Best Things to Do in Yellowstone National Park
If you’re heading to Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park is a definite must on the list of what to do. With varied attractions to suit all ages, there’s no shortage of activities to add to your list. Let’s look at some of the very best.
With over 500 geysers, Yellowstone always has an opportunity to watch one of these fascinating natural phenomena. These are a kind of hot spring in a tube-like hole that, under pressure, sends jets of steam and water high into the air.
The most famous geyser at Yellowstone is Old Faithful, named in 1870 by the Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition. This amazing geyser is named well, erupting at fairly regular intervals of 90 minutes or so. Once you arrive at the Upper Geyser Basin, check when the next eruption is due and plan your visit accordingly. While you are waiting, walk around the Basin – 25% of the world’s geysers are here, so there’s plenty to look at.
See the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon in Yellowstone National Park is another star attraction. Over 24 miles long and at times over 1,200 feet deep, the scale of this feature cannot be overstated. There are plenty of lookout points that you can get to quite quickly, meaning you only need to spend around an hour here if you have limited time.
However, if you can spend a little longer, it is very much recommended! With plenty of hikes around both sides of the canyon, you can enjoy the views while keeping fit. A longer walk is a good way to dodge the crowds too.
To get a whole new perspective on the park, head out on one of the lakes in a boat. There are services if you want to go out on a guided boat tour, or you can join an activity to go canoeing or kayaking if you fancy something a bit more exciting!
If you have boating experience, you can get a permit for some areas of the water and strike out on your own. However, there are strict rules to keep you safe if you go out on any of these, so do your research first. For example, you must follow the boating season, have a clean boat, and pay attention to which areas allow different types of boat. Be aware that there are only a few areas safe to swim in.
As an extensive park, Yellowstone naturally has a huge variety of wildlife to see, including bison, elk, and bears! Check the different sites if there’s any particular animal you want to see, but Hayden Valley, Mammoth Hot Springs and Lamar Valley are all great places to start. Remember to keep your distance from the animals – notices tell you how far you should allow for different species.
It’s not just mammals, however. Depending on the season, different birds flock to Yellowstone, from amazing peregrine falcons to osprey. Check the area and you can also see a variety of reptiles and amphibians, as well as fish in the numerous lakes. Again, pay attention to any safety instructions posted, as well as those for the protection of the animals.
Ride a Horse
To be sure you see at least one animal, why not go horse riding? There are plenty of guided tours organised if you want to go for a casual ride and enjoy the views – just take a look for one that suits you. However, if you have your own horse, you can buy permits for riding through the park, as long as your horse has the necessary health certification.
Go for the Winter Experience
Yellowstone in winter is beautiful in a whole new way – snow blankets the peaks and valleys of this stunning area. Face the cold and hike through to take in the views at your own pace, or strike out on a snowmobile if you want to move a bit faster!
No matter what type of activity you’re interested in, Yellowstone National Park has loads to offer. From quiet activities such as watching wildlife and touring the springs, to more adventurous ones like kayaking on the lakes and hiking through snow, you can be sure of a great time no matter when you go!