The nation’s very first National Park! That statement alone is worthy of putting it on the ole bucket list. Yellowstone is so incredibly special. It’s insanely large and can be a little overwhelming to look at on a map. How will I ever “do” it all? Well, you may not, even if you stay a week, but “doing” any of it? Consider yourself pretty lucky!
It’s all pretty fascinating…the artist pots, mammoth hot springs, Old Faithful is a must, obviously, and climbing Sheep Eaters Cliffs with little ones is a blast!
Two highlights (of many) that really stand out are:
1. Grand Prismatic which won’t be listed as that on the map. It’s simply says “Midway Geyser Basin” so make sure not to miss it!! It’s truly unreal!! I never knew if those colors were really natural or were they photoshopped in the photos I’ve seen. I was so thrilled to see that they are indeed bright and bold and absolutely stunning!!!! I’m not a real religious person, but I kept thinking “Man, G-d is goooood. I mean, real good”. These colors, these geological marvels…just breathtaking! Be very careful with kids here as there are no guard rails for some odd reason and the boards get VERY crowded! Selfie taking, backpacks, crowds who do not speak the same language as you. Be careful! Also, watch your hats! The wind is rough over there! You’ll see many lost hats and other personal items hanging out in the geysers!
2. Firehole Falls which is a 2 mile, one way loop. Definitely take it! And don’t forget your water shoes and swimsuit! There’s a absolutely unforgettable swimming hole on the loop. It is just north of the actual falls. You parallel park on the side of the road and walk down a small set of stairs. Then you climb down rocks!! Hold on!! Wear shoes with good traction and you’ll definitely want to keep them on while walking on the rocks into the water! The water is a crystal clear and was the perfect temperature for a warm Summer’s day. I overheard so may people say “this is the coolest thing ever”. It really, truly was! The water is rough as you are at the base of the falls. Hold on to your kiddos or better yet, put some floatations device on them!! No matter how good they can swim or what age, the current is real! Even adults were drifting. It’s not scary if you prepare properly and it is 1,000% worth it! There’s even a little “cave” which really leads to nowhere but is very cool looking! This was so memorable for us all!
We saw elk, bison and we fed a chipmunk. Keep your eyes peeled. They’ve got all here!
If you have kiddos, think about stopping by the ranger station and look into the Jr Ranger Program! It takes awhile to complete, but this park is large and the book will hold their attention. They always have interesting talks going on in the stations as well. They go hand in hand with restroom breaks and water refills.
Try to avoid being on the roads in the park at night!! They are very curvy, there are no guard rails and bisons eyes do not reflect like most other animals!
P.S. You will never forget the smells of Yellowstone. That sulfur! The good news is, the next time you’re making hard boiled eggs, the smell will transport you right back here!
If you’re coming in from the north in Montana, there’s a Subway and a gas station. Hit up both! Hoagies made for an easy picnic lunch and a rule when traveling in Wyoming should always be to fill up whenever possible.
The campground inside the park are first come first serve basis and sell out very early in the morning. Hotels in the park are usually all sold out as well. We camped just outside the park to the north over the Yellowstone River, under the stars at Yellowstone RV and campground. It was incredible and I think a mere $30 or so a night.