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I am a New York-based writer, travel lover, and author of The Drive North and Destination Paranormal. I have several other books in the works, including fiction.

Five Things to See in Yellowstone National Park

A black bear and her cub near the Blacktail Plateau

A black bear and her cub near the Blacktail Plateau

There are a lot of things to see in Yellowstone National Park. That’s why I recently wrote about them, when I discussed what to do on both the north and south loop roads in the park. But if you don’t have time to do all that, if you can only spend a short while exploring the park, then I have five things you must see in Yellowstone. Well, at least five things I think you should see…

An exhibit at the Museum of the Park Ranger

An exhibit at the Museum of the Park Ranger

5. The Museum of the National Park Ranger

I’ll be honest; this one can be argued about a million times over. If you’re not interested in history like me, then another spot up the road – the Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces, for instance – may be more the place for you. I love learning about history, though, and make it a point to stop in at the museum each time I visit Yellowstone. The other items on the list below, well, they can all be seen in varying degrees around the park as far as geothermal features, beautiful panoramas, and wildlife go, but there’s only one Museum of the National Park Ranger in the first national park in the world – Yellowstone National Park.

Yellowstone Lake Overlook

Yellowstone Lake Overlook

4. Lake Yellowstone

There’s no way to argue otherwise, the views across Lake Yellowstone are spectacular. Whether you see it from the area around the Lake Lodge, by the Fishing Bridge, or anywhere else, it’s impressive. My favorite spots are east of the Fishing Bridge. There’s a quiet pullout east of the bridge most people don’t go to, since they stop at the visitor center by the bridge and then turn around. Another spot is farther east of there; follow the signs to the Lake Butte Overlook. The views down to the Tetons are spectacular.

The Tetons and Yellowstone Lake

The Tetons and Yellowstone Lake

A rainbow at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

A rainbow at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

3. The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone may be the most beautiful place in Yellowstone National Park. It’s certainly one of my favorite, because it encapsulates so much of the park in one spot. If you listen, you’ll hear it tell you to hurry up; there are a lot of great vantage points from which to see it, so you’ll want to hit as many as possible. Or maybe you’ll hear it say to slow down; if you take a deep breath and relax, you can really hear not just the canyon and the falls come to life, but the whole park. Maybe the canyon will whisper for you not to move, because you’ll see something stunning; wildlife frequent parts of the canyon, especially on the south side, so you might get lucky and have an amazing encounter. Or maybe, like me, you might be fortunate enough to gawp at an amazingly stunning rainbow, the likes of which you might never see again.

At the edge of the Lower Falls in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

At the edge of the Lower Falls in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

2. The Wildlife

There may be no greater draw to Yellowstone National Park than the animals. And there certainly are a lot of them – two species of bears, bison, elk, wolves, big horns, and much, much more. They’re all there, right in one little, convenient area. You just need to, as I said before, slow down, keep your eyes open, and give them plenty of space. If you do that, you might just have an encounter you can tell stories about again and again.

A munching moose by the Blacktail Plateau

Dangerously close to a munching moose by the Blacktail Plateau

Watching Old Faithful erupt

Watching Old Faithful erupt

1. Old Faithful

Is there any greater icon of Yellowstone National Park than Old Faithful? If there is, tell me, please, because I can’t think of it. Sure, you have the wildlife, the lake, the canyon, the park ranger, but when I think of Yellowstone I think of Old Faithful first and foremost. And with all due cause too, since it is quite the spectacle, so much so that a huge ring of benches are set up around it for visitors to admire the timely celebration of nature in comfort. But don’t stop there. Be sure to get uncomfortable, too, by taking a long walk along the boardwalk running throughout the geyser basin. There are bunches of geysers, some predictable and some that you may be fortunate enough to see once every few years. Either way, get out and see them. And while you’re at it, continue on to the spectacular Morning Glory. The pool is sadly changing, because morons toss litter inside. So, before any more stupidity damages one of the most spectacular sites in Yellowstone, see Old Faithful and take the walk to see the other geysers, stop to admire Morning Glory, and head back to see Old Faithful one more time. You’ll be happy you did.

The beautiful Morning Glory pool

The beautiful Morning Glory pool

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5 Comments on “Five Things to See in Yellowstone National Park”

  1. Thomas | Jus Getaway August 12, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    I would go just to see good ole Old Faithful and the wildlife. Add in the waterfall and I am hooked. Now if I can just find a way to fund this trip with the whole family I would be good to go. Thanks for the great photos and info.

    • Jason's Travels August 12, 2013 at 11:06 am #

      If you haven’t, look into camping. A friend of mine took his family, and said they had a great time staying at the Canyon Campground.

  2. The Guy August 13, 2013 at 5:26 am #

    Great series of articles Jason. I’ve never been to Yellowstone but if I did then the geysers and the wildlife would be top of my list. Mind you admiring the surroundings would come naturally 🙂


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