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Yellowstone National Park

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Giant Geyser Eruption Can Reach 250 Feet in Height

Giant Geyser was dormant for a long time and is slowly becoming more active, although its eruptions are unpredictable. Seeing it erupt is a rare and spectacular event since ...

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Geothermal

Upper Geyser Basin

This area is home to the majority of the world's active geysers. Attractions are connected with an elaborate system of boardwalks which lead visitors near colorful pools and geysers at a safe distance.

Dramatic view

World's Tallest Predictable Geyser

Before each eruption, the pools fill with water and people usually start to gather on the benches facing the geyser. You can also get the predictions for upcoming eruptions at the visitor center.

Sign

Beehive Eruptions Reach 200 Feet

When active, the feature draws a large audience because of the height of its eruptions which reach from 130 to 180 feet.

Aerial

Thumb Paint Pots

Mudpots differ from hot springs in that their water is much more acidic and dissolves the underground into clay mud. They are constantly changing, passing through periods of activity and inactivity.

Geothermal colors

West Thumb Geyser Basin

Park the car and explore this incredibly diverse area which offers spectacular views and colorful geothermal features.

Sign

Anemone Geyser Erupts Every 7 to 15 Minutes

Witness a spectacular display every 7-15 minutes and admire nearby colorful features.

Minerva Terrace

Minerva Terrace

This is one of the best features in the area. Named for the Roman goddess of artists, it has gone through periods of inactivity during the last 100 years. Visitors approach on an elevated wooden boardwalk situated on the hill. As you advance upward, there is a beautiful view of the valley below.

Exterior

Castle Geyser is One of the Oldest

When it is erupting, this ancient feature is one of the more distinguishing features in the area.

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Colorful Heart Spring in Yellowstone

This colorful feature can be seen by walking up the hill from the Old Faithful Inn.

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The Colorful Palette Spring

The feature is created by flowing water and heat-loving bacteria which grow on the surface of the hill. It is located in the northern portion, towards the bottom of Lower Terraces.

Water

Undine Falls and The Upper Falls

The falls can be seen from the main park road. You can park and enjoy the view.

Water

The South Entrance Offers a Dramatic Way into Yellowstone National Park

Visitors are greeted by dramatic vistas on their drive.

Yellowstone Tips: Where to Stay, the Weather and What to See

Yellowstone National Park is a unique vacation destination just north of Grand Teton National Park. The park is situated at high altitude and most visitors will need a couple of days to adjust to the change. Initially, plan to take short walking trips and on warm summer days drink plenty of fluids. Since the sun is very strong at high altitude, wear a hat and sunscreen. The weather can change quickly from clear skies to a thunderstorm.

As a rule of thumb, each road segment takes about 45 minutes to drive by car. In the summer, repairs are often underway which can cause delays. Visitor centers have the latest information about road conditions. When you enter the park, you will receive a map and a newspaper with the latest news. Each major area, such as the West Thumb Geyser Basin, features ranger-led walks, adventure hikes and other visitor services.

Summer is peak season. Park roads and entrances are least crowded before 11 am and after 4 pm. In addition to camping, there are several hotels and lodges in the park.

There are numerous vacation activitiesto choose from, including fishing, boating, hiking, horseback riding and wildlife watching.

The Weather in Yellowstone

This area is at high altitude, over 7,500 feet (2,275 meters). In the summer, daytime temperatures are in the 70s and 80s, while at night temperature can drop to below freezing. Thunderstorms are frequent on summer afternoons.

Winters are very cold with daytime temperatures from zero to 20F and sub-zero temperatures at night. Snowfall average is about 150 inches per year.

In the spring and fall, daytime temperatures range from the 30s to the 60s, and snow is common.

Where to Stay

There are nine unique lodges and hotels, all operated by Xanterra Hotels and Resorts. Most park accommodations are historic and located near major attractions. Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and Old Faithful Snow Lodge are the only accommodations that remain open in the winter.

All reservations for Yellowstone accommodations can be made through Xanterra. Call 307-344-7311 or visit www.travelyellowstone.com.

The Old Faithful Inn, a national historic landmark, is a rustic lodge situated near the famous Old Faithful geyser. It also features a restaurant and gift shop.

The Old Faithful area is also home to Old Faithful Lodge Cabins and Old Faithful Snow Lodge & Cabins, the newest hotel completed in 1999.

Lake Yellowstone Hotel is the oldest hotel in the park, originally built in 1891 and restored in 1990. Hotel rooms are designed in historic 1920s style. Lake Yellowstone Hotel is situated on the shore of Yellowstone Lake, while Lake Lodge Cabins are located nearby.

Roosevelt Lodge Cabins, named after Theodore Roosevelt, are rustic cabins located near Tower-Roosevelt.

Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel is the only lodging facility accessible by car in the winter. Visitors enjoy snowshoeing, ice skating and skiing in the area surrounding the hotel.

Canyon Lodge & Cabins are located near the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. The area offers hiking and horseback riding.

Grant Village, named after president Ulysses S. Grant, is a large complex built in 1984 with 6 two-story buildings, each containing 50 rooms. There are also two restaurants with scenic views of the lake, a lounge and a gift shop.

Hydrothermal Features in Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park encompasses the largest hydrothermal area on the planet. Features include geysers, hot springs, mudpots and fumaroles.

Yellowstone was the site of a catastrophic volcanic eruption more than 600,000 years ago. During the eruption, the magma chamber was partially emptied which caused the roof to collapse, forming a giant caldera that covers the bigger portion of Yellowstone National Park.

Today, the magma chamber's partially-molten rock provides heat for Yellowstone's hydrothermal features which are in constant flux. Geysers and colorful terraces in Yellowstone are constantly changing, shaped by thermal activity. Find more National Park vacation ideas.

Wildlife Watching Tips and Ideas

Yellowstone is famous for the abundance of its wildlife, including bison, elk, wolves, bears, coyotes, moose, bobcats, mountain lions and an array of unique birds.

Each species has a preferred habitat, but sightings are unpredictable. Visitors should exercise caution near wild animals and never approach them on purpose as their behavior is unpredictable. Yellowstone visitor centers provide educational information about wildlife that every first time park visitors should learn about.

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