Yellowstone National Park

Up Close and Personal with the Grand Prismatic Spring at Yellowstone National Park #vezzaniphotographyGrand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is in a class all on its own.  This “super volcano” contains a mixture of melting volcanic pots, geysers, and steaming rivers.  There are also forests, mountains, and rolling hills and valleys.

Old Faithful in Upper Geyser Basin at Yellowstone National Park #vezzaniphotographyOld Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone National Park

Because of Yellowstone’s vast diversity, there is a ton to do and see.  Thankfully, the park rangers are friendly and eager to help!

Madison Campground Yellowstone National Park #vezzaniphotographySunset at Madison Campground, Yellowstone National Park

As with all the National Parks, you could spend a lifetime in Yellowstone National Park and still not see it all.  That said, there is plenty that can be done!  No matter how much time you have, Yellowstone National Park is sure to capture your heart.  Here are some tips to help make your visit to Yellowstone National Park a good one!

Yellowstone National Park Details & Location

Location: Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho | Area: 3,471 mi² | Established: March 1, 1872 | Visitors: 4,116,525 (in 2017)

Directions: Three states share a portion of Yellowstone National Park.  Because Yellowstone is so large, there are five entrances into Yellowstone National Park.  A western entrance via US-20 and a southern entrance via US-191 through Grand Teton National Park.  There is also an eastern entrance via US-14 and a northern entrance via US-89.  Another eastern entrance is accessible via US-212.  Depending upon the time of year, some entrances may be closed.  When we tried to go in 2012, the northern entrance was closed due to flooding, and the eastern entrance could only be accessed in the middle of the night due to threat of avalanche.  This was in MAY.  In light of that, always check on the road conditions before attempting to enter Yellowstone National Park.

I only have a few hours to visit Yellowstone National Park:

If you only have a few hours to visit Yellowstone National Park, here are my top recommendations for must-see attractions:

I have a day to visit Yellowstone National Park:

If you have a full day to visit Yellowstone National Park, then I recommend the following:

I want to live at Yellowstone National Park:

If you have more than a day at Yellowstone National Park, the opportunities are countless!  Here are some options for things you can do.  As Yellowstone is so large, this list only showcases some of the destination options:

  • Do all of the above PLUS
  • Mt. Washburn
  • Mammoth Hot Springs Upper and Lower Terrace Boardwalks
  • Yellowstone Lake
  • Visit the many Visitor’s Centers
  • Hike to Observation Point and then to Solitary Geyser
  • Lone Star Geyser Hike
  • Moose Falls
  • Uncle Tom’s Trail Hike
  • Hike the Lower Geyser Basin Trail
  • Storm Point and Indian Pond
  • Lewis Lake
  • Snow Pass Trail
  • Bike the Bunsen Peak Trail
  • Drive to Blacktail Deer Plateau
  • Trout Lake
  • Choose another hike to do (listed below)

Best Sunrise Locations at Yellowstone National Park

If you can wake up early enough, catching the sunrise at Yellowstone National Park is worth it! But it only lasts for a short amount of time, so you want to choose your location ahead of time. After doing some research, I learned that the some of the best sunrise locations at Yellowstone National Park are as follows:

  • Grand Canyon of Yellowstone – Artist Point, Grand View, Lookout Point, and Inspiration Point
  • Mammoth Hot Springs
  • Lamar Valley (for best chance of catching wildlife)
  • Yellowstone Lake (western shore pullouts along the Grand Loop Road)
  • West Thumb Geyser Basin

Best Sunset Locations at Yellowstone National Park

I spoke with a local artist and photographer at Old Faithful Village to get the inside scoop.  She told me that the best sunset locations at Yellowstone National Park were among the following:

Most Popular Hikes at Yellowstone National Park

There are thousands of hikes at Yellowstone National Park so I will not name them all here.  That said, here is a list of some of the most popular hikes in Yellowstone National Park.  They vary in degree of difficulty.

  • Upper Geyser Basin Boardwalk
  • Fountain Paint Pot Trail in Lower Geyser Basin
  • Clear Lake/Ribbon Lake Loop (South Rim of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone – Clear Lake, Lilly Pad Lake, Artist Point, Uncle Tom’s Trail)
  • North Rim Trail (North Rim of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone – Upper Falls Lookout, Crystal Falls Overlook, Brink of the Lower Falls, Lookout Point, Red Rock Trail, Grand View, Inspiration Point)
  • Lone Star Geyser Trail
  • Mammoth Hot Springs – Upper and Lower Terrace Boardwalks
  • West Thumb Geyser Basin Boardwalk
  • Norris Geyser Basin Boardwalk
  • Natural Bridge
  • Boiling River Trail
  • Slough Creek Trail
  • Yellowstone River Picnic Area
  • Mount Washburn
  • Trout Lake Hike

Current Weather Conditions at Yellowstone National Park:

I hope you get the opportunity to visit Yellowstone National Park for yourself. If not, at least you can see it through my photos! Thanks for reading and sharing my adventures with me!

Happy travels!

Juventa Vezzani

One of my bucket list items is to visit all 60 National Parks! For detailed posts about my adventures, click here!

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Want to see more? Here is a list of articles that I have written to help you further explore Yellowstone National Park: