Since March 1, 1872, millions of travelers from all over the world have visited Yellowstone National Park, one of the most awe-inspiring and breathtaking places in the world. In addition to its raw beauty and abundant wildlife, the immense Yellowstone volcano creates hydrothermal wonders, such as hot springs, mudpots, fumaroles, geysers, and travertine terraces. These features create an otherworldly environment that visitors never forget. As America’s first national park, there are countless reasons why you should visit, but here are just ten of them.
- Wildlife – Yellowstone is teeming with wildlife: bears, bison, elk, wolves, sheep, deer, moose, antelope, and birds. The park’s 3,000+ square miles offer wildlife plenty of space to live and roam on their own terms. Animal sightings are possible no matter which season you visit. March and April are the best times to watch bears grazing in the meadows after winter hibernation. Winter is the best time to see wolves against a white, snowy backdrop. And early morning and evening are often the best times to view the animals as they tend to feed during these times.
- Hiking – Yellowstone has more than 900 miles (1,449 km) of hiking trails offering diverse topography, from canyons and lakes to forests and valleys, and beyond. If hiking is your passion, you will certainly find satisfaction at Yellowstone.
- Grand Prismatic Spring – Yellowstone’s largest spring measures 200-330’ in diameter and more than 121 feet deep. The variety of colors such as blue, turquoise, yellow, and orange, represent the water temperature as well as the different thermophiles, or organisms, that live in these high-temperature environments. This surreal hydrothermal basin is a sight to behold, so be sure to bring your camera.
- Geysers – Geysers are hot springs with constrictions in their plumbing, which cause them to periodically erupt releasing the built-up pressure. There are approximately 500 geysers in Yellowstone (close to 60 percent of the world’s geysers). In fact, in the Upper Geyser Basin, there are 150 geysers within one square mile! While some are more predictable than others, the most famous one is Old Faithful, perhaps because it is so predictable. The average eruption shoots 3,000-4,000 gallons of boiling hot water 130’ into the air. Other predictable geysers include Castle, Grand, Daisy, and Riverside.
- Artist Point – This lookout offers one of the most spectacular views in the Canyon Area of the Park. Located on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, you’ll stand next to a sheer drop of approximately 700 feet deep while admiring the mighty Yellowstone river as it rushes 308 feet over Lower Falls, making the falls two times higher than Niagara Falls. This is the perfect spot for a family portrait or selfie.
- Yellowstone Lake – This breathtaking lake is the largest high elevation lake in North America at 7,733 feet above sea level. Featuring 141 miles of shoreline and a surface area of 132 square miles that freezes completely in late December or early January, the average water temperature only reaches 41 degrees Fahrenheit. Also called Singing Lake, the Lake creates unique sounds as the ice reacts to changing temperatures. While the extremely cold temps prevent swimming, it’s great for fishing. In fact, the Lake has the largest population of wild cutthroat trout in North America.
- Fishing Bridge – Built in 1902 originally, the existing 1937 bridge once provided an ideal spot to fish as it was a major spawning area for cutthroat trout. While you can no longer fish off the bridge, it makes a wonderful place to observe the fish and the surrounding views.
- Historic Indian Tribes – For thousands of years before Yellowstone became a national park, Indians would hunt, fish, gather plants, quarry obsidian (volcanic glass), and use the thermal waters for medicine and spiritual purposes. Tribes included Crow, Blackfeet, Shoshone, Kiowa, and Bannock, among others. Yellowstone provides park managers and archeological and historical studies to help explain the stories that have been preserved in objects found in the Park.
- Large & Diverse – Covering 3,468 square miles or 2.2 million acres in three states, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, Yellowstone is huge. Combine its vast size with its diverse terrestrial, aquatic and microbial life, and you get a place to visit and discover something new, time and time again. This extraordinary park offers a wealth of activities, sights to explore, animal and plant life, as well as different seasons in which to view them.
- Stay at Dreamcatcher B&B – We are beautifully situated between Teton and Big Hole Mountains in Victor, ID. Located only 95 miles from Yellowstone, we offer the perfect launching pad and resting point for your national park experience. You will start each day with one of our delicious gourmet breakfasts in the beautiful dining area as you feast your eyes on the majestic views. After a day taking in the wonders of Yellowstone, you’ll come back to rest and rejuvenate in your luxurious guest room with private bath.
So, what are you waiting for? Book your room at Dreamcatcher B&B and start planning your getaway to America’s first and most awe-inspiring national park.