According to 800zipcodes, Yellowstone National Park is perhaps the most famous national park in America. In any case, it is the oldest park; it opened in 1872. This park, located mostly in Wyoming (central state), attracts an average of 3 million visitors annually. Good to combine with a tour of West America.
8 attractions Yellowstone National Park
Not only does the park have a hugely varied landscape, but the area is also home to a number of wild animals; including bison, elk, and grizzly bears. In addition, the park is located on the Yellowstone Caldera, part of one of the largest dormant volcanoes in the world. As a result, the area is rich in geysers and other heat sources. Yellowstone Lake is also located in the area, with several waterfalls in it. Enough to see in this beautiful area! Due to its large area, there is plenty to do in Yellowstone National Park. Of course you can walk and cycle, but there is more to do! You can look for the different types of wildlife or camp in the wilderness. Would you rather be on the water? You can sail on the lake with a permit.
1. Yellowstone Volcano
The entire park area sits on the Yellowstone Caldera, part of one of the largest dormant volcanoes in the world. However, you don’t have to worry that the volcano will erupt soon. Researchers have determined that the volcano last erupted about 174,000 years ago; it is therefore unlikely that the volcano will erupt in the next ten thousand years. The volcano does occasionally cause (light) earthquakes. This is all closely monitored by various official bodies. The presence of the volcano has created a beautiful landscape. In addition to the well-known geysers, Yellowstone also has several glaciers and mountain landscapes (Red Mountains). There are also many fossils to be found in the ground.
2.Grand Loop Road
The main road of Yellowstone National Park, Grand Loop Road, runs through the entire park for a distance of 230 kilometers in a kind of figure-8 shape. The road is paved and two-lane throughout. From this road you can reach all the sights of Yellowstone. There are also several viewpoints along the way. Please note that, especially in winter, several parts of the Grand Loop may be closed due to snowfall or maintenance. This varies by season and by part of the park. So always check this in advance on the National Park Service website before you set off!
Mammoth Country is located in the northwest of the park. This area is best known for its heat sources. These ‘hot springs’ raise travertine, creating natural terraces. Unique to this place is that the water takes on all kinds of different colours: at 54 °C the water is orange, at 71 °C it turns blue and at 75 °C it takes on a yellow colour. The terraces consist of Lower Terrace and Upper Terrace. You can explore the heat sources in Lower Terrace on foot; for the one in Upper Terrace you need the car. There are a number of walking routes that connect the two terraces. Palette Spring and Canary Spring are two must-sees when you are in this area. End your visit with a photo at Roosevelt Arch and you’re done!
4. Geyser Country
You almost imagine yourself in the ice age in the southwest of the park. In Geyser Country you will find – how could it be otherwise – a lot of geysers. This area covers five square kilometers and is home to half of all the geysers in the world. In Upper Geyser Basin you will find more than 150 geysers in one and a half square miles alone. The most popular geyser in this area is Old Faithful. It owes its name to its reliability: eruptions used to always take place at the predicted time. It erupts about every hour and a half. This then takes two to five minutes and 32,000 liters are then sprayed up to 55 meters into the air. Morning Glory Pool is located between Upper Geyser Basin and Midway Geyser Basin. This is definitely recommended: you will find colorful water here. Unfortunately, this source has suffered a lot from vandalism, so if you’re looking for another hidden gem, you can also head to Sapphire Pool. This spring in Midway Geyser Basin has clear blue water. A picture to see!
5. Lake Country
Yellowstone Lake is located in the southeast of the park, in the middle of Lake Country. This mountain lake is located at an altitude of more than two kilometers above sea level. The bottom of the lake is as geologically varied as the rest of the park. There are many facilities at the lake and there is plenty of opportunity for recreation. For fishing and boating you need a permit, keep that in mind! On the west side of the lake is West Thumb Geyser Basin. Here you can take some nice walks along various geysers and heat sources: West Thumb Geyser Basin Trail is a must. You will then pass Lakeshore Geyser and Black Pool, among others.
You have to be in Canyon Country for the highest waterfall in the park. This area, in the east of the park, has plenty of them. Lower Falls is even taller than Niagara Falls with a height of 94 meters. The Yellowstone River winds its way through Hayden Valley and flows into multiple waterfalls. Although most tourists think that the area gets its name from the canyon, this is not entirely the case. There is a ravine here about 32 kilometers long and 300 meters deep, but this is still a fairly young ravine. From the Grand Loop, you can choose to follow one of the side roads, North Rim or South Rim. There are several walks on both roads. Artist’s Point, located on the South Rim, is especially recommended.
If you’ve come to Yellowstone National Park to spot wildlife, Roosevelt Country is the place to be. This area in the northeast of the park, on the border with Montana, named after the president of the same name, is teeming with wolves, grizzly bears, coyotes, brown bears, and bison. Especially in Lamar Valley you have a good chance of spotting them: so bring your binoculars! You have the best chance at sunrise or sunset, although the bison sometimes graze along the road here. The northern part of the park is the only area that can be reached all year round.
8. Hiking Yellowstone National Park
Walking and/or hiking is a great way to explore the park. Because it is almost impossible to describe all the hikes in Yellowstone National Park, here are some tips to keep in mind: whichever hike you choose. First of all: Yellowstone is located 2,000 meters above sea level. If you have difficulty with heights, do not make any unnecessary effort. In addition, this height also means that many hiking trails can be closed by snow until May. So inquire in the park what is possible. It is also important that you stay on the trails. Sometimes the ground can be unstable. Especially in Mammoth Country, walking on too thin a surface can mean stepping into boiling water. And while it’s unlikely, make sure you’ve educated yourself on what to do if you encounter a bear.
Frequently Asked Questions about Yellowstone National Park
How many days do you need in Yellowstone National Park?
Of course it is possible to visit Yellowstone National Park for one day, but if you have more time, it is recommended to use it! After all, there is so much to see and a visit to one particular part of the park often takes half a day.
What time of year is the best time to visit Yellowstone National Park?
Although the park is open all year round, the best time to visit Yellowstone National Park is during the summer months. In the winter months it is often very cold (because the park is at a high altitude) and many roads are also closed due to snowfall.
Is it dangerous in Yellowstone National Park?
No, it is not dangerous in Yellowstone National Park. The NPS does its best to ensure the safety of its visitors, but in the end you are of course responsible for your own safety. Important: always take enough water with you, educate yourself about the wild animals and don’t overestimate yourself!
Can you drive through Yellowstone National Park by car?
Most attractions can be reached by car via Grand Loop Road. Some roads may be closed during certain parts of the year.
Do you have to make reservations at Yellowstone National Park?
No, this is not necessary. You do need to book for the hotels in the park. Do this in time to avoid disappointments.