Things to do at Yellowstone National Park

America’s first National Park (established in 1872), Yellowstone covers nearly 3,500 square miles and spans parts of three states. Attracting 3-4 million visitors annually, Yellowstone is one of the most popular tourist destinations, not only in the U.S. but worldwide.

Featuring stunning natural beauty and unique geography that’s unlike any other place on earth, the variety of things to see and do during a visit to Yellowstone is virtually endless.

Lamar Valley
For photography buffs, wildlife enthusiasts and visitors who prefer a ‘real’ experience rather than the carefully-controlled ‘zoo tour,’ Lamar Valley checks every box. Antelope, bald eagle, bear (black and grizzly), bighorn sheep, bison, coyote, elk, otter, and wolves are just some of Yellowstone’s wildlife that is regularly on display in their natural habitat along Lamar Road.

Artist Point
With absolutely breathtaking views, the aptly-named Artist Point is guaranteed to impress any visitor. Colorful, steep canyon walls stretch for miles, offering panoramic views in every direction, most notably an almost surreal perspective of the Waterfalls of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Be sure to bring along binoculars and camera, or, as the name suggests, paints and canvas.

Mammoth Hot Springs 
Because Yellowstone’s headquarters are housed here, visitors can learn interesting and informative facts about the Park’s illustrious history before starting their adventure. Historic structures that originally housed the U.S. Cavalry (including Fort Yellowstone) are featured, as well as natural hot springs that were one of the region’s initial attractions.

The Grand Prismatic Spring 
Although the Grand Prismatic is the nation’s largest hot spring, (370 feet in diameter, 160 feet deep), the characteristic that immediately grabs the attention is the vibrant, almost artificial-looking rainbow prism of colors. These colors are created by physical factors including microbial plant life, sunlight and superheated water, making it one of Yellowstone’s most popular attractions.

Old Faithful 
By far the most popular attraction in Yellowstone, the most famous geyser in the world is named for its regular eruptions, remaining remarkably consistent since its ‘discovery’ in 1870. Eruptions occur within an hour to just under two hours apart (on average every 74 minutes), Old Faithful‘s eruptions rise between 100-to-180 feet and last from 90 seconds to 5 minutes. Obviously, a trip to Yellowstone isn’t complete without a visit to this iconic national treasure.

If you’re not a camper or are just visiting the park for a day, there is plenty of comfortable lodging near Yellowstone to complete your vacation.

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