yellowstone national park

Yellowstone National Park
Wyoming

If there were a granddaddy of national parks, Yellowstone National Park would be it. America's first national park draws three million people every year to ogle the famous Old Faithful and the rest of its 300 hot-tempered geysers, over half the active geysers in the world.

Nature puts on one of the greatest shows on earth at Yellowstone, situated on top of the magma core of a supervolcano. You can't miss the world's tallest geyser, Steamboat Geyser, shooting steaming spring water into the air at 400 feet, and Old Faithful, erupting every 91 seconds.

The park's hot and bothered thermal features make it a warm refuge for animals in the winter and the perfect time to visit. The white wonderland is a gorgeous backdrop for bubbling, multicolored mudpots, mysteriously steamy landscapes and trees dripping with frosty icicles. Mounds of snow-covered bison conserve energy just off park roads. The North America crew spent days tracking a lone rex fox on a snow-diving expedition for mice.

Best Time to Visit:

Yellowstone is open 24-7, 365 days a year. Spring draws fewer crowds, while winter draws dedicated fans.

What to Do:

Access the park through its North Entrance in Gardiner, Mont., to enjoy a range of winter activities like cross-country skiing or snowshoeing across miles of trails off the park's six designated routes. Be sure to stop for geyser gazing and be mindful of wildlife. Snow lovers may also consider exploring areas closed to the public during the winter months through Yellowstone-approved guides operating snowcoach and snowmobile tours. Get Directions

Other Yellowstone National Park Destinations:

  • Old Faithful. Erupting approximately every 92 minutes, between 18-21 times a day, Old Faithful geyser is the most consistent geyser in Yellowstone National Park. The eruptions can be seen from several points, including the viewing areas near Old Faithful Inn and Observation Point. Get Directions
  • The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is approximately 20 miles long, with several trails and lookout points for travelers to experience around it. The Yellowstone River, the longest undammed river in the continental United States, carved out the canyon and continues to flow through it. Two of the main attractions of the Canyon are its waterfalls: the Upper Falls (109 ft. high) and the Lower Falls (308 ft. high). Get Directions
  • Norris Geyser Basin. Most of the water here is acidic, and the Basin also has several rare acid geysers in its ranks, making travel off-trail extremely dangerous. Among its many dynamic features, Steamboat Geyser, the tallest geyser in the world, is located in Norris Geyser Basin and shoots water 300 to 400 feet high. Get Directions
  • Mammoth Hot Springs. The landscape and activity of Mammoth Hot Springs are constantly changing. The rock formations here are created by hot water rising through limestone, causing it to dissolve. As the limestone dissolves, it leaves behind distinct chalky white deposits seen throughout this area. Get Directions
  • Tower-Roosevelt Area. Visit the Tower-Roosevelt Area to explore natural wonders ranging from "The Petrified Tree" and ancient redwoods in Specimen Ridge, to the 132-foot Tower Fall waterfall, to the Calcite Springs at the downstream end of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Get Directions

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