Mammoth Hot Springs, © Can Stock / Keifer
Old Faithful Geyser
The Old Faithful Geyser is the best known attraction at Yellowstone National Park. Old Faithful Geyser usually erupts every half hour, but the timing isn’t exact. The geyser shouts out about 5,000 gallons of water to a height of more than 100 feet. The entire process takes a couple minutes, so it’s easy to miss. The Old Faithful Inn and the Visitor Education Center are conveniently located right beside the Old Faithful. A ring of bench seating helps visitors wait for the spectacle at a close, but safe distance.
Old Faithful, © Can Stock / smontgom65
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone includes the Upper and Lower Yellowstone River Falls. The Lower Falls are much higher, but narrower too. Stop at the Visitor Education Center on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and walk the rim trails. From the trail you can see the Lower Falls at Lookout Point and the Yellowstone Canyon at Grand View. You can also get a great view of the Yellowstone Canyon at Inspiration Point. Then drive across the bridge to the South Rim. Hike down more than 300 steep steps on Uncle Tom’s Trail to the base of the Lower Falls. Finish off by driving or hiking to Artist Point for another view of the Lower Falls and the Yellowstone River.
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, @ Pixabay / skeeze
Mammoth Hot Springs – calcium (travertine) deposits create ever changing pool formations and colors. Stop at the Albright Visitor Center and take the self guided trail around Fort Yellowstone, which the US Army used to protect the area before it became a national park.
Geyser Basins – West Thumb Geyser Basin at Yellowstone Lake, Lower Geyser Basin with Fountain Paint Pot, Midway Geyser Basin with the Grand Prismatic Spring, Upper Geyser Basin with Old Faithful, Morning Glory Pool and Belgian Pool, Norris Basin with the Steamboat Geyser. Old Faithful is not the most powerful geyser in the park, but it’s the only predictable one. Get a map from the Park Service, so you know where to look for all the hot springs, mud pots and geysers.
LeHardy’s Rapids are on the Yellowstone River, about 4 miles north of Fish Village. You can access the rapids on a short walk from two pullouts on the highway. The river has a summer cutthroat trout run. Mud Volcano and Dragon’s Mouth Spring are a short walk from the roadside parking just north LeHardys Rapids and Fish Village. Fish Village has a Museum & Visitor Center.
Wild Bison on Highway, © Can Stock / alptraum
Yellowstone National Park – More Sights
See wild bison and pronghorn antelope on the open plateau at Madison Junction on the west side of the park. You can also see lots of bison and elk at Hayden Valley between Canyon Village and Fish Village.
Lamar Valley is famous for its wolf packs. Wolves were extinct in Yellowstone National Park, but were reintroduced in 1995 by using Canadian wolves.
Ride the Yellowstone Park Yellow Bus on a number of guided tour options, such as sunset at Lake Butte. The buses operate from several lodges. In the winter, you can also pay to ride the Yellowstone Park snow coach between Mammoth and Old Faithful.