The national park is the best idea America ever had.James Bryce
About the Park
Yellowstone National Park is one of the largest national parks and sits on top of a giant dormant volcano. This unique and fantastic park has more geysers, hot springs, and thermal features than any other place in the world; this vast park’s canyons, lakes, and waterfalls add to the intrigue of visiting. It is a bucket list National Park and should be high on your list to see.
Check out the view from the park!
Live it up!
Best Things to do in the Park
- See the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and go to Artist Point and take a picture you will always remember
- Seeing Old Faithful is a must do. It happens about every 90 minutes and just follow the crowds for timing
- Go to see herds of bison in Lamar Valley
- Take a short hike throughout Mammoth Hot Springs to see the steaming hot water spilling over travertine terraces
- Visit the Roosevelt Arch, which was the main entrance when the park opened.
- Go to Norris Geyser Basin and see a large collection of thermal features
- See the mud pots and hot springs at Artist Paintpots
- Visit the largest high-elevation lake at Yellowstone Lake, which offers boating and paddling
We enjoyed the wildlife of Yellowstone as much as all the incredible thermal features. These elk seemed to be used to everybody admiring them all day long! The park is filled with wildlife that is wonderful to view. This park should be on everyone’s bucket list!
Size of Park
2.22 Million acres
Yellowstone National Park is a super volcano and about half of the world’s hydrothermal features are found here.
Yellowstone National Park became the first national park in the country because of its hydrothermal and geologic features that attract visitors from around the world. Yellowstone is one of the largest national parks in the country, as it extends into parts of Idaho and Montana.
Inside the park, you will find more than 10,000 hydrothermal features, including fumaroles, hot springs, mud pots, travertine, geysers, and terraces. Besides its geysers, the park is also famous for its bison herds. It is believed that bison have lived in this region continuously since prehistoric times.
Another exciting feature of the park is its colorful terrain, especially its wide collection of blue-colored springs. As the sunlight passes through the deep, clear waters, it creates an intense blue color that is hard to forget!
The park has 1,000 miles of hiking trails that showcase Yellowstone’s geyser, waterfalls, and summit. Here are some hiking trails that pass through some of the most iconic areas of the park!
North Rim Trail
This trail is 6.4 miles long and is moderately difficult. The trail takes you through a route parallel to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. The hike begins near South Rim Drive and Grand Loop Road junctions. After crossing the bridge over the Yellowstone River, you will start your journey.
The trail also includes impressive viewpoints such as Crystal Falls Overlook, Grand View, and Lookout Point. Finally, the track ends at Inspiration Point, which offers some more spectacular canyon views.
Uncle Tom’s Trail
This trail is less than a mile long and has an elevation of 116 meters. The trail is extremely short, but the nature of this route can make it a challenge. Starting at Upper Falls Viewpoint Parking Lot, this steep track descends over 300 steps and takes you to the base of the Lower Falls.
Trout Lake Loop
Trout Lake Loop is a little over a mile long and is located in Lamar Valley. With slight elevation, this trail is suitable for everyone as you hike around Trout Lake. You will also spot wildlife, including ospreys, otters, and grizzly bears. In summer, the meadow surrounding the lake gets covered with wildflowers, creating a peaceful view.
Avalanche Peak Trail
If you are looking for a challenging hike, you can always opt for the Avalanche Peak Trail, which is 4.5 miles long and has an elevation of 630 meters. It is located near Yellowstone Lake and involves a lot of climbing. After you are done with the hike, you will be welcomed with panoramic views of the eastern part of the park.
Beaver Ponds Loop Trail
This trail is relatively easy, but due to its long length, it may not be a cup of tea for inexperienced hikers. This 6-mile-long trail lets you explore the western side of the park. Winding through sagebrush meadows and a forest, the trail takes you to a sprawling pond. Halfway through the trail, you will also witness the beaver dams.
Camping in the Park
There are 12 campgrounds inside the park; Madison Campground, Canyon Campground, Slough Creek Campground, Bridge Bay Campground, Indian Creek Campground, Grant Village Campground, Lewis Lake Campground, Mammoth Hot Springs Campground, Pebble Creek Campground, Norris Campground.
Each Yellowstone campground provides a unique set of opportunities to the campers. Unfortunately, almost all the sites except Mammoth Campground have to be reserved beforehand as the campsites here fill up quickly.
Situated in the southern part of the park, Grant village Campground is one of the largest campgrounds with 400 campsites. With Grant village nearby, campers have access to restaurants, grocery stores, and other luxuries. You can also go fishing and boating in a lake close to the campground.
Pebble Creek Campground has 27 campsites and is a haven for those looking for a mountain camping experience. With an elevation of 2100 meters and glorious views of the Absaroka Range, the campsites offer a rustic experience to their guests amid the wilderness.
There are 273 sites in Madison Campground, but they fill up quickly due to their popularity. The campground can be easily accessed and is located near West Yellowstone Town, so you can pick up camping supplies.
Slough Creek Campground is preferred by those looking to spend a day amid wildlife. You will have a very basic camping experience here, and who knows, you might also end up seeing a few creatures like spy pronghorn, elk, bears, and bison!
With 79 campsites, Indian Creek Campground is located in a picturesque complex. Located far away from the noisy main roads, this rugged campground offers a peaceful environment and provides restroom facilities, fire pits, and picnic tables.
If you are looking for campgrounds near the national park, you will find comfortable camping spots at Eagle Creek Campground, Lonesomehurst Campground, and Cabin Creek Campground. These campgrounds are located a few miles from Yellowstone National Park and provide access to toilets and water. We stayed at Yellowstone River RV park on the park’s north side. It was one of our favorites!
Named for the Roman goddess of sculptors and artists, this viewpoint does justice to its name as this terrace is a highlight of the Mammoth Hot Springs Area. This area goes through different periods of activity where it is either dry, or its large travertine deposits can cover the boardwalk.
A moveable walkway near the terrace gives tourists the best view of these icy cascades. While you can have the best view from the Lower Terraces boardwalk, you can also drive up to Upper Terraces Overlook.
Observation Point offers a broader view of the Upper Geyser Basin and the Old Faithful, another iconic geyser with its unique charm. Most tourists come here because of the geyser’s predictable and frequent eruptions, which can be easily captured in photos and videos.
Observation Point is also visitor-friendly as it is easily accessible and provides some seating.
Grand Prismatic Overlook
The list of best viewpoints in Yellowstone National Park is complete with the Grand Prismatic Overlook. This overlook shows you the most popular sight in the park, the Grand Prismatic Spring, which is one of the main attractions for every visitor.
From the overlook, the Grand Prismatic Spring looks otherworldly. It is hard to take your eyes off this geological wonder with its blue, yellow, and orange shades. Being 370 feet wide, the Grand Prismatic is the third-largest hot spring in the world. You can also walk the boardwalk next to the spring to get a closer view!
Artist Point offers a direct view of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. The canyon is one of the many iconic features of the park and is also one of the most photographed places. The contrast of warm hues against the rocky canyon shows how massive the river canyon is! The point’s name was inspired by an artist, Thomas Moran. It was initially thought Moran stood at this point to paint the canyon in the 1880s. Since then, this place has proved to be a fantastic viewpoint for many people, with us being two of them!
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Getting to the Park
The closest airport to Yellowstone National Park is the West Yellowstone Airport (WYS) and is 35 miles from the park entrance. There is also the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport in Bozeman, Montana, which is about 90 minutes to the north entrance. Another option is the Jackson Hole Airport (JAC), which is between the entrances to Grand Teton and Yellowstone, if visiting both parks.
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