The First: Yellowstone National Park

Nearly 3,500 square miles stretches over Wyoming atop a volcanic hot spot. Bedecked with deep canyons, alpine rivers, a kaleidoscopic spring, rich forests, and enthusiastic geysers, Yellowstone National Park is home to hundreds of animals and plays generous host to visitors near and far coming to stand in the grandeur of this highly revered natural landscape. 

In 1872, Yellowstone became the world’s first national park. While people heard of the springs and geysers, interest didn’t peak until two men, Thomas Moran, an artist, and photographer William Henry Jackson brought the park’s beauty to life with their photographs and art. It wasn’t soon before Congress and Ulysses S. Grant joined together to make Yellowstone National Park the first of many national parks. Yellowstone welcomes over four million visitors each year and has taken up a space as the quintessential family vacation location.

When visiting, there are many places to enjoy, all with their unique splendor that adds to the overall grandeur of Yellowstone. In the midst of forest and valley lies Yellowstone Lake. As the air skips the surface of the vast water, the smells of water and greenery sear into the brain with visions of crystalline water and lush vegetation. An enigmatic wolf peeks out of the magnificent flora. Your heart skips. The endless trails beckon as you venture to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone or the awe-inspiring sight of the Upper Yellowstone Falls.

Who could forget a rainbow bursting from the ground?  A technicolor result of minerals and microbial mats, the Grand Prismatic Spring forever bubbles in the memory like its water so blue and powerful. Of course, you can’t miss that which most people clamor to see, Old Faithful. The air swirls around this magnificent feat with a softening mist that quells the scent of the excited asphalt gurgling up. Then you feel the heat and see the water surge miraculously from the earth.

Yellowstone National Park is the epitome of sensory overload unless you live in each moment. The brisk air blows by, shortly followed by warm mist falling onto freckled faces and shoulders. Listen to the sounds of the springs gurgling, the birds calling, and kids wondering aloud at the splendor of nature around them. The eyes are greedily given more deep blues and greens than they’ve ever seen, while seeing rainbows within each spring erupt into the sky. Finally, the smells occupy the landscape as the freshness of air and water mingle with the foliage and flowers to create an intoxicating santal, warmed by the sun and energy of the park.

There is nothing quite like the first and Yellowstone is no different. Revisit this epic park anytime with our Yellowstone candle. Take a moment inside or out, close your eyes and deeply inhale the nostalgia of that first visit or all the ones that followed. Take time tonight for a remembered walk in the verdant forests, the smell of water on the air, and the feel of the mist as it tickles your nose once again, if just for a moment.