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Making a Playground of the Yellowstone LST year 79,777 persons went through Yellow stone Park, a few the more hardy explorers and 'naturalists on foot, some on horseback, but most of them in automobiles. Years come and go and the Yellowstone increases in popularity. When it comes to size there is no comparing of Yellowstone with any of our other national parks. Many of its more than 3,000 square miles have hardly been explored. Many other national parks are mere pigmies in comparison. Even Mount McKinley in Alaska has only J.J00 square miles, and Glacier Park less than half the number of acres of Yellowstone. When it comes to age. Yellowstone is the oldest of our national parks, with the exception of the Hot Springs Reservation in Arkansas, which, however, em braces only one and a half square miles. When it comes to number of tourists, Yellowstone leads all parks with the exception of the Hot Springs Reserva tion and the Rocky Mountain National Park north of Denver. But the most important point is that we are coming to look upon Yellowstone more and more as a na tional playground. It is no longer something merely to be hastily glanced over and then passed by. One could spend a month there and not comprehend half of the Interesting things. Thi lame point applies to all of our national parks in les ser degree. Back in 1916 the number of persons that visited all our na tional parks totaled 396, 097. But during 1920 the visitors at the parks to taled 1.047.455. this latter figure also including 138, 951 who visited our eleven national monuments. The national monuments might be known as our lesser national parks, con taining features of small er interet, and generally being t much smaller size. About 140,000 of the total number of tour ists visiting the national parks are also accounted for in our omparisoti by the tact that the Mount McKinley National Park in Alaska, the Grand Canyon Park in Arizona, the Lafayette National Park in Maine, and the Zion Park in Southeatern Utah have been added since 1916. The name of park is perhaps a little misleading to those who think of a park as a few acres set aside in the big citiex of our country. But it is to be hoped that in the same way that these are breath ing places in the cities, so the national parks may become recreation spots for the country at large. As the country be comes more and more closely settled, there will be more and more demand from people who desire to get away for a few weeks and enjoy life in the open. This, of course, does not take into consideration the outstand ing scenic features that are embraced in each national park and must be preserved for posterity. So this oldest and greatest of our real national parks still retains its popularity. But no longer is the park restricted to the occupants of the rubber-neck busses, who must see the park in the quickest, shortest, briefest way. One does not have to put up at the $6 up hotels or even at the more inexpensive camps. Thou sands of people are learning to go through the park in their own automobiles with their own bag and baggage. At convenient points along the way provision has been made for places for campers, where they may keep house in rustic fashion for two days or two weeks. They can come and go as they please, ob serving, of course, the park regulations. When the first private automobile rumbled into the park one morning in August, 1915, there were those who shook their heads disdainfully and proclaimed the doom of the park. I must admit that riding in the old stagecoaches was romantic and even the hold-ups staged by bandits now and then added an enjoyable thrill to the journey of those who sought for the real pioneer conditions. Kven today the scenes of those hold-ups are passed with a little shiver of delight. But it was readily apparent that if the park was to accomplish its real purpose and attract the com mon people of the country, the automobile would have to be admitted sooner or later. So it was well to make arrangements for the hospitable accommodation of those people who brought their own camping equip ment. In many of the free automobile camps which have been established, pure water is always available and firewood close at hand. Cooking grates are provided and special attention is given to sanitation. Of course there are hundreds of other sites that may be used by campers who enjoy the greater freedom of an open wilderness. The Yellowstone is now provided with splendid roads comparing favorably in every way with the boulevard roads of a city. One may entrr the park on the west, north, cast or south. Undoubtedly the latter By R. P. CRAWFORD rad will become increasingly attractive since it leads through the Jackon Hole and Teton country, a region of interesting history and splendid seenery, and as bet ter roads art being gradually developed outside the domains of the park on this side. The road stem is so arranged that one may make a circuit of the park and see all important features with the least possible inconvenience. But there is plenty of opportunity to get off the beaten track, and on to hundreds of trails that lead in every direction, a paradise for the hiker and horseback rider. Hut the first step is to provide oneself with the book of rules and regulations and the pamphlet for automobile tourists and one has a veritable guide of information. There are simjlar publications for prac tically every one of the national parks. Then the large-size topographic map should be added, especially if one desires to get off the beaten path, and explore the park to any extent. And, almost needless to say, one should not neglect plenty of bedding and warm clothes, for the evenings and early mornings are indeed crisp. In fact, just about the same thing applies to all of i niHaa vl v Hat Iflaaaaaaw Lower Fall of the Yellowstone, twice the height of Niagara. our national parks. There are guide books supplied tree of charge by the National Park Service, and numerous pamphlets detailing specific features of in terest can be secured for a few cents. It is a good plan to invest a couple of dollars in this sort of ma terial before one starts out, and one will have a veritable library of all that is interesting along the way, from notes on the bears to scientific treatises on the geological formations of the park. On a recent trip to Salt Lake one man volunteered the information that it was foolishness to spend even four days seeing the park, that one could see it just as well in two and a half days. That would be much like riding down Broadway in New York and saying that one had seen the city. One should not move too fast if he would see the beauties of the Yellowstone. Most people see the park with a rush and a push that leaves no time for the pure enjoyment of a vacation. There are perhaps better and more interesting oppor tunities for fishing in Yellowstone than there are any where else. Of course hunting is prohibited, unless it be with a camera. Certainly a vacation can be spent just as easily in the Yellowstone as anywhere else. The point, of course, is that while it is a land of supreme scenic wonders! it is a recreation ground as well. No doubt one reason for the somewhat hurried trips in the past has been the expense. It is true that 6 a day at the hotels or around $4 at the camps for a family of four or five makes pretty big inroads on the vacation fund after a few weeks, but now that it is possible to do one's own camping, the question of expense hardly enters in, any more than taking an ordinary automobile trip. As far as the ordinary wonders of the park are concerned, there are usually just about four things that especially engage the attention of the average traveler. The geysers and hot springs, the canyon, the lake, and the wild life in the park. There arc a thou sand smaller things, each of which in an ordinary case would be sufficient reason for a summer resort Mere superlatives in describing the features of the park are probably unnecessary. Practically everyone knows that there are more geysers in the Yellowstone than in any similar area in the world. The most prominent of them are in what are known as the Upper and Lower Geyser Basins. Here is found the Old Faithful Geyser whuh gives its performance practically every hour, the Giant Geyser which essays to perform every six to fourteen days, and a score or io nthir which perform .is the mood suits them, years igo jj was said to he possible to coax the geyser into ac tion by dropping a piece of soap into them, hut t'j l i, prohibited at the present time. It is reported thai the acti-n of KMIp OIJ geysers was first discovered by a Chinaman who nnwittingU washed his clothes in ,,.v of the basins. Many of the geysers are irregular in their actions. The 1 ower Geyser Basin, located about five miles from the Upper Basin, no longer boasts as active geysers as the Upper Basin. But it was lure that the famous Excelsior Geyser, which ceased playing in 1888, was wont to throw its wa fif as high as 300 feet But there are still some remarl able phenonu na lu re' such as the Mammoth Taint Po's and the Prismatic Lake, with its remarkable colors. W hen one recalls how little credence was given to the early reports brought back by explorers from this section, one realizes how unique this park really js The theory of geyser action is simple enough, but the sight of these smoking columns of water inspires j certain reluctance to have them explained. Of course they are due to water trickling down to the region of intense heat, which in the case of geyser lands is I necessarily near the sur face, forming steam which in turn vMmii j vAi,ain' ana forces out the water that lies above it. What is known as the Xorris Geyser Basin in the central part of the park has fewer real active geysers and is quite vari able in its action. But the sight of the great col umns of steam rising nere and there over an area of several acres is a never forgotten sight. Not far from here is Roaring Mountain, where a preat hillside is the scene of numerous steam vents. The h o t w .iter phe nomena around the Mam moth Hot Springs in the northern part of the park are as interesting, but less fascinating than the gey sers. Here white mineral deposits, brought to the surface by the hoi water, have formed gigantic ter races, and even, in some places, engulfed trees. Many of these terraces have been given a red dish hue, due to the growth of algae, or tiny plants. But for many years people were so accustomed to associate the Yellowstone with geysers that they lot got that it was the home of one of the greatest canyons of the world! the Grand Cany : of the Yellow stone. Probably no other canyon can equal it in color, varying from yellows to bright reds and purples. It is said that this coloring was due to the long-continued ac tion of hot vapors arising from geysers and hot springs. In fact, close to the river's edge in the canyon may be found some still active steam vents. For three miles or more below the Lower Fall this riot of color con tinues. The canyon is nearly a thousand feet deep and two thousand feet across at the rim. The Lower Fall of the Yellowstone which marks the real beginning of the canyon is twice the height of Niagara. And yet, despite the splendor of this scene, it receives only com paratively scant recognition the country over. In fact, there seems to be so much to see in Yellowstone Park that any one of the numerous spectacles is lost in the grandeur of the whole. Yellowstone Lake, with the mountains stretching away to the horizon, would pass for a magnificent lake anywhere. Tower Fall, with its 13.2-foot drop, the petrified forests, Dunraven Pass, a score of mineral springs in thems kes sufficient to start a health re sort a cliff of solid ulass. not to mention the splendid mountain vistas in themselves, furnish never-forgotten scenes. Nor should one forget the Yellowstone bears r buffaloes. There art more wild animals that can le readily seen in the park than in any other place on the American continent A recent report from the Na tional Geographic Society indicated that the number of black bears in the park totals nearly one hundred ani mals, together with about twenty-five grizzlies. The comparative frequency with which bears are seen might lead one to the belief that there were many more. However, the Yellowstone bears always make them selves conspicuous around the garbage piles. It is be lieved that about 25,000 elk still remain in the park, in cluding those on the Teton game preserve south of the park. It is hoped that the future will sec a great area to the south of the park added, which will bring into the park proper the Grand Tetons and Jackson Lake Already this district has been claimed by many sum mer tourists, and many maps show this as being vir tually within the park. Originally the "Jackson Hole Country," the home of bandits, it gives every promise of becoming one of the country's greatest scenic spots.