7 reasons to visit Yellowstone National Park, WY

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  • Post last modified:February 20, 2024
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Let the natural beauty of Yellowstone National Park wash over you. This is a true playground for outdoor enthusiasts, encompassing tall mountains, dense forests, deep valleys, bubbling geothermal features and exciting wildlife — that never seem to end. Here’s why you should head to Yellowstone.

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1. The Hot Springs

Did you know that 60% of the planet’s hot springs and geysers are inside Yellowstone? That’s just mind boggling. The most photographed geothermal feature among them all is the Grand Prismatic Spring. Bigger than a football field, it’s the third largest spring in the entire world. But as much as the scope is impressive, the bright colors are captivating. The spring is blue in the middle with layers of orange, yellow and green around it.

Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park radiating vivid colors
Grand Prismatic Spring.

2. The Geysers

In fierce competition, there’s one geyser that stands out a little bit extra in Yellowstone National Park. Sit down on a bench in the park’s premier arena, maybe with a snack in your hand, and let the Old Faithful geyser put on another unforgettable show. Aptly named, it typically performs every one to two hours — if you just missed an eruption, the next one shouldn’t be far away.

The Old Faithful geyser spouting towards the blue Wyoming sky
Old Faithful.

3. The Canyons

Yellowstone’s natural beauty never seems to end. To all those hot springs and geysers, add the dramatic canyons that snake through the park. In particular, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone stands out for its breathtaking vistas. It’s so visually attractive that it might even inspire you to take up the painting career you never had time to pursue.

Yellowstone River flowing through Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

4. How huge Yellowstone is

Size wise, Yellowstone National Park is larger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware. Covering 2.2 million loaded acres, it’s so big that one day isn’t nearly enough to take in its main sights. However, that huge size is a great reason to visit Yellowstone; it allows you to find peace even during the peak of summer when hordes of tourists swarm the area.

Avoid exhausting drives: Pick your perfect park base with our ultimate guide on where to stay when visiting Yellowstone.

Verdant forest vista in Yellowstone
Appreciate Yellowstone’s enormity!

5. The Bison

Wildlife lovers, unite! Encountering wild bison is a special feeling and one that never gets old. To see for yourself, make your way over to the biggest bison hotspot of Yellowstone, Lamar Valley, and watch those majestic animals stampede right below you. Just make sure to plan your time wisely; bison jams occur around here frequently, and when they decide to stop blocking traffic is totally up to them.

Grazing bison in Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park, WY
Lamar Valley.

6. Beartooth Highway

The 68-mile (109 km) Beartooth Highway, one of the most scenic drives in America, offers a spectacular route into Yellowstone National Park throughout the summer season. Winding through the mountains of Southwest Montana and Northwest Wyoming, it starts near the picturesque mountain town Red Lodge, Montana, and ends close to Yellowstone’s Northeast Entrance. Be sure to allow time for numerous stops along the way — the photo opportunities are many.

Beartooth Highway twisting its way through Montana and Wyoming mountains
Beartooth Highway.

7. Endless hiking trails

While just driving through Yellowstone is mesmerizing, nothing beats discovering the park on your own two feet. Lace up your hiking boots and sample the more than 900 miles (1,449 km) of trails available, taking you far away from those distracting crowds. No matter if you pick a flat valley hike or rising challenge reaching 7,000 feet (2,134 m) above the sea level: Pack some bear spray with you.

Narrow hiking trail in Yellowstone National Park
Hike through Yellowstone.

Related: Also check our comprehensive list of the best things to do in the USA. Do you think Yellowstone is there?

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