Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone from Artist Point

August 01, 2012

Yelo40_20jun12 (2)

: Ray Boren
Summary Author: Ray Boren

Any question as to why Yellowstone National Park bears that particular name might seem easily answered upon seeing the broad veil of Lower Yellowstone Falls (308 ft or 94 m) high cascading into the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. However, though the gorge’s burnt-gold hues, abetted by rusty reds and shades of orange, justify the name of this iconic national park, in fact the descriptive term “Yellowstone” predates visits to the region by 19th-century trappers and explorers. The National Park Service notes that the name of the 670 mi (1,078 km) long river, which in turn lent its moniker to the park, most likely comes from sandstone bluffs nearer its confluence with the Missouri River. The Minnetarree tribe called the river the “Mi tse a-da-zi,” the Park Service says, and French-Canadian fur trappers of the 1700s in turn called it the “Roche Jaune,” both in reference to the yellow rock. Other Native American tribes, such as the Arapaho (their name for the river being “Henihco'oo' “or “Héetíhco'oo”), are also credited with references to what has been Anglicized as “Yellowstone.” Yellowstone National Park is celebrating its 140th anniversary this year. 

Photo details: Camera Maker: NIKON CORPORATION; Camera Model: NIKON D60; Focal Length: 42.0mm; Aperture: f/10.0; Exposure Time: 0.0063 s (1/160); ISO equiv: 200; Exposure Bias: none; Metering Mode: Matrix; Flash Fired: No (enforced); Orientation: Normal; Color Space: sRGB; Software: QuickTime 7.6.4.