Yellowstone has and always will be one of my favorite National Parks to explore! Growing up my mom would take us on many trips and Yellowstone was always one of them that we explored a handful of times. Love that I am now sharing these same destinations with my family! We were also lucky on this trip and had the best tour guide around – my mom! Growing up she would visit Island Park and Yellowstone every year with her grandparents, so she knows all the spots to see.
With Yellowstone National Park covering 2 million acres it can be a daunting task to decide what places to see while visiting or see it all for that matter depending on your length of stay. That is why this will forever be a National Park we can visit time and time again and the scenery will never get old. Here are a few of our favorite spots to explore when visiting the park. I would recommend spending at least three days, that gives you plenty of time to see these places listed below.
Here is my list of places to explore in Yellowstone National Park!
Grand Prismatic Spring
Grand Prismatic Spring is the largest hot spring in the United States, and the third-largest in the world, located in the Midway Meyer Basin. This spring is one of my favorite places to see and visit. With its rainbow of colors, it’s definitely a sight to see.
There is a nice boardwalk to walk around that surrounds the hot and extremely deep geysers. Fun fact – it is deeper than a 10 story building! It is also extremely hot, so not a place want to dip your toes into or go skinny dipping for that matter! As you venture around the boardwalk you will also see more pools and geysers, Opal Pool, Turquoise Pool, and Excelsior Geyser.
This is a place that you will be able to come back to time and time again and The view will never get old!
If you have time to spend and are feeling up to it, there is a hike called Fairy Falls. It is about 1.2 miles roundtrip that takes you to an overlook to see the Grand Prismatic Spring from above. I’ve heard the view from up there is incredible and looking forward to making the trek to the top next time we visit the park.
Of course, a trip to Yellowstone isn’t complete without seeing Old Faithful. Old Faithful is the world’s most famous geyser that erupts multiple times a day with the eruptions lasting anywhere between 1.5 to 5 min and varies in height from 100-180 feet. When you first arrive take a quick visit to the visitor center where they post their prediction for the next eruption, making it easier to plan your time. The viewing area is great with ample space and benches to sit and watch the grand show!
The Old Faithful area is huge and a great place to explore if you have time. There are shops, cafes and the Old Faithful Inn which is an amazing place to see. We loved walking around the inside of the hotel. So charming and rustic.
Upper Geyser Basin is located here as well and another fun one to see, and of course, always running into wildlife along the way! To this day if you ask Beckham about his trip to Yellowstone, he will tell you that he saw a bison peeing in the river!!! Haha! Funny the things kids remember.
West Thumb Geyser Basin
I have to say I love all of Yellowstone but the location of West Thumb Geyser Basin is beautiful! It overlooks Yellowstone Lake and is just such a pretty setting with the lake and all the turquoise-colored geysers!
West Thumb Geyser Basin including Potts Basin is the largest basin on the shores of Yellowstone Lake. West Thumb of Yellowstone Lake was formed by a large volcanic explosion that happened hundreds of years ago.
As you walk along the pathway you will see many hot and boiling springs, water, and fine clay arraying in different shapes, colors, and sizes including the Abyss Pool and the Fishing Cone. Some springs are along the shores of Yellowstone lake. This place is definitely a place to check out while in Yellowstone! The lake and the pretty colors of the geysers/springs are so pretty,
Grant Village is nearby that has a campground as well as lots of amenities. Also activities on the lake including, canoeing and kayaking. So much to see and do in this area of the park!
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
Okay last but not least, The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone! There at the Grand Canyon are lower Yellowstone falls and upper Yellowstone, both with accessible viewing points. We explored the lower falls, which is the largest waterfall of the two. It is absolutely breathtaking. There are numerous views of the Falls from both the east (Inspiration Point, Grandview Point, and Lookout Point) and west (Artists Point) sides of the Grand Canyon, most of which require only a short walk or virtually no walk to see. The falls are such a breathtaking view to see!
There are plenty of viewpoints to see the falls!
This was the best way to end our day at Yellowstone. Next time we will for sure have to check out the view from the upper falls. Writing this post and going through all these pics again is making me want to plan a trip back sooner than later!
Best time to visit Yellowstone
The best times to visit Yellowstone National Park are from April to May and between September and October. These shoulder months offer mild weather and fewer crowds. July and August are the most popular months to visit: The kids are out of school, and the weather is warm enough to sleep outside.
We went in September and I have to say it was great! The weather wasn’t too cold or hot and the fall foliage was incredible. We ended our stay in Jackson Hole and the drive through the park into Jackson was so pretty. I would definitely recommend going in the fall to see all the fall colors!
Yellowstone National Park so far is our favorite National Park that we have been to so far. It will be a place that we will for sure go to time and time again.
Is there a destination that you have been to that will never get old and you see yourself visiting time and time again?