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How to Plan Your Visit to Yellowstone National Park

How to Plan Your Visit to Yellowstone National Park

by Arshpreet Multani | March 22, 2019

Sitting atop a volcanic hot spot, Yellowstone National Park is surely a breathtaking sight that is guaranteed to have travelers in awe. Yellowstone offers a wide array of sights, including canyons, forests, hot springs and geysers, alpine rivers and the infamous Old Faithful. Read this guide to figure out if Yellowstone will be your next travel destination.

General Information

  • Busiest times: Yellowstone’s beauty is no secret, thus it is not surprising that thousands of people flock to this national, with an especially high volume of people during the months of June, July, and August.
  • Plan ahead: Lodges and campgrounds become occupied early, and it is unlikely that you will find a place to sleep last minute. Also, first come first served campgrounds fill by early morning.
  • Be safe: Stay on boardwalks to avoid injuries that commonly take place in the hot springs.
  • Bears are present: Bears live all throughout the park, before your travel be sure to brush up on how to travel safely.

Recommended Campgrounds

Yellowstone provides a total of 12 campgrounds, and over 2,000 sites. Here are some of the recommended sites for first timers.

  • Mammoth Hot Springs: Yellowstone’s only year-round campground is located just minutes away from the scenic Mammoth Hot Springs. Located in the northern part of the park, with tons of opportunities to view wildlife for animal lovers. This first come, first served campground is also close to fishing and hiking activities. 85 sites, $20/night.
  • Norris: The central location of this site makes it a popular destination. Situated in the heart of the park, this campground features the Museum of the National Park Ranger, the Norris Geyser Basin Museum, and Norris Geyser Basin. Evening campfire programs operate from June up until September at the Norris Campground campfire circle. 100 sites, $20/night.

Activities Around Yellowstone

  • Day hiking: Explore Yellowstone’s 900 miles of hiking trails, including Uncle Tom's Trail, which is a short, but difficult hike that provides breathtaking views. The Mount Washburn Trail is known as one of the best hikes, and it is a rather moderate hike with beautiful sights.
  • Photography: Some of the most popular shots taken are from these top locations:
    • Grand Prismatic Spring: Yellowstone's largest hot spring, which offers an elevated view of the scenery.
    • Lower Falls of Yellowstone River: Check out Lower Falls, Lookout Point, Uncle Tom's Trail, and Artist Point to capture that perfect shot.
    • Old Faithful: Get a firsthand view of the geyser erupting. Stay up to date by seeing prediction of when the Old Faithful will erupt.
    • Boating: Enjoy an alternative view of Yellowstone by traveling across the lakes. Be wary of the risks of boating in the Northern Rockies: water temperatures vary with season, and with strong winds come high waves.

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