sits over a large caldera. When you receive your park pamphlet after passing through the gate, you will see the estimated border of the caldera outlined on the map of the park. This caldera is often called a Super Volcano, as history shows that this caldera has produced massive volcanos, including one of the world’s largest. The geysers and other hot spots in the park are all indications of the molten magna below. Scientists believe that the magma lies only 4 miles below the surface, and that there is enough molten magna below the park to fill up one of our Great Lakes, Lake Michigan, three times. There are a lot of earthquakes in Yellowstone on a monthly basis, generally so small that no one feels them. We have been to the park a number of times while there were earthquakes and have never once felt one. The two most recent major earthquakes in the park were a 7.5 in August of 1959, and a 6.1 in June of 1975. There are 100s, and sometimes 1000s of tremors in the park every year. Some geologists believe that this earth movement and the geysers are helping to vent pressure from building up in the cauldera. Seismic activity in the park is closely monitored and studied. Most scientists believe that if a major volcanic eruption were going to occur, there would be an increase in the seismic activity, therefore giving a warning. What is more likely, although still not common, is that a sudden explosion in a geyser area could cause a large crater ranging from 50 to 100 meters in size. Such things, as earthquakes, could cause this explosion.

    To see an outline of the caldera against a photo like background showing mountains and lakes, go to Yellowstone Volcano Observatory Photogallery, then click the picture to enlarge it.

    The Caldera is within the red circle line.
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  • GuthrieColin's Profile Photo

    Giardiasis

    by GuthrieColin Updated Nov 3, 2009

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    The dreaded Giardia Lamblia parasite or simply Giardia is present in some of the streams and lakes in Yellowstone and throughout wilderness regions of North Amreica, making the water unsafe to drink unless boiled or treated. Knowing what streams are safe and what ones are not is difficult so if there is any question do not drink the water.
    Giardia contamination comes from infected animal feces coming into contact with runoff. It is commonly carried by beavers, deer, and sheep. If contracted, symptoms include: Diarrhea, cramps and bloating. Boil water for at least 1 minute before drinking or cooking with it. In short if you are planning on doing some hiking, bring more water than you think you will need.

    Giardia From a Biological Web Site
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  • PALLINA's Profile Photo

    No internet access or mobile communication

    by PALLINA Updated Sep 2, 2009

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    In every park's hotels there is NO internet access; moreover, most of mobile phones do not work. Well, it is not that great problem, if you know it in advance. So, if you need to phone, buy the traditional phone card! To be found in every general store, at least!!!

    If you really need a public internet access, you have to go out from the park. I saw a cafeteria with a public access in Gardiner, just after the Northern Entrance.

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  • TropicGirl77's Profile Photo

    Don't toss that . . .

    by TropicGirl77 Written Aug 29, 2006

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    . . . into the geyser ... or anywhere except a trash receptacle please! It's common courtesy not to litter, and look what thoughtless tossing can do to a geyser over the years. Anyway, it's the easiest way to kill a geyser, and what a waste of natural resources!

    Junk Killing a geyser
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  • jasperdo's Profile Photo

    Visitor Center Construction

    by jasperdo Written Aug 5, 2006

    This isn't really a warning...it's more of a heads up. Yellowstone National Park is in the process of building 2 new Visitor Centers: one at Canyon and the other at Old Faithful. As a result, both of these Visitor Centers have been closed. The new Visitor Centers are being built on the same land as the previous one. In both cases, there is a temporary modular Visitor Center. They are both manned by Rangers, so your questions will be answered. But, don't expect much in the way of exhibits.

    When we were there in July 2006, the new Canyon Visitor Center was scheduled to open in August 2006. The Old Faithful Visitor Center, on the other hand, just recently closed. Construction hasn't begun on the new building. Completion is scheduled for 2008.

    New Canyon Visitor Center Temporary Canyon Visitor Center Closed Old Faithful Visitor Center See...it really is closed Temporary Old Faithful Visitor Center
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  • KARLPORTER56's Profile Photo

    Shouldn't Dangle from Cliffs for photographs

    by KARLPORTER56 Written Jan 30, 2006

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    Like this young guy was doing.. He was really young maybe 12 or 13.. He Got his shot but he was really dangling in a precarious position from a dangerous ledge.. Nevertheless he was careful and it didn't end tragic..

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  • KARLPORTER56's Profile Photo

    Probably shouldn't dive off Waterfalls..

    by KARLPORTER56 Updated Jan 30, 2006

    Like this young college age kid was doing.. Actually we just chanced upon a group of kids diving off a 50 ft. waterfall.. He did make a beautiful inward flip.. and the crowd cheered fortunately he was ok.. However people probably should not try this as a common thing to do.. Seems pretty dangerous..

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  • lucythedog's Profile Photo

    Snowy Surprise

    by lucythedog Written Oct 28, 2005

    Snow can happen almost any month and our weather turned quickly....the bad thing was that the workers at the gate had NO knowledge of road conditions or closures.....and some roads WERE closed!! ....more on this story soon!!!!Be informed, dont get stuck.

    big surprise snow!!!!!!!!!!
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  • GuthrieColin's Profile Photo

    Don't Go Geyser Crazy

    by GuthrieColin Updated Oct 19, 2005

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    When touring the old faithful area and geyser hill in particular don't get your mind set on seeing every geyser erupt that you can. I tried that and it took every bit of will power I had to pull myself away. It's addicting to try and see them all. The problem is that they do not erupt in a timely manner. you may have to spend a whole day to see 4 gersers erupt. Once you see 4 you'll want to see more and more.
    In your frenzy to see them all you just may loose several days there and miss the rest of the park. Their is simply too much to see to miss out on it for some geysers. My best suggestion would be to schedule your visit to Old Faithful and the other Geysers for your last day and get it all in on that day. That way you will see the rest of the park and not get stuck on the geysers. The most likely Geysers to see would be Riverside, Grand, and Daisy because they erupt on regular short intervals.

    Geysers
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Yellowstone National Park Warnings and Dangers

Travel tips and advice posted by real travelers and Yellowstone National Park locals.
Map of Yellowstone National Park
Other Warnings and Dangers in Yellowstone National Park