Yellowstone National Park Overview
Home to the famous Old Faithful geyser, vibrant geothermal hot springs and fascinating wild wolves, Yellowstone is one of the essential USA national parks to visit. Cameras at the ready – the landscapes are incredible here.
Established in 1872, Yellowstone National Park is the oldest and perhaps most famous National Park in the USA. Sitting in the northwest corner of Wyoming (about 56 miles north of Jackson Hole) and stretching over state borders into Idaho and Montana, Yellowstone contains nearly 3,500 square miles of crystalline lakes, striking canyons, vast grasslands and thundering waterfalls. However, the park is most famous for its geysers.
Yellowstone welcomes more than 3 million visitors each year who come from all around the globe to see Old Faithful erupt, the Mammoth Hot Springs steam and the hundreds of mud pots bubble. The park is beautiful in the summer months, but a visit during the off-season will mean fewer crowds. Another way to find peace and quiet is to stray further from Yellowstone’s expansive network of paved roads. The park boasts hundreds of kilometers of hiking trails meandering through the sprawling Lamar Valley and along the ledges of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. The further out you go, the higher your chances of spotting some of the park’s famed wildlife (such as bison, elk and bears) will be.
Surrounded by mountain towns immediately to the north, east, and west, and bordered by Grand Teton National Park to the south, there is plenty to do not only within, but also around the park.
Must See Attractions in Yellowstone National Park
One of the star attractions of Yellowstone, the geyser known as Old Faithful is named for the regularity with which it erupted, shooting columns of water high up into the air. Today, witnessing this incredible sight is one of the most popular things to do in the park.
Upper Geyser Basin
Upper Geyser Basin has the highest concentration of geysers in the world, most of them packed into one square mile. A two-hour boardwalk trail through the area takes you past Old Faithful, the Giantess Geyser, the Beehive Geyser, the Castle Geyser, the Grand Geyser and fountain basins shimmering in a rainbow of colours.
Midway Geyser Basin & Grand Prismatic Spring
Named for its location between the Upper and Lower Geyser Basins, Midway Geyser Basin boasts two of the park’s biggest geothermal features. The mighty crater of the Excelsior Geyser discharges 55 gallons of hot water per second into the Firehole River. Nearby is the 370-foot-wide stunning Grand Prismatic Spring, one of the finest and biggest hot springs in the park. This is a must-see attraction and a photographer’s favorite with its vivid hues of blue, green, orange, and gold.
The magnificent Lamar Valley is a prime area for viewing wildlife such as large herds of bison, bald eagles, and badgers, as well as coyotes, wolves, and grizzly bears hunting on the open grasslands.