above the ocean. It is twenty-five miles in length, embosomed mid mountains, gemmed with green islands, unique in form, and surrounded on all sides by hot springs of great variety, number and beauty. Jets of steam may be seen issuing from the hot springs, from the islands, even from the bosom of the lake itself. Some of the loftiest and most inaccessible mountain-ranges on the continent lift their snow-clad summits in the immediate vicinity. The scenery is colossal and full of savage grandeur.
    Following the river from the foot of the lake for the distance of nine miles, the visitor reaches the locality of Sulphur Mountain, the Mud Geyser, the Mud Volcano, and the Blowing Cavern, all objects of separate interest, and presenting novelties of rare and curious character.
    Ten miles farther down the river are the two great cataracts, and the Grand Cañon, of the Yellowstone, perhaps the most stupendous elements of scenery in the park. The upper fall is 115 feet in height; the lower, which plunges directly into the cañon, is 350 feet, and the cañon itself, varying from one to three thousand feet in depth, is forty miles in length, and for the whole distance presents to the eye the most wonderful chasm in the world. Jets of hot vapor issue from its sides, and color them with the most brilliant colors of nature. From its profound depths stars are visible in the day-time. Lieutenant Doane, who, in 1870, succeeded in reaching the bottom of the cañon, at a point where the walls are nearly 3,000 feet in height, in his official report (Senate Executive Document, No. 51, Forty-first Congress, third session) says: "It was about 3 o'clock p.m., and stars could be distinctly seen, so much of the sun-light was cut off from entering the chasm."
    About eighteen miles farther, and at a point of one mile divergence from the cañon, the beautiful fall of Tower Creek, with its grotesque surroundings, meets the eye; and twenty-five miles below this point, the most wonderful hot springs of Gardiner's River, with all their variety of beauty and novelty, assert their claims to be considered the most remarkable of the curiosities of the park.
    Thus, in a circuit of perhaps ninety miles, the greatest attractions of the park may be seen, and, at the close of the tour, the visitor is within seventy-five miles, over a good road, of Fort Ellis, and the beautiful town of Bozeman, in Montana Territory.
    It is impossible, in this report, to convey the faintest idea of the grandeur of the mountain and river scenery everywhere present on this ride. We venture to say that there is not in the world, within the same limit, so many wonderful freaks of physical geography, much to amaze and delight the beholder.
    The trip thus finished through the park, the traveler, at any time before the middle of August, may fitly complete it by proceeding from Bozeman to Helena, through the beautiful valleys of the Gallatin and the Upper Missouri, thence by coach through a highly picturesque country one hundred and forty miles to Fort Benton, where, in a fine river-steamer, he may complete the trip by a sail of six or seven days, of two thousand miles down the Missouri, to Omaha, or to the junction of the Northern Pacific Railroad, whence he may reach the sea-board by rail.
    I regard the explorations of this region as but just commenced. New wonders are continually presenting themselves. Jets of steam as yet unvisited are seen in all directions while passing through the park, many of which indicate the location of very extensive groups of hot springs. Columns of vapor, apparently 500 feet in height, seen by Lieutenant Doane and myself on my first visit in 1870, while on one of our mountain expeditions, have not as yet been visited. Mr. Stevenson Go to next page

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