With spectacular peaks and pristine lakes, Yellowstone National Park is a paradise for lovers of the outdoors. Multicolored pools swirl around the hot springs; verdant forests crisscross vast meadows; and the volatile geysers launch streams of steaming water skyward. With such pristine natural beauty, it’s no wonder everyone suspected John Colter (a scout for explorers Lewis and Clark) of landscaping when he first described Yellowstone’s geothermal attractions in 1807. Nowadays, there is no doubt that the park is truly extraordinary. As you traverse its more than 3,000 square miles of mountains, canyons, geysers, and waterfalls, be prepared to share trails with permanent residents such as buffalo, moose, and sometimes even grizzly bears.
Although Yellowstone attracts over 4 million visitors annually, chances are, unless you spend your entire trip in Old Faithful, you won’t see many. Yellowstone’s 2.2 million acres stretch from the northwest corner of Wyoming to the borders of Idaho and Montana, offering many untouched territories to explore. Set aside a day or two to admire Yellowstone Lake and Mammoth Hot Springs. But save time for trails through lesser-known areas, like the hot springs of the West Thumb Geyser Basin and the wildlife that dot the Lewis River Channel and Dogshead Loop. While the number of trails and wildlife viewing opportunities may seem daunting at first, remember – you can always go back.
Best months to visit
When to go to Yellowstone National Park is optimal depends on late April through May and September through early October. These intermediate months offer mild weather, fewer crowds, and little to no road closures. Areas of the park. The wintertime offers a range of the children are off from school, and it’s warm enough outside to nap. But the cold is nothing new to this park. Summertime lows in the United States have been recorded to plummet into the 30s. Highest locations in the park. The winter months provide a variety of temperatures, ranging from sub-zero digits to the high 20s. Don’t let that stop you: there’s nothing quite like seeing plumes of steam rising from under a thick layer of snow and ice.
what to eat
Yellowstone offers many dining options compared to the country’s other national parks. Inside the park, you will find general stores, canteens, snacks, and even bars. There are also a few sit-down restaurants in Yellowstone, most of which are situated near popular attractions such as Mammoth Hot Springs, Old Faithful, and Yellowstone Lake. Park canteens tend to serve casual fare like sandwiches, while upscale restaurants like the Lake Hotel Dining Room and Mammoth Hotel Dining Room offer game meat selections (including bison, elk, and trout).
Although there are a handful of dining options within the borders of Yellowstone National Park, consider bringing a cooler with lunch items and snacks, so you don’t have to worry about staying near one of the most developed areas of the park. Keep in mind that it can take hours to get from attraction to attraction in Yellowstone. Other restaurants can be found in the small towns surrounding the park. In Cody, Wyoming, previous visitors have suggested dining at The Local and The Cody Cattle Company, while past travelers who have visited West Yellowstone, Montana, have loved the dishes served at Wild West Pizzeria and Running Bear Pancake House.
The dangers of safety in Yellowstone include headaches and serious hazards, such as animal attacks. Headaches can come from changes in altitude. The elevation of Yellowstone is 5,282 to 11,358 feet above sea level. Although altitude sickness tends to occur after exposure to environments above 8,000 feet, any changes Sudden and major altitude changes can cause you to feel sick, with symptoms including headaches, fatigue, dizziness, and more. Even if you don’t plan on going to higher areas of the park or doing a lot of hiking, or both, consider relaxing for 24 hours to adjust to the environment.
When visiting the park, keep in mind that many geothermal attractions, such as geysers and mud pools, are dangerous due to their extremely hot temperatures. Likewise, you must stay a safe distance from animals at all times. The National Park Service advises keeping a distance of at least 100 yards between you and at least 25 yards away from wolves, bears, and any other animals. Most established campsites in the park are generally not at risk of an animal attack. Nonetheless, campers must keep all food and trash out of reach. Of bears and other critters. Animals that have access to food and garbage from humans often become dependent and then aggressive towards humans to obtain them and, as a result, may need to be put down.
If you can, avoid hiking alone: 91% of bear attacks in Yellowstone were from visitors hiking on their own (remember that all of Yellowstone is considered bear country) . Whether alone or with others, make lots of noise (the NPS recommends yelling periodically) to alert animals to your presence. It is highly recommended to bring a can of bear spray (a repellent used to ward off charging bears). If a bear is encountered on the trails, do not run, as this will trigger a hunting response in the bear. Instead, back away slowly and be quiet so as not to scare the bear away. To learn more about how to protect yourself from bears, visit NPS’s Bear Safety page. For more information on how to deal with other animals in the park, visit the Yellowstone Safety page.
Yellowstone is known for its red-tinged canyon walls and awe-inspiring natural wonders like Old Faithful and Mammoth Hot Springs, but you can’t miss exploring some of the park’s hiking trails and pools for stunning views of the waterfalls. . , forests and alpine mountains of the park. some lakes. The Grand Canyon trails of Yellowstone are particularly popular with adventurous travelers. Other park activities encompass everything from backcountry horseback riding to lake fishing, so plan to visit the sites that match your interests. Venture to Yellowstone Lake for a boat expedition or head north to Hayden Valley or northeast to Lamar Valley for excellent wildlife viewing opportunities.
Getting Around Yellowstone
The best way to get around Yellowstone National Park is by car; there is no public transportation system in the park. If a bear is present on the trail, the nearby airports, including Yellowstone Regional Airport (COD) in Cody, Wyoming; Jackson Hole Airport (JAC) in Jackson, Wyoming; Yellowstone Airport (WYS) in West Yellowstone, Montana; and Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) in Bozeman, Montana. Parking is available throughout the park, but depending on the time of year and day, it can be difficult to secure. Additionally, the park offers guided tours.
A car is necessary to visit the different regions and attractions. Yellowstone consists of 310 miles of paved roads that make getting around easy. Roads are often closed due to snowfall and construction, so it’s best to check for notices prior to leaving, listed on the National Park Service website. Additionally, remember that gas stations are limited inside Yellowstone, and GPS devices may provide incorrect directions, so you’ll want to use an official map of Yellowstone (available online or at all five centers of park reception) or specific GPS coordinates provided by the NPS. to visitors to Yellowstone.
From every airport, you may rent a car. That serves the park. When entering Yellowstone by car, you will be charged a $35 fee. Your seven-day park pass is valid straight. Is proof required for re-entry at other park entrances.