Yellowstone National Park, the most famous and popular national park in America. You have finally saved up enough money (hopefully) and enough holidays to visit this natural beauty. But did you know that Yellowstone National Park is almost 1.5 times the size of Hawaii??
With so much ground to cover, how will you know which parts to see? Lucky for you, we have visited there and picked 5 of our personal favorites for you to visit!! We have also included an estimated time of stay for each attraction so you can plan your day accordingly!! These do not include travel time!!
5 Places To Visit in Yellowstone National Park
1. Great Fountain Geyser
If this is your first time heading to Yellowstone National Park, you have probably never heard of this geyser. This is definitely one of the highlights and hidden gems in the park. The Great Fountain Geyser erupts only once a day, and at a height of 75 feet (22m) to 2220 feet (67m).
How do you find out when it erupts? I’m glad you asked. There are visitors centers situated throughout the park that provide such information.
Why should I go there? I am glad you asked as well. Even though this erupts to about the same height that Old Faithful does, this geyser is situated far away from the crowd.
Note: Old Faithful is the most famous geyser in Yellowstone National Park and erupts very consistently every 45 minutes or so.
Estimated time of stay: ~ Anywhere from 1 hour to 4 hours because the geyser has a 4-hour window for when it erupts. If you are spending a few days in Yellowstone, don’t hesitate to add this to your Yellowstone itinerary.
2. Grand Canyon of Yellowstone (Artist Point and Point Sublime Trail)
There are a few spots to see the Grand Canyon. However, as of August 2018, a lot of the overlooks were closed due to construction. The only one and arguably the best one that remained open was Artist Point.
Many people come here, see the view above, and call it a day. That is perfectly fine. But there is a trail at Artist Point called the Point Sublime trail.
Why should I go on the Point Sublime Trail? Point Sublime trail is a 2-mile loop along the edge of the canyon. This is definitely not a trail for the faint-hearted, especially those that are afraid of heights. You are at least a few thousand feet to the bottom of the canyon and they do not have railings or any safety measures. However, if you enjoy views like this, then you have to hike this trail.
Estimated time of stay @ Artist Point: ~ 30 minutes.
Estimate time of stay @ Point Sublime trail: ~1.5 hours.
3. Grand Prismatic Spring @ Fairy Falls
READ: There are two spots to see the Grand Prismatic Spring, one obviously at the Grand Prismatic Spring and the other one at the Grand Prismatic Spring Overlook on the Fairy Falls Trail.
This is probably one of the most famous places along with Old Faithful. If you have to pick one or the other, I would definitely recommend Grand Prismatic Spring. I am definitely a sucker for nice vivid colors.
If you do go to the actual Grand Prismatic Spring (which you should), you will see something like this.
Lots of details, Definitely very amazing. But what a lot of people don’t know is that there is a BETTER spot to see the Grand Prismatic Spring 15 minutes away at Fairy Falls.
Why should I go to Fairy Falls? If you like what you saw at Grand Prismatic Spring but wants to see a panoramic view from above. This is the spot for you.
Fairy Falls takes you on a 15 to 20-minute hike to the Grand Prismatic Overlook. It is a fairly easy and flat hike with beautiful scenery, and very safe for those without a bear spray. If you are traveling Yellowstone with kids, this is the perfect trail to take them on.
This is the view you get at the Grand Prismatic Overlook on the Fairy Falls Trail.
Note: If you do go to Grand Prismatic Spring, go there early in the day (~7 AM to ~9 AM). If you go later than that, expect to wait 30 minutes to 1 hour for parking! This was in August!
Estimated time of stay @ Grand Prismatic Spring: ~ 30 minutes to 45 minutes if you find parking quickly.
Estimate time of stay @ Fairy Falls: ~ 1.5 hours.
4. Mammoth Hot Springs
Located near the north entrance of Yellowstone National Park, Mammoth Hot Springs is definitely an attraction you don’t want to miss. The soft limestone mixed with the hot spring water allows for intricate patterns to form. Combined with the unique colors given off by these micro-organisms that live in the spring, this is definitely nature’s miracle. I can almost guarantee that you won’t see anything like this anywhere else in the park.
Why should I come here? Besides it being one of the most famous attractions in Yellowstone National Park, the science behind this place is extremely fascinating. The intricate patterns and formations in the rock are results from the chemical reactions happening underground!
Estimated time of stay: ~1 hour to 1.5 hours.
5. Calcite Springs Overlook
Last but not least. This spot is definitely one of the hidden gems of Yellowstone National Park. We didn’t plan on stopping here but we somehow stumbled onto this after seeing Tower Falls. No hiking, no bears, no risk of six-year-old Tommy getting lost. Perfect for family and kids, just park your car, walk 30 seconds and you are at one of the most beautiful places on earth. This is definitely worth coming here!
Why should I come here? Very accessible spot next to Tower Falls featuring great views and little physical activity!!
Estimated time of stay: ~ 15-30 minutes.
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These are the 5 places you don’t want to miss in Yellowstone National Park. A lot of the spots here are lesser known such as Calcite Springs, Point Sublime, and Fairy Falls. However, those were definitely more beautiful than some of the famous places!
If you do have extra time in Yellowstone National Park, why not spend one day exploring the nearby Grand Teton National Park?
For the veterans that have been to Yellowstone, have you seen any of the places I mentioned above? Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!
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