America’s first national park certainly has a lot to offer! Located in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho and spanning over 3,468 square miles, Yellowstone is known for its gorgeous geothermal features, diverse ecosystems, and abundant wildlife. You could explore Yellowstone National Park for days, but, if you only have 24 hours, here’s what you can’t miss!
Drive Along Lamar Valley
Start or end your trip to Yellowstone with a drive along Lamar Valley. Dusk and dawn are the best times to see wildlife anywhere – and Yellowstone is no exception. Bring your camera and scope out the bison, moose, bighorn sheep, elk, and pronghorn antelope. Yellowstone is also home to lynx, bobcats, mountain lions, gray wolves, and grizzly bears – but these animals are more elusive, and you may not see them.
Fun Fact: the Yellowstone Park bison herd is the largest and oldest public herd in the States.
Artists Paintpots Trail
This easy walking trail leads you through a gorgeous hydrothermal area. Check out the mud pots, geysers, a fumarole, hot springs, and more! The boardwalk trail encapsulates so much of Yellowstone’s unique hydrothermal features. This is one of the more popular trails, so it can get quite busy. We recommend getting there as early as possible to beat the crowds. It only takes about 45 minutes to take it all in!
Yellowstone is home to several geysers you shouldn’t pass up seeing. Old Faithful, so named because of its consistent eruptions, faithfully erupts every 35-120 minutes. The cone-shaped geyser’s eruptions send thousands of gallons of boiling water up into the sky with heights reaching over 100 feet. Find a seat near Old Faithful for the best picnic spot in the park. Eat lunch while you wait and watch Old Faithful erupt.
Grand Prismatic Spring
The largest (and arguably one of the most awe-inspiring) hot springs in the States is a sight not to be missed. The huge hot spring has rings of colour that give it an air of both beauty and mystery. It looks like nothing you’d imagine to find in nature. The colours are the most vivid in the summertime (so now is the perfect time to go!). The rings change colour with the temperature and get hotter the closer to the middle they are.
Check out our US Mountain States Travel Guide and our other 24-hour itineraries!
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