National Park Yellowstone above the supervolcano – which isn’t expected to erupt for another 1,000 to 10,000 years – is today a mecca for fun in the outdoors: hiking, biking, zipline, horseback riding, backpacking, cross country skiing… The park itself is huge and there’s no easy answer to what are the top attractions – but we have compiled a list of the 5 that you shouldn’t miss.
5 – Yellowstone Lake, breathtaking in grandeur, has a long shoreline from where you can see snow-capped mountains and on windy days watch ocean-like waves break onto the shore. Visit the Lake Village, the Lake Yellowstone Hotel which was built in 1891 as a meeting place for Indians, trappers, and mountain men.
Flickr /Ole M
4 – Mammoth Hot Springs is Park headquarters. Some of the oldest buildings in the Park are here, some of them are from the days when the Army was managing the area. On the Mammoth Hot Springs Terrace, hot watter rises through limestone, providing a fantastic feeling of the deep volcanic forces at work.
3 – Hayden Valley is where you go to see Yellowstone’s wildlife – herds of bison and the occasional grisley bear call this beautiful, broad valley home. The Yellowstone river passes through the Valley, offering you the look at Canadian geese, ducks and pelicans that swimm in or lounge near the River.
2 – Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is just breathtaking. Take the time to view the Canyon from both North and South side, and take the hike down to the edge of the Lower Falls – about 3/8 mile one way. At the Canyon Visitor Center there has been many exhibits explaining the geology of Park.
1 – Old Faithful, the most famous of geysers, errupts once in every 70-90 minutes. An erruption lasts up to 5 minutes, reaches heights of over 180 feet and expels up to 8,000 gallons of boiling water. Here is also the Old Faithful Inn, the most popular hotel in Yellowstone, but it can be difficult to obtain a reservation here during peak summer season, so be sure to plan the visit upfront.
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