Yellowstone National Park
Covering around two million acres, the Yellowstone National Park is one of America’s most iconic attractions. If you’re wondering ‘where is Yellowstone National Park?’, the answer is that it sprawls across Wyoming and parts of Idaho and Montana. This is authentic Wild West country.
The landscape is truly spectacular, with vast expanses of beautiful wilderness, snow-capped mountains, deep canyons and tranquil lakes. With plenty of wildlife and plants, as well as the iconic geysers, you can unleash your inner frontiersman and get to grips with the great outdoors in a setting that’s like no other. This incredible backdrop is great for outstanding photo opportunities, and you’ll find plenty of other things to see and do here, too.
There are certain things that it ought to be mandatory to see while paying a visit to Yellowstone National Park. Old Faithful is the world’s most famous geyser. Erupting around once every 90 minutes, it shoots a column of steam and water of approximately 40 metres into the air, wowing the visitors that gather around its perimeter. If you want a unique view, head to the Old Faithful Inn, where you can watch the eruptions while enjoying a leisurely dinner.
Another must-see is the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Around a mile wide and 20 miles long, it takes a hard heart not to be awe-struck and inspired by this natural wonder. Created by many years of erosion by the Yellowstone River that runs along the bottom, this Grand Canyon (not to be confused with the Grand Canyon of Arizona) is a definite highlight for anyone visiting Yellowstone National Park.
For something more tranquil, head to the park’s largest body of water, Yellowstone Lake. Popular with anglers and those who like messing about on boats, it’s a superb spot to spend a couple of hours.
With Yellowstone National Park acting as home to around 60% of the Earth’s geysers, you ought to get the best view possible. Get your hiking shoes on or take a tour up to Observation Point, which is about a mile from Old Faithful. While it’s a steep climb in places, you’ll be rewarded with an astonishing view of the park’s most famous geyser, set in the recess of the Geyser Basin. Travelling the loop to Observation Point and back to Old Faithful takes about an hour and a half and you’ll encounter the Solitary Geyser on your travels.
The park also acts as home to a huge variety of wildlife, including bison, wolves, bears and elk. There are some excellent tours to be enjoyed, where you can see animals in their natural habitat, from the comfort of an air-conditioned coach.
If you’d rather see the park from ground (or water) level, why not take in the scenery from a canoe? There are some fantastic canoeing trails to explore, such as along Snake River, in Jackson Hole. Most of these trails offer expert guides to travel with you, help you navigate the trickier parts and you can even enjoy a riverside steak dinner as part of the experience.
Top tips for first timers
The park is open 24 hours a day. If you want to avoid the crowds and see the wildlife at its busiest, plan to get there as the sun rises. It might seem a little early, but the sights and sounds will soon make you forget your early start. While a car might be convenient, the roads in Yellowstone National Park quickly build up, so leave your car as soon as you can in one of the many car parks, and follow the hiking trails on foot. Don’t forget your camera, and a set of binoculars, and be sure to pop into a visitors’ centre for advice on what to see and where to see it.