Yellowstone National Park attracts millions of visitors every year. Located in the western United States, the park spans three states, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. The national park boasts stunning landscapes which are filled with natural wonders, from geysers and hot springs to lakes and mountains; Yellowstone offers visitors a chance o explore one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. A must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience nature and beauty up close.
Visit the geysers and hot springs
A visit to the geysers and hot springs is a must if you are in the park. These geological features result from the park’s location atop an active supervolcano.
Old Faithful is perhaps the most famous geyser in Yellowstone. It has received its name due to the reliable eruptions which occur approximately every 90 minutes, causing water to shoot up to 180 feet into the air. Be sure to visit and gather around the geyser’s viewing area to watch the spectacle.
A visit to the Grand Prismatic Spring is also a must; this is the largest hot spring in the United States and features a rainbow of colours. The bright blue, green, and orange hues are caused by bacteria that thrive in hot water. An interesting sight.
Visitors can also hike around the many springs and geysers; many trails in the park lead to these features, allowing visitors to explore the unique landscape and observe the flora and fauna that call it home.
If you want to learn about the science behind these geological features, then a ranger-led tour is well worth your time. These programmes offer insights into the formation of the geysers and hot springs and explain how they continue to change and evolve.
Explore the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
The most stunning geological feature is the awe-inspiring canyon which stretches approximately 20 miles long and 1,200 feet deep and was formed over thousands of years by the Yellowstone River.
Visitors can explore the canyon by hiking along its trails and taking in the breathtaking views of the rocks’ waterfalls, cliffs, and vibrant colours. The most popular hiking trails in the canyon include Uncle Tom’s Trail, which offers an up-close view of Lower Falls, and the South Rim Trail, which offers sweeping views of the canyon and its surroundings.
One of the most iconic features of the canyon is the Lower Falls, which cascades down a series of cliffs and creates a mist that can be seen from miles away. Visitors can observe the falls from various viewpoints, including from the brink of the falls via the Lower Falls Trail.
Visitors can also take a scenic drive along the North Rim Drive, which offers stunning canyon views from various overlooks. There are also guided tours available that provide in-depth knowledge about the history and geology of the canyon.
Go wildlife watching
The park is one of the best places in the world to watch wildlife because of the diversity of nature there. The park is home to over 60 species of mammals, including grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, bison, elk, and also moose. It is recommended to get a guided tour so you can witness the animals in their natural habitats.
One of the most iconic animals in Yellowstone is the bison. These massive animals roam freely throughout the park, and visitors can observe them grazing in fields and alongside roads.
A very popular animal to observe is the wolf. Wolves were reintroduced into the park in 1995, and their population has grown steadily since then. Visitors can take guided tours to learn about their behaviour.
If you are a bird watcher, you will be delighted to know Yellowstone is home to various bird species, including bald eagles, ospreys and trumpeter swans. Visitors can observe these birds at multiple locations throughout the park, including the Lamar Valley and Yellowstone Lake.
Visit the Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center
If you are interested in Yellowstone’s culture, history and natural resources, then a visit to the heritage and research centre is a must. Located in Gardiner, Montana, the centre offers visitors a chance to learn about the park’s research efforts.
The centre houses over 1 million items related to Yellowstone’s history and culture. Visitors can explore the exhibits and displays that showcase the park’s history, from the early Native American tribes that inhabited the region to the modern-day efforts to preserve and protect the park’s natural resources.
The centre is also home to the Yellowstone Research Library. One of the most comprehensive collections of materials related to the park’s ecology and geology. Visitors can access the library’s collections and research various topics related to the park’s natural resources and wildlife.