Yellowstone National Park just celebrated its 150th anniversary and we wanted to celebrate that with a look at the most beautiful sights in the park.
Grand Prismatic Spring
You’ve seen it on Instagram, now you have to go see it in reality! The Grand Prismatic Spring is the largest hot spring in the U.S. and the third largest in the world. In pictures, you don’t even realise how big it actually it is. Using American terms, it’s bigger than a football field and deeper than a 10-story building.
Old Faithful Geyser
If you’re going to Yellowstone, you have to go see the Old Faithful Geyser. People wait hours to see this baby erupt and funnily enough, despite being called Old Faithful, it doesn’t erupt at regular intervals anymore. Now you have to wait anywhere from 35 minutes to two hours to see the eruption. But if you need to pass the time, you can go and check out the rest of the Upper Geyser Basin where Old Faithful resides.
The Upper Geyser Basin has the highest concentration of geysers in the entire world! The path through them takes about two hours but you’ll see amazing geysers and more rainbow-coloured pools.
Lamar Valley has some fantastic wildlife spotting, and it is the only place in the park where you have a good chance of seeing wolves in the wild. Not only that but you’ve got bison, coyotes, elk, bears, and pronghorns. It’s very easily accessible by car with many turnouts for those who wants photos. There’s also catch-and-release fishing with cutthroat and rainbow trout. You can also see a petrified forest as a result of the eroded remnant of an ancient lava ash deposit where the trees were buried.
Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
Carved by the Yellowstone River and up to 20 miles long and 1,200 feet deep, the Grand Canyon lives up to its name even if it isn’t as big as the Grand Canyon. It features the Lower Falls which is twice the height of Niagara Falls. The falls send foam and mist hundreds of feet in the air which dampens the surrounding rocks and mosses them all up in a vibrant green.
Mammoth Hot Springs
A unique sight to be sure. Heat, water, minerals and limestone are how these terraces were formed. Variously coloured travertine (a calcium carbonate) has been dissolved from the limestone underground and is then carried to the surface by rising hot water. Some of these terraces have died due to a lack of water flow but the springs in Yellowstone are very constant so new springs are always forming at the surface creating new terraces. The Minerva Terrace is the highlight of the bunch.
The largest alpine lake in North America is a beauty to behold. But it doesn’t just provide for scenic viewers, but also fisherman and boaters. Like we mentioned with the Lamar Valley, it’s all catch-and-release but the abundance of fish and the sport of it is why you visit.
It’s the valley between Canyon and Lake, and it’s yet another place to spot amazing wildlife. Sagebrush flats and open meadows are perfect for elk and deer, and you might even spot a moose by the rivers. Buffalo are there as well. The problem with Hayden Valley is that it’s bear country. Plenty of grizzlies are about which means it isn’t advisable to hike around here. As a result, Hayden Valley can be a bit of a traffic jam with all the cars getting stuck due to crossing bison herds.
If you aren’t at Yellowstone purely for beauty but for the alien and other-worldly, than look no further than the mud volcano. You’ll smell it before you see it thanks to the sulphur. The sulphuric acid is the reason the mud is hissing and gurgling. The acid also eats away at the surrounding landscape giving the whole place a very eerie feel.
If that got your travel bug biting, check out the best places to visit in the U.K.
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