Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

Pat Wayne Dunlap Yellowstone National Park Sign
Pat & Wayne Loved Their Visit 
to Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA (6/9-11/2018)

Yellowstone is a national treasure set aside as the first National Park in the world! IT’S AWESOME!

Beautiful Yellowstone!
Sitting on top of one of the largest active volcanoes in the world, Yellowstone National Park is home to more than 10,000 hydrothermal features and two-thirds of all the geysers in the world (more than 300 geysers). Don’t worry... this volcano isn’t expect to erupt for another 400,000 years – plenty of time for you to enjoy Yellowstone.

Lower Falls & Grand Canyon 
of Yellowstone
Impressive as the geysers and hot springs are belching and bubbling from the ground, Yellowstone National Park is so much more. The stunning unspoiled landscape is also home to miles of very scenic drives of pine trees along beautiful rivers and mountains. Yellowstone is home to many other amazing features such as the impressive Grand Canyon of Yellowstone & large Yellowstone Lake, breathtaking waterfalls, tranquil mountain meadows, beautiful hikes, historic Inns, campgrounds, quaint towns, and impressive wildlife viewing. Winter in Yellowstone offers skiing, snowmobiling, and sleigh rides.

Map Yellowstone National Park
Map - Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park has so many wonderful features to enjoy than numerous books have been written about it. The following is a brief review of some impressive features you can enjoy close to the road. Yellowstone’s roads have two loops - Upper and Lower (see map).

Some features on Yellowstone’s Lower Loop Road...

Old Faithful Geyser

Old Faithful Geyser Yellowstone National Park
Old Faithful Geyser Proved Faithful for Us!
A visit to Yellowstone National Park must include the world’s most famous geyser. Although not the largest geyser in Yellowstone National Park, Old Faithful blows plenty high (up to 180 feet) every 90 minutes and is predictable within in few minutes (see photo). The average eruption lasts around four minutes and a seating area is available.

Log Rafters Lobby Old Faithful Inn Yellowstone National Park
Log Rafters Lobby - Old Faithful Inn
The Old Faithful Visitor Center is very interesting to learn about geysers and offers an informative film 30 minutes prior and 15 minutes after each eruption. The historic Old Faithful Inn, built in 1904, is worth a visit to see its seven-story lobby made of log rafters (see photo). The Observation Deck on the second floor is a nice place to view Old Faithful. Several dining rooms and cafes are located in this area.

Geyser Hill

Geyser Hill Yellowstone National Park
Geyser Hill - Yellowstone National Park
There are scores of active geysers directly north of Old Faithful. Several can be visited on the inner boardwalk loop while many more can be accessed along a tarmac trail starting in front of Old Faithful Inn. Witnessing one of these erupting is harder because they do not erupt as often (Daisy, Grand, Castle, and Riverside erupt about twice a day - Daisy every 2-4 hours) and the times are predicted daily at the main visitor center. Park rangers lead 1 ½-hour walks of the Upper Geyser Basin daily at 5:30PM.

Grand Prismatic Spring

Grand Prismatic Spring Yellowstone National Park
Grand Prismatic Spring 
- Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone’s most beautiful thermal feature is the Grand Prismatic Spring (see photo) located 10 miles north of Old Faithful. The surrounding very colorful rings of algae and thermophiles change as the temperature of the water cools creating a rainbow of yellows, oranges, and greens. The parking lot here is often full but don’t despair because you can only see all of it from above looking down. So, go on to...

Fountain Paint Pot

Fountain Pot Thermal Features Yellowstone National Park Geyser
Fountain Pot Thermal Features 
- Yellowstone National Park
If the parking lot is full at the Grand Prismatic Spring, a nice stop to see interesting hot springs is nearby Fountain Paint Pot, also located north of Old Faithful on Yellowstone’s lower loop road. In fact, because this area offers more interesting thermal features, we recommend including it during your visit. From the parking lot, follow the half-mile boardwalk loop to see these interesting thermal features up close. The colorful pools are from thermophile (heat-loving microorganisms) that thrive in the very hot water.

West Thumb

Bluebell Pool West Thumb Yellowstone National Park
Bluebell Pool in West Thumb 
- Yellowstone National Park
West Thumb is located east of Old Faithful. There is a very interesting ¼-mile easy boardwalk trail starting behind the Visitor Center that takes you to some pretty hot spring pools (including Bluebell (see photo), Seismograph, Black, and Abyss) - the colors of the pools are amazing! You will also walk along the deep-cobalt blue Yellowstone Lake, the largest high-altitude lake in North America (132 square miles).

Waterfalls & Yellowstone Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone National Park
Spectacular Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
Two beautiful waterfalls are located just off Yellowstone’s lower loop road. Our favorite easily accessed from the road is the picturesque Lower Falls (see photo above) on the northeast. From Artist Point you can get a wonderful view of Lower Falls as well as the spectacular Yellowstone Grand Canyon (see photo). This is the scene of the famous painting by Thomas Moran brought back to Congress and President Roosevelt that help inspire the founding of Yellowstone National Park.

Gibbon Falls Yellowstone National Park waterfall
Gibbon Falls - Yellowstone National Park
Waterfall lovers will also enjoy Gibbon Falls located north of Fountain Paint Pot. Gibbon Falls is beautiful dropping 84 feet (see photo). There are many other waterfalls (approximately 290) in Yellowstone National Park that can be accessed from Yellowstone’s 1,000 miles of back country hiking trails.

Tower Fall Yellowstone National Park
Tower Fall
Some features on Yellowstone’s Upper Loop Road...

Tower Fall

Tower Fall is an impressive waterfall dropping 132 feet (see photo). The Yellowstone General Store located here is nice to explore and possibly try some ice cream.

Mammoth Hot Springs

Mammoth Hot Springs Yellowstone National Pa
Mammoth Hot Springs
Mammoth Hot Springs is one of our favorites in the park. This graceful collection of travertine geothermal terraces can be accessed by a boardwalk trail. The famous lower terrace travertine formation of Minerva Spring created over thousands of years can also be accessed from the lower parking lot. Travel Tip: if you can, start at the top at the North Entrance Station and walk downhill to view the Upper and Lower Terraces – much easier on the knees.

Elk Mammoth Hot Springs Yellowstone National Park
Elk at Mammoth Hot Springs
The Albright Visitor Center and Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel are fun to visit. There is a nice restaurant (Mammoth Hot Springs Dining Room) as well as a café (Mammoth Terrace Grill) located at Mammoth Hot Springs. We saw a number of elk hanging out in this area.

Lamar Valley

Bison Buffalo Lamar Valley Yellowstone National Park
Bison (Buffalo) - Lamar Valley
Located in the northeast of Yellowstone National Park and home to the densest collection of big animals in Yellowstone, the Lamar Valley is sometimes called the Serengeti of North America because of the wonderful wildlife viewing. Elk and actual herds of bison (buffalo) can easily be sighted from the road. Searching the tree lines, you may also see a grizzly bear, coyote, and wolves. A good pair of binoculars or telephoto camera lens will help you better view these animals.

Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park
Beautiful Grand Teton National Park
The magnificent Grand Teton National Park is located south of Yellowstone National Park. If you plan to visit Yellowstone from the South Entrance coming up from Jackson Hole, stop at the Chapel of the Transfiguration for a beautiful panoramic view of the Tetons (see photo). The view from inside of this small church is also impressive.

About Yellowstone National Park

Located mostly in the northwest corner of the state of Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park was founded in 1872 by President Theodore Roosevelt as the first U.S. national park and is also a designed World Heritage Site & Biosphere Reserve.

Spring Wildflowers Yellowstone National Park
Spring Wildflowers - Yellowstone National Park
Travel Tip: Best time to visit Yellowstone National Park - Yellowstone receives over 3.5 million visitors a year with large crowds during the summer high season. Visiting during the shoulder seasons during May/early June and September/early October is nice when school is out and after and before the colder winter season. June is a good time to witness fields of beautiful wildflowers (see photo).

Elk Yellowstone National Park
Elk - Yellowstone National Park
Roads and viewing of geysers are busiest between 11AM and 3PM. You can avoid most the crowds by getting up early and staying out late as well as walking a mile from the road. Roadside pullout lots are located all throughout Yellowstone National Park – stop and take in the amazing views. Legendary hiking is available as well as horseback riding, kayaking, rafting, and fishing.

Canyon Lodge - Canyon Village, 
Yellowstone National Park
Travel Tip: Where to stay in Yellowstone National Park – The centrally located large complex Canyon Lodge in Canyon Village offers very nice more affordable lodging with a restaurant, grocery store, and shopping. Historic inns, hotels, and campgrounds throughout the park are also available.

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