Visit Yellowstone National Park - Wyoming Magazine


Visit Yellowstone National Park


The most difficult thing about planning a vacation is actually making a decision on the destination to travel to. With so many options available to select from, it can be difficult to choose one that will offer everything that you’re looking for in a vacation. The following will provide in-depth details as to why the Yellowstone National Park is the perfect location no matter the type of vacation you’re looking to take, while also providing information on everything you need to know before and during your visit to the Yellowstone National Park.

Everything You Need to Know When Planning a Trip to Yellowstone National Park

Geyser Yellowstone National Park


Photo Courtesy of Kim Seng

The Yellowstone National Park is one of the premier travel destinations in the United States. It is also thought to be among the first national parks in the world. Though you might believe that the only thing to do within this park is to gaze at the scenery and go on hikes, that is just a small portion of all there is to do in the Yellowstone National Park. In fact, there are tons of activities to participate in and attractions to see that everyone will enjoy. Anyone that even remotely likes nature should heavily consider taking a visit to the Yellowstone National Park. Here’s everything you need to know about the park.

Brief History of Yellowstone National Park


Photo Courtesy of Michael Privorotsky

Yellowstone National Park is a national park that extends to three different states, including Wyoming, Idaho and Montana, although the majority of the park exists in the boundaries of Wyoming. The area was made into a national park in early 1872 by Ulysses S. Grant when he was president. As mentioned previously, it is believed to be the first national park in the world. Exploration of the area began in the 1860’s, but it wasn’t until 1917 that administration of the park was given to the National Park Service, primarily because the National park Service didn’t exist until 1916. Throughout the entire park area, there are hundreds of structures in place that were built long before the area was deemed a national park, as well as over 1,000 archeological sites. There are tons of species of fish, birds and other animals that exist within the park, as well as a supervolcano known as the Yellowstone Caldera. Though tourism in the park fell dramatically during World War II, the 1950’s saw a boom in the amount of visitors per year that hasn’t let up since.

Top Attractions At Yellowstone National Park

Old Faithful Geyser

Upper Geyser Basin (Old Faithful Geyser). Photo Courtesy of Terry MacVey

The greatest thing about visiting the Yellowstone National Park is that the scenery is varied and unique, which greatly helps to make your visit to the park feel adventurous and exciting. When you’re not viewing the wildlife or being led through a guided tour around the park, there are a large variety of actual attractions that you can view all throughout the Yellowstone National Park. The most popular of these attractions is the Old Faithful Geyser. This geyser is located in the Upper Geyser Basin and, while not quite the largest geyser of the ones in the area, erupts much more frequently than the rest of the geysers. If you’re in this area, try to stay long enough to see an eruption, as it’s quite a site to see. The intervals between eruptions typically last anywhere from 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours, while the actual eruption will usually last between 2-5 minutes. There are a myriad of other geysers you can look at while in the area, as well as an Old Faithful Visitor Center that provides visitors with fascinating information about all of the geysers in the area.

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Photo Courtesy of Charles (Chuck) Peterson

Though it’s not quite as audacious as the Grand Canyon that resides in Arizona, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone is one of the most picturesque locations in Yellowstone. There’s a hike located around the Lower Falls area of the canyon that lasts for about 1/2 mile and makes for the most scenic route to view the Grand Canyon in all its glory. If you’re looking to take lots of photos to show everyone once returning from your visit, this is certainly one of the best attractions in Yellowstone to do so. The canyon is around 20 miles long and consists of beautiful vistas all throughout the length of it. There’s a Canyon Visitor Center nearby Canyon Junction that visitors should also look into when in the area.

Hayden Valley

Hayden Valley. Photo Courtesy of David Grimes

If you want to get a better view of the wildlife in the park, then the best location to visit is the Hayden Valley. This valley is perfect for hiking or just having a nice and pleasant picnic with the family. This lush valley is home to a variety of animals, including elk, bison and even coyotes, as well as many different bird species. Some of the most spectacular sightseeing in the world can happen at the Grand Prismatic Spring. This beautiful spring is the largest within the US, ranging from 250-300 ft. in diameter. The spring is well known for its brilliant waters that take on the form of rainbow colors. The center of the spring is a deep blue, while the edges consist of rings of dark red, stark orange and bright yellow. Shockingly enough, these colors are brought about due to bacteria in the water.

Yellowstone Lake

The North end of Yellowstone Lake, from Fishing Bridge.

Photo Courtesy of Valerie Engelleiter

One of the largest freshwater lakes in America sits at the heart of Yellowstone and is known simply as the Yellowstone Lake. Whether you want to view bison and bald eagles or are looking to go fishing or take a boat out onto the water, the Yellowstone Lake is a must-see attraction. If you ever want to take a break from nature for a bit, consider dropping by the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center. The center provides visitors with everything they need to know about the detailed history of much of the wildlife in Yellowstone Park, specifically wolves and bears.

Other Things to Do At Yellowstone National Park

Bison in Yellowstone

Bison in Yellowstone. Photo Courtesy of David Grimes

When you’re not sightseeing, there’s plenty of other things to do as well. As touched upon previously, the Yellowstone Lake offers the perfect backdrop for fishing and boating. In fact, there are 16 different species of fish in the waters of the Yellowstone Lake. Those that want to enjoy the snow at Yellowstone can participate in amazing cross country skiing or snowmobiling. If you would like to learn more about the park as you hike, there are a wealth of guided tours and ranger-led activities that you can join in, while camping and hiking are two of the most popular things to do in Yellowstone National Park. There are over 1,000 miles of trails that all visitors can take part in, ranging from beginner to expert level. Wildlife viewing provides quite the adventure no matter which part of the park you’re in. There are well over 330 species of birds, 67 mammal species, 6 reptiles and 4 amphibians that you can spot at any time in the park.

What to Know When Visiting the Park

Yellowstone National Park Wyoming

Photo Courtesy of Trey Ratcliff

There are a few things you should know before visiting the park. First, roads to the north and northeast entrances of the park are open year round, while others are seasonal. The standard fees of entrance to the park are $25 for a private vehicle, $20 for a snowmobile or motorcycle and $12 when entering by any other mode of transportation. Once inside, all of the attractions mentioned previously are entirely free to visit.




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