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The Ultimate Guide to Yellowstone National Park — Best Things To Do, See & Enjoy!

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Amar Hussain
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Amar Hussain

Senior Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 63U.S. States Visited: 9

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications incl...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

Countries Visited: 44U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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Journey back in time when visiting Yellowstone National Park, the first national park in the world. This massive park stretches over 2 million acres of land through 3 different U.S. states and brings over 4 million visitors each year.

Yellowstone is home to never-ending prairies, majestic mountain ranges, and a plethora of wildlife. This incredible park also has a host of rivers, lakes, and forests and amazing geothermal features such as Old Faithful, the park’s most famous geyser.

Experience the untouched natural beauty and discover the grandeur of Yellowstone National Park.

How To Get to Yellowstone National Park

Where Is Yellowstone National Park?

Yellowstone National Park is located in the northwest region of the U.S. It is such a large area that it is actually found in 3 U.S. states: Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. There are 5 entrances to the park, which is why planning is of extreme importance, so you can know which entrance to utilize so you don’t waste time getting to the sights on your itinerary.

Nearest Airports to Yellowstone National Park

The fastest way to get to the park is by plane, and Yellowstone National Park has an airport near every entrance.

Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN)

Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, near Bozeman, Montana, is the most convenient and closest way to get to the North or West Entrance to the park. This airport is lovingly nicknamed “The Gateway to Yellowstone” and is a popular airport for adventurers.

Bozeman is the only airport that provides year-round service for these entrances, and it also provides nonstop flights to over 20 big cities in the U.S. Choosing flights to and from Bozeman ensures that travelers make the most of their vacation and that they use their travel time in the best way possible.

Idaho Falls Regional Airport (IDA)

Idaho Falls Regional Airport is another option when planning your trip. This airport is 2.5 hours from the West Entrance of the park. Travelers like this option because of its close proximity to Yellowstone and other national parks. This airport is served by 6 well-known airlines that offer nonstop flights to 13 destinations in the U.S.

Jackson Hole Airport (JAC)

Jackson Hole Airport is the final airport option for traveling to Yellowstone National Park. This airport is around 1 hour away from the South Entrance to the park. Jackson Hole is serviced year-round by Alaska, American, Delta, and United.

Yellowstone Airport (WYS)

Yellowstone Airport is a smaller airport located near the park’s West Entrance. This option is just 10 minutes from the park. The commercial carriers for Yellowstone Airport are Delta and United. The airport provides services during the months of May through October.

Yellowstone Regional Airport (COD)

Yellowstone Regional Airport is located less than an hour from the park near Cody, Wyoming, which is a fun town to visit en route to the park for its famous Buffalo Bill Village. United Express serves Yellowstone Regional Airport year-round and offers flights to and from Denver (DEN).

Driving

Yellowstone National Park Road
Image Credit: Zachary Musser via Unsplash

For those who want the true road trip experience, driving is always an option to get to Yellowstone. Many families will load up their cars, vans, or RVs and set out for an unforgettable journey to make memories of a lifetime along the way.

This park is expansive and has 5 entrances that offer very different experiences, so preplanning is the most important part of this road trip. Another important factor is researching which entrances will permit vehicle access at the time of year you are traveling. Some entrances are closed throughout the year, so in order to save time, checking the entrance information in advance is a must. Once you have decided which entrance you want to utilize, you will be ready to begin.

The most popular entrance to Yellowstone National Park is the West Entrance which takes you through the quaint town of West Yellowstone. This entrance brings you to Geyser Country, home of the infamous Old Faithful.

The West Entrance also gives immediate access to some of the most remarkable geothermal features in the park, including over 500 geysers, hot springs, and mud pots.

The North Entrance was originally designed to be the main entrance to the park. Guests can access Mammoth Hot Springs and the Boiling River at this entrance.

Lamar Valley is the perfect place to view the diverse wildlife found in the park. This area is easily accessed from the Northeast Entrance.

The East Entrance is home to the largest mountain lake, Yellowstone Lake. A little further is Buffalo Bill Dam and Sylvan Pass.

The easiest entrance to Yellowstone is the South Entrance. This entrance is where Lower Geyser Basin, Fountain Paint Pot, and the Great Fountain Geyser can be found.

Train

For those wanting to get to Yellowstone National Park, the closest Amtrak station to the park is in Salt Lake City, Utah. From there, you can rent a car or RV to get to the park.

Getting Around Yellowstone National Park

The best option for exploring Yellowstone is by car. The park consists of 310 miles of paved roads, which makes exploring easy. There are also several companies that offer bus tours. These tours take off from one of the many visitor areas.

Cycling enthusiasts also ride their bikes throughout the parks. If you prefer to cycle through Yellowstone, it is important to note that there are no bike lanes or safe shoulders. You will be sharing the road with those driving vehicles as well as wildlife. While this would be an exciting way to experience Yellowstone, it could be dangerous at times.

The main road in Yellowstone is called the Grand Loop. It is a long drive to try and complete in 1 day, as it is 142 miles around the park in a figure 8 shape. This loop connects adventurers to all the must-see attractions, such as Mammoth Hot Springs, Old Faithful, and Fountain Pots.

When traveling through the park, don’t forget to take your hiking boots with you. There are many hiking trails throughout the park that offer incredible views of the landscape and wildlife.

In the snowy parts of the park, snowmobiles, snowcoaches, and skiing are available as exciting ways to explore the park.

Hot Tip: Whether you travel by car or bus tour through the park, it’s important to have your list of must-see attractions planned in advance so that you don’t miss a thing.

Yellowstone National Park Map

The National Park Service offers free printable maps of the park, which are also available in braille, audio description, and large print.

Yellowstone National Park Map
Image Credit: National Park Service

What To See and Do in Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park, perfectly nicknamed “Wonderland,” is filled with countless sights to behold. From incredible geysers to scenic views to amazing wildlife, there is something for everyone to discover when visiting this majestic park.

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Yellowstone’s very own Grand Canyon is a sight to behold. This expansive canyon is about 20 miles long and 800 to 1,200 feet deep. The Yellowstone River flows into this canyon and cascades over Lower Yellowstone Falls.

With colorful canyon walls, rushing waterfalls, interesting wildlife, and incredible hiking trails, this is definitely a stop you want to make while exploring Yellowstone National Park.

Grand Prismatic Spring

Grand Prismatic Spring
Image Credit: Meina Yin via Unsplash

Grand Prismatic Spring is the U.S. and Yellowstone’s largest hot spring and is located between the Upper and Lower Geyser Basins. This geothermal attraction is famous for its rainbow colors.

There are walking trails and various vantage points where guests can take photos and observe the natural beauty of the spring, but a favorite viewpoint comes from the boardwalk close to the spring.

Hayden Valley

This valley is located in the center of Yellowstone and offers incredible views of wildlife found in the park. Haden Valley is home to elk, grizzly bears, and herds of bison. You can also see lots of waterfowl near the Yellowstone River, including Canadian geese, pelicans, and ducks.

Lamar Valley

Lamar Valley is one of the best places to see wildlife in Yellowstone. Visitors often overlook this location due to its remoteness, but it is one that should make it to your must-see list for its incredible landscapes and wildlife.

This is a place where animals such as deer, pronghorn, elk, gray wolves, grizzly bears, and bison freely roam. The perfect time to see this incredible array of wildlife is at dawn or dusk.

Mammoth Hot Springs

This must-see feature is very different from the other geothermal areas in Yellowstone. In this area, water flows through limestone instead of volcanic rock. This limestone is from an ancient sea that used to cover the park.

This limestone is carried out and deposited as white travertine, leaving exquisite patterns and designs. Natural staircases have been formed this way, as well as cascades.

The Mammoth Hot Springs region is made up of 2 parts: the Mammoth Lower Terraces and Mammoth Upper Terraces. These 2 areas are connected by stairs and boardwalks and provide guests with stunning views of the natural land features and hot springs. This attraction is sure to take your breath away.

Mount Washburn

Mount Washburn has an elevation of 10,219 feet and is a very well-known mountain peak in Yellowstone. This peak became popular as an early attraction in the park’s history because of the stunning views that can be taken in from the top. There are now hiking trails where adventurers can explore Yellowstone’s beauty from an exhilarating vantage point.

Old Faithful

Old Faithful
Image Credit: Emily Campbell via Unsplash

The most famous attraction in Yellowstone is Old Faithful. This geyser is the largest, regularly erupting geyser in the park. Visitors love to watch the breathtaking eruptions from the viewing area or on the boardwalk surrounding the geyser.

If you’d like to see the eruption from a different vantage point, there’s an observation point where you can see this remarkable site from an elevated distance.

For a more relaxed Old Faithful experience, guests can view the spectacular sight while sipping a drink on the viewing deck at the Old Faithful Inn. Eruptions occur every 60 to 110 minutes and last up to 5 minutes long.

Old Faithful Inn

While Old Faithful Inn isn’t a natural attraction found in Yellowstone, it is one of the top attractions in the park. This national historic landmark was built in 1903 and 1904 and is one of the oldest lodges in the park. The inn is considered the largest log structure in the world and has an impressive interior as well as exterior.

Many people decide to stay at Old Faithful Inn for their vacation, but you don’t have to be a guest to visit. There are organized tours of the lodge that are free of charge and that are offered several times a day.

Tower Fall

Tower Fall Yellowstone
Nina Perminova via Unsplash

Tower Fall is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Yellowstone National Park. This stunning waterfall is located in the northeastern part of Yellowstone and plunges an incredible 132 feet. Not only is there the breathtaking waterfall to take in, but massive, unusual rock columns are there to see. These impressive columns were created centuries ago by a lava flow that cracked during the cooling process.

Upper Geyser Basin

The Upper Geyser Basin is found right in the heart of Yellowstone and is comprised of different areas for adventurers to explore. Some of these areas include the Old Faithful area, Black Sand Basin, Geyser Hill, and Biscuit Basin.

The Upper Geyser Basin is home to the largest concentration of geysers in the world, which makes it the perfect location for seeing these natural phenomena in action.

West Thumb Geyser Basin

West Thumb Geyser Basin is one of the smallest geothermal areas in Yellowstone, but it is one that explorers love to visit.

This area has an incredible trail that follows the lakeshore and passes many thermal features, including Yellowstone’s deepest hydrothermal pool, Abyss Pool. The colorful geothermal pools are colorful and stunning and are fun to take pictures of.

Yellowstone Grand Loop Road

Grand Loop is the main road found in Yellowstone National Park. Driving on this road is one of the best things to do while visiting the park.

This figure 8-shaped road winds around the park, and the scenery will take your breath away. If you drive the entire road, you will pass all of the major attractions in Yellowstone, except Lamar Valley.

The road is an impressive 142 miles long and takes between 4 to 8 hours to completely drive it all. So if you want to stop and explore along Grand Loop Road, which is highly recommended, it could take 3 to 4 days to visit the attractions near the road.

Yellowstone Lake

Yellowstone Lake is America’s largest high-elevation lake and is a major attraction of Yellowstone National Park. This stunning lake stretches over 20 miles long and 14 miles wide and has an incredible shore where tourists can stand in awe of its magnificence and beauty.

Swimming is not prohibited at Yellowstone Lake due to its frigid temperatures, but many adventure activities are hosted on and near the lake, such as boating, fishing, hiking, and camping.

Best Times To Visit Yellowstone National Park

While Yellowstone National Park is open year-round, there are times during the year when certain areas and entrances of the park are unable to be accessed and utilized. It is wise to plan your trip to be sure that you are able to see everything on your wish list while not having to worry about closures.

Best Time To Visit Yellowstone for Fall Colors

Fall is a magnificent time in general, but experiencing autumn in Yellowstone is truly a remarkable occasion. The best time for viewing the bright fall colors in Yellowstone National Park ranges from the last week of September through the first week of October.

While this is a short window of time, if you are able to make it, you won’t regret it. Some great areas to see the vibrant colors include Lamar Valley and Mammoth Hot Springs.

Best Time To Visit Yellowstone in Winter

Yellowstone in winter
Image Credit: Andre Benz via Unsplash

If you are planning a winter trip to Yellowstone, the best times are from mid-December through February. While most of the roads and facilities are closed during these times, there are plenty of winter activities to be enjoyed.

Winter is a magical time to view wildlife. The wildlife tends to gather in the lower elevations, so big horn sheep, wolves, foxes, bison, elk, and coyotes are easy to spot in the valleys.

Many parts of the park are open for “Winter Recreation Season,” but there are also several parts of Yellowstone that can only be accessed with snow vehicles.

Hot Tip: The most popular entrance for winter touring is the West Entrance, where guests can ski, go on snowshoe trails, and take advantage of snowcoach and snowmobile tours.

Best Time To Visit Yellowstone To Avoid the Crowds

November through March are ideal months for planning a trip to Yellowstone if you are seeking a less crowded experience. These months are considered the off-season, which means lighter crowds and more opportunities to explore the park at your preferred pace.

Should you visit Yellowstone during the regular season, a less crowded entrance is the East Entrance. This is the perfect entrance for visitors who want to avoid crowds as much as possible.

Now that we know the best times to avoid crowds, it may also be helpful to learn about the busiest times for visitors to the park. June through September are considered the busiest months at Yellowstone, so if you are hoping to have a less crowded vacation, you will want to avoid these months at all costs.

Best Time To Visit Yellowstone for Camping

A popular time for camping at Yellowstone is in the month of September. This time is perfect since summer temperatures are still present during the days. The average daily temperatures are in the high 60s and in the high 30s at night. This time of year is also great for camping since the crowds have thinned out, which means reserving a campsite is a breeze.

Best Time To Visit Yellowstone for Wildlife

Bison in Yellowstone National Park
Image Credit: Klaus Stebani via Pixabay

The off-season is also the perfect time for experiencing wildlife. There are other months when wildlife emerges and can be viewed by tourists.

Bears come out from hibernation between March and April, many birds return from migration right before May, and elk emerge seeking a mate starting in the middle of September. If you are hoping to see elk, bison, moose, and mountain goats, they are easy to observe in the summer months, which just so happens to be the busiest season at the park.

Best Time To Visit Yellowstone for Photography

It’s no secret that we love a good photo op these days, and Yellowstone sets the scene for stunning photography. It’s true that every season provides opportunities for incredible photographs, but the months of April, May, September, and October are truly the most spectacular times for capturing the beauty of Yellowstone.

These seasons are typically less crowded and the scenery is perfect with less snow and lots of lush plant life. Most of the areas in the park are open during these months, including lodging and campsites, which gives photographers a perfect opportunity to capture sunsets and sunrises.

Summertime is another great time for photographers to capture Yellowstone. The park is filled with lively wildlife, beautiful foliage, and lots of daylight hours for shooting. The downfall of the summer months is that the park is crowded, which can make capturing the perfect shot difficult.

Winter is another great season for photographers. The snowy landscapes, in contrast with the hydrothermal attractions, create stunning photo opportunities as long as the photographer is ready to brave the wind, snow, and cold temperatures.

Hot Tip: Check out our guide to the best travel cameras, including compact, DSLR, and mirrorless options.

Best Time To Visit Yellowstone for the Incredible Weather

The ideal time to visit Yellowstone and experience the best weather is during the summer. The weather is typically 70 degrees during the daytime, which is perfect for hiking and exploring the park.

Other advantages of visiting Yellowstone during the summer are the extended daylight hours and lovely weather during the night. Summertime is also the driest time at Yellowstone, which means you don’t need to worry about rain ruining your exploration plans.

Whether you are camping, exploring, or lodging, summers at Yellowstone provide the best experience for your adventure vacation.

Best Time To Visit Yellowstone for Hiking and Backpacking

Summer and early fall are the ideal months for those who want to hike and backpack through the park. If you choose to hike before the summer, you may find snow-covered or closed trails.

The weather during this time is warm and filled with sunshine. The extended daylight hours also allow adventurers extra hours to explore the park. Hiking during these months can also mean that wildlife is easily viewed.

Cheapest Time To Visit Yellowstone

To plan the most affordable trip to Yellowstone, adventurers should schedule their visit during the park’s slow season, which is between mid-September to April.

Early spring is typically a cheaper time to visit the park because guests can expect lower prices on flights and lodging rates. These rates typically begin to climb by Memorial Day weekend and stay high for the remainder of the summer.

Annual Events in Yellowstone National Park

Several months during the year, the park hosts a variety of events for adventurers to experience. These events are available during the winter, summer, and fall. These events have included snowshoe walks led by park rangers, a Geysers Galore! talk, Junior Ranger Wildlife Olympics, and a Geyser Hill walk.

Hot Tip: For more tips, see our guide on the best times to visit Yellowstone National Park (by seasons and interests).

Where To Stay in Yellowstone National Park

Whether you choose to stay in the park or near the park, there are dozens of options guests can choose from when it comes to lodging. Tourists can choose from an authentic camping experience or luxury resort-style accommodations both in and around the park.

Accommodations Inside Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone has a diverse array of lodging types available inside the park. Adventurers have the choice between modern, historic hotels or rustic cabins. No matter your lodging preference, you can rest assured that Yellowstone National Park has the perfect accommodations for your vacation right in the park.

Old Faithful Inn

Old Faithful Inn
Image Credit: Yellowstone National Park Lodges

The Old Faithful Inn is the world’s largest log structure and is the most requested lodging location for visitors to the park. The inn has a stunning view of the magnificent Old Faithful geyser and has a variety of unique amenities to help guests have an experience of a lifetime.

Old Faithful Inn has over 300 guest rooms, a restaurant and lounge, and historic charm that creates a unique ambiance throughout the property.

Canyon Lodge & Cabins

Canyon Lodge & Cabins is a beautiful facility that has the most accommodations available in Yellowstone. There are over 500 rooms and cabins for guests to choose from. This lodging option is located on the east side of Yellowstone and is near the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River.

Lake Yellowstone Hotel & Cabins

Lake Yellowstone Hotel & Cabins is a stunning historic landmark that is the oldest operating hotel in Yellowstone. The hotel was restored to its Colonial Revival heritage in 2014 with profound interior renovations.

The hotel was declared a National Historic Landmark in 2015 and offers guests remarkable hotel accommodations or frontier cabins, a dining room, and a bar. Visitors enjoy taking in the view of Yellowstone Lake from the hotel.

Explorer Cabins

The Explorer Cabins are located in the heart of West Yellowstone in a cluster of 5 camp settings. There are 50 cabins in total, and this lodging option provides visitors with a unique rustic experience with convenient amenities such as housekeeping, Wi-Fi, luxury linens, and a kitchenette. The Explorer Cabins make the perfect choice for family vacations or a couple’s getaway.

Campgrounds and Campsites

For those wanting to experience the great outdoors, camping is an excellent choice. The park has 12 campgrounds that feature over 2,000 campsites. These campsites are typically filled in a first-come, first-served manner. Many campsites can be reserved in advance.

Accommodations Outside Yellowstone National Park

There are 13 gateway towns located near each entrance of the park. These towns offer adventurers lodging, dining, and a variety of activities while visiting Yellowstone National Park.

Each town offers unique experiences for tourists to enjoy during their vacation. Whether you are searching for a small, quiet location or a lively, exciting destination, these gateway towns have something to offer everyone.

Montana

Big Sky

Big Sky is a mountain village located in the heights of Madison Mountain Range. This town has luxury lodging options, campgrounds, restaurants, and shopping centers. Big Sky is about an hour from the West Entrance to Yellowstone and is the dream destination for travelers to get the best of both worlds: adventure and relaxation.

Bozeman

Bozeman is a quaint town near the North or West Entrance to Yellowstone. This town is a college town that has plenty to offer visitors. Bozeman has many restaurants, plenty of places for lodging, and tourist centers to help with planning your trip.

This town is also a place with a busy community calendar. Travelers can enjoy theater productions, live music, farmer’s markets, and art walks. There are also many opportunities to spend time in nature with amazing fly fishing rivers, hiking trails, and skiing available in the town.

Cooke City

Situated right outside the Northeast Entrance of Yellowstone National Park, Cooke City it is a perfect destination for travelers who seek a laid-back vacation with fewer crowds. This gateway town is known for being the quietest of them all.

The town offers visitors dozens of motels, bed and breakfasts, vacation rentals, and several restaurants and guide services. This location is perfect for those who want to experience the great outdoors with opportunities for fly fishing, camping, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing.

Gardiner

Gardiner is located right outside the North Entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Gardiner is Yellowstone’s only year-round entrance for vehicles, which makes it a popular destination for visitors during the winter.

Gardiner has a host of motels and a couple of campgrounds for lodging, a small airport, several restaurants, souvenir shops, and art galleries.

Those who stay in Gardiner enjoy driving through Paradise Valley, viewing the hot springs at Chico Hot Springs, and hiking through the mountains. Gardiner makes the perfect destination for travelers planning to visit Yellowstone.

West Yellowstone

West Yellowstone is an incredibly convenient tourist town right outside the West Entrance to Yellowstone Park. West Yellowstone has everything someone could need while vacationing, including a host of souvenir shops, a Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, an IMAX theater, a historic center, and a variety of restaurants and lodging options.

Wyoming

Cody

Cody is located on the far east side of the park and can be accessed easily from the East Entrance. This town is a famous western landmark and has an abundance of history and appeal to visitors. The town was made famous by its nightly summer rodeo and has an abundance of hiking, fishing, and camping opportunities.

While staying in Cody, visitors enjoy spending time at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and Buffalo Bill State Park or dining in incredible restaurants and diners in the center of the town. Cody is also an amazing place for shopping for western gear, souvenirs, and gifts.

Jackson Hole

Jackson Hole
Image Credit: Makenzie Cooper via Unsplash

Jackson Hole is situated near Yellowstone’s South Entrance. This community is known for the best ski areas in the county. There are many things to see and do in Jackson Hole, including sleigh rides through the National Elk Refuge, fly fishing, rafting, and snowmobiling.

The town square is where tourists gather for dining and shopping opportunities that line the square. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is the most esteemed of the 3 resorts found in the town. This resort offers guests skiing, hiking trails, and tram rides through the mountains.

Where To Eat in Yellowstone National Park

With 9 lodges, 12 campgrounds, and hundreds of campsites found in the park, Yellowstone has several options for dining around each of these lodging options. Restaurants and cafeterias are found near the lodges, and there are several general stores throughout the park where guests can grab snacks on the go.

Top customer-rated dining experiences include Mammoth Hot Springs General Store, Old Faithful General Store – Lower, and Roosevelt Lodge Dining Room.

Mammoth Hot Springs General Store

When most people hear general store, they aren’t thinking of great food made to order, but Mammoth Hot Springs General Store isn’t your average store. This store has typical groceries, but it also has a grill where guests can refuel their bodies with a quick, incredible meal.

Guests can take advantage of the indoor dining area or set up a picnic outdoors while enjoying their meals.

Old Faithful General Store – Lower

Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Old Faithful General Store – Lower is another great option for guests who want to enjoy a delicious meal at a reasonable price. Burgers and milkshakes are popular with diners and can be enjoyed in the indoor dining area or the outdoor picnic area.

Adventurers especially love dining outdoors and enjoy watching the nearby wildlife graze and roam while they eat. Now that’s dinner with a view!

Roosevelt Lodge Dining Room

This dining option is built near Theodore Roosevelt’s favorite location and is a Yellowstone tribute to the Old West. This rustic log lodge has 2 stone fireplaces, a family-style restaurant, a lobby bar, and a front porch for relaxing and taking in the scenery.

Roosevelt Lodge Dining Room serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. Offering excellent views and reasonable pricing, guests enjoy this casual dining experience and often come back for several during their stay.

Yellowstone National Park Facts

Yellowstone National Park Waterfall
Image Credit: Gintarė Kairaitytė via Pexels

1. Yellowstone Is an Active Super Volcano

Beneath Yellowstone lies one of the world’s largest active volcanoes. The last lava flow was approximately 70,000 years ago. This volcano is monitored closely for seismic activity, so adventurers can freely explore the park without worry.

2. The First National Park

Yellowstone became the first national park in 1872 when President Grant signed a bill into law to protect the land of the park area. This act was the beginning of national parks and set the stage for preserving land and wildlife.

3. Home to the Most Famous Geyser on Earth

Yellowstone is home to the most famous geyser on earth, Old Faithful. While this geyser is not the biggest in the world or even in the park, it is the largest, most consistent geyser that erupts. Visitors from all over the world come to Yellowstone to see this phenomenal geyser.

4. Yellowstone Has the Third Largest Hot Spring in the World

Grand Prismatic Spring is about 90 meters wide and 50 meters deep. This spring is known for being the largest hot spring in Yellowstone and the third largest in the world.

5. Highest Lake Elevation in North America

At 7,733 feet above sea level, Yellowstone Lake is the largest high elevation lake in the entire North American continent. This massive lake is around 20 miles long and 14 miles wide with 141 miles of shoreline. While this lake is unsuitable for swimming, visitors can take boat tours, go fishing, and take in stunning views from the shore.

6. Over 500 Active Geysers in the Park

While Old Faithful is the most talked about geyser in the park, there are actually over 500 active geysers found in Yellowstone National Park.

7. Largest Concentration of Mammals in the Lower 48 States

There are at least 67 mammal species that can be found in Yellowstone National Park. These mammals include bison, moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, coyotes, grizzly bears, white-tailed deer, and mountain lions.

8. Earthquakes in the Park

Since Yellowstone sits on top of an active supervolcano, the park is one of the most seismically active areas in the nation. Each year, between 700 and 3,000 earthquakes occur in the park.

9. Waterfalls Galore

Yellowstone features 290 waterfalls throughout the park. Famous falls include Yellowstone River Upper and Lower Falls. These waterfalls can be viewed from a variety of hiking trails throughout the park.

10. Over 10,000 Hydrothermal Features

The geysers in Yellowstone are very well known, but there are over 10,000 hydrothermal features in the park, including mud pots, hot springs, and fumaroles. There is even a volcanic opening that releases steam and hot gases.

Final Thoughts

Yellowstone National Park has something to offer everyone, from its awe-inspiring landscapes, astonishing geothermal features, remarkable wildlife, and remarkable hiking trails.

With a little research and some wise planning, you can be prepared for an unforgettable vacation in this magnificent park. Yellowstone is a trip of a lifetime that you will want to experience again and again over the years.

Frequently Asked Questions

How did Yellowstone National Park get its name?

Yellowstone National Park is named after the Yellowstone River, which is the major river that runs through the park. The river was named by a Native American tribe that gave the river a name that translated to Yellow Stone.

Is Yellowstone the largest national park?

Even though Yellowstone is massive, it is not the largest national park. Until 1994, Yellowstone was the largest national park in the U.S., but Elias National Park & Preserve in Alaska now holds that title.

Is swimming in the rivers and lakes permitted at Yellowstone National Park?

Swimming is not a recommended activity for visitors to Yellowstone. Some lakes have icy temperatures and swimming could be a health hazard. There are some places near the park where swimming is permitted, but not inside the park.

How do I get an entrance pass for Yellowstone?

There are several options for obtaining an entrance pass for Yellowstone. Guests can choose from 7-day passes, annual passes, or even an all-parks pass which gets you into any national park for a full year. Park passes can be purchased at the entrance station where you enter the park.

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About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.

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