Yellowstone National Park
Established in 1872 and situated in Wyoming (primarily), Montana, and Idaho, Yellowstone is America's first national park. Preserved within it are Mammoth Hot Springs; Yellowstone Canyon; Lake Yellowstone; and, of course, Old Faithful Geyser---one of the world’s most extraordinary hydrothermal features amid what is also the world's largest single collection of geysers, hot springs, fumaroles, and mud pots. Volcanic activity through the millennia is also evident in the park’s extraordinary mountains and intriguing hardened-lava masses and other land forms. The abundant wildlife here includes grizzly bears, wolves, bison, and elk.
Tackling this multi-state, 2.2-million-acre park, with its 1,000-plus miles of trails, takes some planning---and your plans could vary based not only on your interests but also on seasonal road and other closures. To take in Old Faithful, enter via either the south entrance (also good for Grant Village and West Thumb on Lake Yellowstone) in Wyoming or the west entrance at the Idaho--Wyoming border. There are several lodging options near the park’s most famous of geysers, and the visitors center has a daily schedule of when it’s likely to erupt. The north entrance, which is actually in the park’s northwest corner, is closest to Mammoth Hot Springs and its lodgings, museums, and visitors center.
Entering via the northeast entrance is the shortest route to Tower Roosevelt and Canyon Village. The east entrance is closest to Fishing Bridge, Lake Village, and Bridge Bay. Regardless of where you enter or explore, stay on the trails, some of which have boardwalks, and follow all rules and guidelines to stay safe and to minimize your impact on the fragile ecosystems. And, given the park’s unique geology, be sure to look into the many interpretive programs and ranger-led walks and talks offered in summer in the various areas.
There are 12 front-county RV- and tent-site campgrounds (five of which take reservations) as well as more than 300 back-country tent sites. All told, the park has nine guest lodges, two of which are open year round. The oldest lodge is the Lake Hotel and Cabins, opened in 1891 and on the National Register of Historic Places. There are also many dining options---from snack bars to full-service restaurants. The park has myriad outfitters. In summer, options for touring (guided and self-guided) include not only scenic drives and hikes but also llama or horseback treks, boating (non-motorized) expeditions, and biking excursions. Fishing is also an option. In winter, you can snowmobile, cross-country ski, or snow shoe.
495 Old Faithful
- Wyoming, United States of America 82190
- 44.51622600, -110.49190500
- Visit Website
- (307) 344-7381