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According to US News & World Reports, it selected Yellowstone National Park as the 2nd Best Place to visit among the world only behind Paris, France. Yellowstone National Park is located in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho in the United States.
Yellowstone was the “world’s first National Park” when it was established by U.S. congress and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872. It reaches over 3,468 square miles and is home to wildlife such as bears, bison, elk, otters and wolves. It’s terrain includes lakes, canyons, mountain ranges, rivers, forests, mud spots, geysers and active volcanos.
When planning a visit to Yellowstone National Park which receives 3.8 million people each year, you must plan ahead. The peak season is June, July and August. Arrive early before 9 am or after 3 pm to avoid the crowds and the traffic. Practice “safe selfies” and do not approach or feed the animals. Beware of the bears as they inhabit the entire park. You may want to purchase “bear spray” or learn about “bear behavior” prior to your visit. Cell service is limited so you may want to download the Yellowstone smartphone app and download its’ content each day prior to your adventure.
Make reservations at a lodge or a campground before your arrival. There are 9 lodges total which allows for 2,000 rooms. Only 2 of the lodges are open during the winter which is the Old Faithful Lodge and the Mammoth Hot Springs Lodge. There are 12 campgrounds total throughout the park but only 5 of the campgrounds accept reservations. The other 9 are on a first come first serve basis. Arrive early morning to secure a camp site.
There are so many adventures to explore while you visit Yellowstone but you must visit the following 10 locations before your departure. Go visit the “Old Faithful Geyser”. It’s the most recognizable natural feature in the park and is a 500 degree geyser that blasts off “faithfully” every hour to release heat.
Next you must see Mammoth Hot Springs which is a large complex of hot springs that reach 200 degrees. They sit among beautiful travertine stone steps that may resemble a Mediterranean sauna.
Lamar Valley offers a picturesque landscape tucked within a valley that is good for animal watching. Next go visit Yellowstone Lake which is the largest lake in the park filled with various varieties of trout for the avid fisherman.
For the thrill seekers, the Norris Geyser Basin has active geysers that sit among an active volcano. Yellowstone has its’ own “little” Grand Canyon. It has steep canyon cliffs with dramatic waterfalls on display.
Hayden Valley sits along Yellowstone River while the West Thumb Geyser basin overlooks Yellowstone Lake with its’ underground hot springs.
Tower Falls is Yellowstone’s most scenic waterfall as it drops 130 feet with a perpetual rainbow. The Lower Geyser basin offers the largest group of mud spots, hot spring pools and geysers.