As with any other national park, hiking is the top activity and best way to explore Yellowstone. It’s what first-time visitors should do as it will let them explore the area at their own pace. Yellowstone National Park is among the most visited in the United States, with almost five million people enjoying its magnificence in 2021.
This destination that covers Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho is not just iconic but historic as it’s considered the world’s first national park. With a total land area of 2.2 million acres, it offers lots of safe space for wildlife. With that comes endless opportunities for tourists to explore its tracks, be within its forests, and spot critters. Yellowstone says hello to travelers of all kinds.
10 Camping Or Lodging
Staying a night or two is the best way to take in all the sights and sounds of Yellowstone. After all, a day is not enough to explore this exposition of Mother Nature’s best. For those who want to stay overnight with a roof over their heads, the park has nine lodges, perfect for any season. From rustic lodges to hotel-style accommodations, there's something for everyone in Yellowstone. What is more worthwhile, however, is camping outdoors, something that can be easily done in the park, thanks to its 12 campgrounds, or a total of more than 2,000 campsites. There’s also backcountry camping for true-blue outdoorsmen. Wherever guests stay for the night, the evening breeze of Yellowstone welcomes them.
Those dropping by Yellowstone for a day tour can rest easy knowing that the park is dotted with picnic areas. The picnic spots are perfectly located in shady areas, with towering trees helping tourists enjoy the breeze while taking in the sights. Be they by the Beaver Lake, DeLacy Creek, or Gardner River, or by the nearest road or in a forested area; picnickers will enjoy biting their tasty treats in Yellowstone. For those who want to dine in, the park also has restaurants. But who would eat inside when the best views are outdoors?
Fly fishing is a favorite activity in Yellowstone from late May to November. The park is home to Yellowstone Lake, the largest high-elevation in North America. With such a big playground, fly fishers will enjoy throwing a line and reeling in. Common fish that can be scored even by first-timers include rainbow, brown, brook, and lake trout. Whether anglers want to throw a line in rivers or lakes, they are sure to score a big one.
Just like hiking, riding a bike is one perfect way to drink in the sights and sounds of Yellowstone while breaking a sweat. Biking is tiring but rewarding, especially in this scenic park. There are at least 10 trails where bikers can challenge themselves. In the Old Faithful Area, there's the Lone Star Geyser trail for a geyser journey, while Lake Village Area offers a view of the Natural Bridge. Canyon and Tower Areas will challenge cyclists who dare conquer Mount Washburn, while West Yellowstone Area is all about relaxation, thanks to the river trail. For mellow rides or tiring ones, Yellowstone won’t disappoint.
6 Wildlife Watching
A wildlife tour is a must in Yellowstone because it’s brimming with plant and animal species. Those who want to spot bears, elks, and wolves can do so in Fishing Bridge or Hayden Valley, while bison abound in Lamar Valley, Mammoth Hot Springs, or Madison. The North and Northeast Entrances, meanwhile, are frequented by moose. Birders might get lucky, too, if they spot trumpeter swans, golden eagles, and common loons. Botany lovers can also have a satisfying time exploring forests, wetlands, and steppes. The park is teeming with life that’s just waiting to be observed.
Yellowstone’s waterways are inviting, from the Lewis River to the lakes. As such, boating is another activity tourists should try in this park that always gives. Whether visitors are renting a boat, joining a tour, or paddling their own canoe, they will have relaxing views as their companions. Yellowstone Lake is the best spot because it’s big and welcoming, while the fine waters of Lewis River invite even paddleboarders. Fishers aboard a boat will have an entertaining stay, but even those who just want a mellow paddle will have a journey worth remembering.
4 Horseback Riding
Those who want to ride off into the sunset can do so with horseback riding. Traveling with a horse has been around for centuries, and doing it in Yellowstone is a memory of a lifetime. Why so? The mountain views are stunning, the greenery is inviting, and the breeze is relaxing. All that work together to deliver riders a hooved journey that’s one for the books. Whether guests will bring their steed or will join a tour, Montana’s horseback journeys will deliver.
3 Photography Tours
Photography tours are common in Yellowstone because of its ecological wonders, which are the perfect subjects. A masterpiece is always within grasp in this brimming park, so lensmen should always be ready to take that perfect shot. They need not worry, though, because, with the park’s allure, even stolen shots will look good. The popular spots for picture-taking are the Grand Prismatic Spring, Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River, and the Old Faithful Geyser. Wildlife photographers can check out Lamar Valley, while for golden hour moments, Yellowstone Lake is perfect. Wherever they point their camera, tourists will have an enjoyable time in this paradise.
2 Exploring Thermal Spots
Aside from its greenery and wildlife, Yellowstone is also famous for its thermal spots, primarily the Old Faithful. The geyser looks stunning in photos, more so when viewed in person. The park is also home to the massive Mammoth Hot Springs, the Norris basin, one of the park’s hottest and most acidic, and the muddy Fountain Paint Pot. Exploring the thermal basins is a once-in-a-lifetime experience – a learning journey through volcanic features and hydrothermal wonders (all 10,000 of them).
1 Winter Activities
The best time to visit Yellowstone National Park might be summer, but when winter comes, the place becomes a wonderland. There are more than 40 trails in the park for an action-packed skiing or a mellow snowshoe sojourn. Snowmobilers are in for a treat, too, because Yellowstone can be their playground. Those who have the grit to face the cold can also try backcountry camping. Winter, spring, summer, or fall, Yellowstone has the perfect adventures.