A Guide to make the most of Your Visit to Yellowstone National Park

Sep 19, 2019


  • 1. Numbers for Yellow Stone National Park
  • 2. Entry to the Park
  • 3. Mammoth Hot Springs
  • 4. Canyon Village
  • 5. Lake Village
  • 6. Old Faithful Village
  • 7. Grant Village
  • 8. Lesser-known Gems to explore
  • i. Morning Glory Pool
  • ii. Shoshone Geyser Basin
  • iii. Mr. Bubbles Spring
  • iv. Black Sand Basin
  • v. The Ferry Falls Trail Overlook
  • 9. Where to Stay
  • 10. Best Time to visit the Park
  • Show More

Yellowstone National Park was created on March 1, 1872, when there was almost no concept of conservation of wildlife or nature and its positive effects on the planet, climate change effects, and all those modern-day worries. The park is a major destination for all members of the family. For the active visitor, the park has thousands of miles of trails from day hikes to backcountry explorations. This park is home to an incomparable combination of natural beauty, rugged wilderness, majestic peaks, and abundant wildlife.

These natural features of the Yellowstone national park preserved over the last 150 years without degradation make it one of the must-visit places in the United States. Some of the places and natural phenomena you must experience and watch are listed below to help you out to properly plan your visit to the park. It is a place with a diverse range of activities for all types of people, the adventurous one who like hiking in more than 900 miles of trails, horse riding, boating, fishing, skiing. Similar to other sports activities like the peace-lover who are interested in spending some time in the serene natural scenic surroundings amidst nature at its pristine best.

A Guide to make the most of Your Visit to Yellowstone National Park

The Yellowstone National Park is surrounded by the three states Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, with 96% of it located in Wyoming. It has the largest number of natural Geysers, with around 500 active ones. It also has thousands of hot springs which make this place a potential tinderbox of geothermal activity. This is the largest intact temperature ecosystem in this world which also has rich wildlife. The Yellowstone River winds through the Yellowstone National park and has several waterfalls and mountain ranges along the route. Its abundant and thriving wildlife includes the imposing grizzly bears, bison, wolves, and other animals. The Yellowstone National park has its version of the Grand Canyon, a 22-mile long trench which runs along the Yellowstone River and rises to 1200 Ft above the river, apart from massive areas of wilderness. The canyon village is at the edge of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. All these fantastic places are sure to arouse your curiosity to plan a visit to this place to experience nature at its best.

A Guide to make the most of Your Visit to Yellowstone National Park

The Yellowstone national park has 5 different approaches and has 5 main hubs. Each one is having its special features and is differentiated by its own uniquely distinctive geothermal image and geographical uniqueness. All the approaches to the park converge on to the Grand Loop road which runs through the Yellowstone national park resembling the figure of 8. The five main hubs are Old Faithful, Grant Village, Lake Village, Canyon Village, and the Mammoth Hot Springs.

You have the best scenic entry from the Gardiner, Montana through the road that runs along the Gardiner River under the Roosevelt arch. It is named after the then United States president who inaugurated that place. The road reaches the Mammoth Hot Springs and the Yellowstone national park Headquarters which is the Albright visitor centre. This centre was built in 1909 as a bachelors’ station for the United States army cavalry which used to protect the park before a National park service was created for this specific purpose. This centre has very useful information for the visitors like its history, wildlife details, and bookstore, apart from utilities like restrooms. It has an orientation area with interactive displays to enrich the information for proper tour planning. Backcountry camping, boating and fishing permits are issued here, while the park rangers offer various tour programs and educational talks for the tourists.

You can take any of the three drives if you happen to visit during summer. You can have different views of the area with each one of them. The Mammoth hot spring travertine terraces drop down the hillside like a steaming waterfall, giving out the smell of Sulphur all round. You can take a walk or a drive to have a view of the lower and upper end of the terraces. You can take a hike, with routes as suggested by the rangers, with guides if required, with some hikes even leading to the vast wilderness. The upper terrace drive which is a short 1.6 mile is very exciting, and you can have views of the mammoth Orange Spring Mound, main terraces of the hot springs, Yellowstone and the Gardner River. To experience nature here, you can stay in Mammoth Hot springs hotels and cabins, campgrounds and some other places nearby.

Boiling River is one of the few legal soaking areas in Yellowstone National park. This is where cold water of the river mixes with the boiling hot springs, and you can have a soak only in the boiling river swim area and not in any of the hot springs. This place is closed in early summer and spring. Undine Falls, a 60-foot waterfall, 79-foot cascade of Wraith Falls and the smaller Rustic Falls are three of the waterfalls you can plan to visit here in this Mammoth area.

Some of the wild animals you can see here in the mammoth area are Elk which can be very unpredictably aggressive, Uinta ground squirrels at the visitor centre and bighorn sheep in the canyon. Near Swan Lake, you may even have a glimpse of bison, grizzlies, and wolves. You can also watch birds like cranes and ducks. While driving through the north entrance and the mammoth you can pass through the 45th parallel.

The adventurous types can plan a visit in winter when skiing, and snowshoeing facilities will be open. The ski trails can also be reached by using the skiing shuttle services. There are six ski trails in the area, upper terrace loop, bison park road, sheepeater, snowpass, Indian creek loop, and bighorn loop trails.

A Guide to make the most of Your Visit to Yellowstone National Park

The canyon village is at the edge of the greatest ditch, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone that stretches 24 miles. Artist’s point and the Lookout point at the north and south ends are favourite selfie spots with the fascinating background of the 308 foot lower Yellowstone falls.

The road up the river leads to the Yellowstone Lake, which is the largest high altitude lake in North America. It offers facilities for boating, fishing and water front camping. Swimming is not possible even during summer months because of the chilly waters in the lake.

A Guide to make the most of Your Visit to Yellowstone National Park

The Old Faithful Geyser is one of the best known and main attractions in this Yellowstone national park, in the upper geyser basin. The old faithful geyser eruption is an awesome sight. It erupts 17 times every day with a frequency of 90 minutes, from a height of 106 ft up to 185 ft, an average eruption height of 130 Ft, and the duration of 1.6 minutes to 5.1 minutes. The boiling water discharge varies from 3700 gallons to a huge 8400 gallons. During the earlier years, it was used as a laundry by the villagers, and an interesting observation was that woolen fabrics were severely damaged. While cotton and linen fabrics placed in the crater were thoroughly washed when they were thrown up during an eruption.

Up to now, more than 1 million eruptions have been recorded. This geyser has interested the scientists and public much more even though it is nowhere near being the biggest geyser in the park. The Steamboat geyser is the one which is the tallest or largest of the geysers but is very unpredictable. The interested visitors can learn a lot about the geothermal occurrences at the Old Faithful education centre. You can take a hike in the Upper Geyser basin along the Firehole River which has around 60% of the world’s geysers. The grand loop road further leads to Midway Geyser Basin. There are grand prismatic spring and the fountain paint pot in the lower geyser basin. Further along the road is the Norris Geyser Basin, which has Artist Paint Pots, Roaring Mountain and Steamboat Geyser. It also houses the Museum which the visitors can explore. Other attractions here are the Norris Canyon blowdown with its ghost trees and fly fish in the Gibson River.

A Guide to make the most of Your Visit to Yellowstone National Park

The Grant Village is a very busy place which lies along the west of the Yellowstone Lake which has an education centre, an amphitheatre for the visitors along with several stores buying souvenirs. It also offers boating services for visitors.

There are reportedly around 10,000 places to visit in the massive Yellowstone national park, and normally a visitor might end up seeing less than 10th of the interesting places in the park because of the paucity of time and also information. Five of the lesser-known and less crowded places are listed below for you to plan and include in your bucket list of places to visit during your stay in the park.

This is a beautiful colourful pool and is on a hiking trail from old faithful to Biscuit Basin. You need to be alert to catch other vibrant colours which result from bacteria present along the margins of the pool. You might even catch a glimpse of eruptions from Grand, Grotto and Riverside geysers while approaching this pool.

A Guide to make the most of Your Visit to Yellowstone National Park

This lovely Shoshone Geyser Basin is on the western side of the Shoshone lake, which is the largest lake not accessible by car. The entry is from a hiking trail from the Lone star geyser on the way from the old faithful. This basin has geysers like Gourd Spring, Minute Man Geyser, and Taurus Geyser and is a very peaceful place.

This is located in the remote western side of the Yellowstone national park in the Bechler region. It is about a 13-mile hike. You should venture into this area only if you can take this difficult hike through the bear territory. You can take a refreshing dip in the Ferris Fork at the spot where the hot spring flows into the river, but no dip in Mr. Bubbles itself.

Here, you will find beautiful colourful vibrant hot springs which can be great photographic objects, especially with their natural lovely blue hues. This small basin is easily accessible by road from the old faithful.

The Grand Prismatic hot spring in the Yellowstone national park is the largest and one of the most attractive hot springs. It is best to take a trail along the Ferry falls to get the complete range of colours and shades of blue generated by the bacteria along the edges of the big pool. You can reach an elevated place to get the best view in this less crowded place.

Apart from all the places worth watching, it is interesting for you to know that nine webcams, one live streaming, and others static, are placed at different locations. It has been placed for providing views to the visitors about the current conditions. They are located around the north entrance and Mammoth Hot Springs, Mount Washburn, the west entrance and the Upper Geyser Basin areas of the park.

A Guide to make the most of Your Visit to Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone national park offers a variety of accommodation in the form of around 2000 rooms or cabins in 9 lovely scenic locations. Some locations are like old faithful snow lodge cabins, Old faithful Inn, Roosevelt Lodge cabins, Mammoth Hot springs hotels and cabins, Canyon lodge cabins, Grant Village. You also have multiple backcountry campsites and 12 different campgrounds offering around 2200 campsites with Mammoth campgrounds being the only one open round the year. Backcountry camping is available at about 300 sites. During the peak summer season of June and July when it is most crowded, the average daily rates of rooms will be around $220. While in the lean winter months, it drops down to around $135.

Yellowstone national park is open, and entry is free all-round the year. However, the summer months are better to visit Yellowstone Park. You can unwind yourselves to release the stress of everyday busy city life. You should make your reservations early for a tour in the summer and enjoy the road trips in the park.

The best time to visit Yellowstone National Park is from April to May and between September and October. This season is the best if you are an avid wildlife watcher as most of the animals can be sighted. The lovers of winter sports can plan a visit during those months for a taste of backcountry skiing and snowshoeing experience in the snow-covered Backcountry Mountains of this vast park. Summer months are more popular with almost all facilities open with the front country areas more crowded. The spring season can give you a peaceful experience with less crowded surroundings and all roads open for hiking and wildlife watching.

As an area spread over 2.2 million acres and receives the annual visitation of more than 4 million people, the Yellowstone National park is an awesome place to visit in your life as a stress buster. To take time away from your busy daily routine with a trip to take in the unbelievable wonders of nature, with mountains, rivers, lakes, hot springs, geysers, wildlife, vast areas of wilderness, all bundled in one huge protected national park.

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