» The Old Faithful and Upper Geyser Basin
» Biscuit Basin
» West Thumb Geyser Basin
» Thumb Paint Pots
» Lakeshore Geyser and Lakeside Spring
» Seismograph and Bluebell Pools
» Fishing Cone
» Black Pool Is Bright Blue in Color
» Yellowstone Lake
» The South Entrance Offers a Dramatic Way into Yellowstone
» Mammoth Hot Springs - Tips for Travelers
» Minerva Terrace
» The Colorful Palette Spring
» Liberty Cap
» Petrified Tree in Yellowstone
» Wildlife Watching along the Blacktail Plateau Drive
» Romantic Sunset at the Great Fountain Geyser
» Undine Falls and The Upper Falls
25 Best Things to Do in Yellowstone
- The Old Faithful and Upper Geyser Basin
- Biscuit Basin
- West Thumb Geyser Basin
- Thumb Paint Pots
- Lakeshore Geyser and Lakeside Spring
- Seismograph and Bluebell Pools
- Fishing Cone
- Black Pool Is Bright Blue in Color
- Yellowstone Lake
- The South Entrance Offers a Dramatic Way into Yellowstone
- Mammoth Hot Springs - Tips for Travelers
- Minerva Terrace
- The Colorful Palette Spring
- Liberty Cap
- Petrified Tree in Yellowstone
- Wildlife Watching along the Blacktail Plateau Drive
- Romantic Sunset at the Great Fountain Geyser
- Undine Falls and The Upper Falls
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of berzina - Fotolia.com
Yellowstone Travel Tips
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.
- What's the Weather Like?: 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.
- 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.
- Spotting Bison: There are about 3,600 bison in Yellowstone National Park. They wander around the park's grassy areas in the summer and winter around geyser basins where they find warmth and shelter. The largest mammals in the park, bison are vegetarian. Males can weigh more than 1,800 pounds. Despite their massive size, they can move quickly and can harm people who get in their way. Despite ranger warnings, we've seen tourists get out of their car with a video camera and approach bison too close for comfort. The best way to watch bison it through binoculars or from your car if they are near the road. On Blacktail Plateau Drive you can often spot bison and observe them safely from your car in the summer months.
- How to Help Prevent Wildfires: Fires are an essential player in the development of Yellowstone's ecosystems. While some are caused by men, most occur naturally when lightning strikes. When you drive through acres and acres of Yellowstone that were destroyed by wildfire, you realize what a landscape-changing event this is. Certain species of trees such as lodgepole pine need the heat to open their cones to release the seeds. The largest fires in the recent history took place in the summer of 1988. About 1/3 of the park’s area was burned and several structures were destroyed as the fires could not be contained. Today, park visitors can see the effects everywhere, although both plant and animal populations have recovered quickly. Following the 1988 fire, management plans for national parks and forests were revised across the nation. Naturally occurring fires are allowed to burn today under stricter guidelines.
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.
- Old Faithful Inn: 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: 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: Roosevelt Lodge Cabins, named after Theodore Roosevelt, are rustic cabins located near Tower-Roosevelt.
- Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel: 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: Canyon Lodge & Cabins are located near the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. The area offers hiking and horseback riding.
- Grant Village: 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.