Yellowstone National Park is filled with unforgettable attractions and experiences for a once-in-a-lifetime trip, such as the dramatic geothermal features of Norris Geyser Basin. From the predictable eruptions of Old Faithful to the spectacular colours of the Grand Prismatic Spring and the landmarks in Mammoth Hot Springs Historic District, there’s plenty to see and do here.

    When you’re planning your itinerary, take a look at these best things to do in Yellowstone National Park to ensure you don’t miss out on the must-see attractions.

    What are the best things to do in Yellowstone National Park?

    1

    Old Faithful

    Visit Eternity's Timepiece to see its magnificent eruptions

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    Old Faithful is the most famous geyser in Yellowstone National Park which earned the nickname ‘Eternity’s Timepiece’ for the regularity of its eruptions. It was named by the members of the 1870 Washburn Expedition and was the first geyser in the park to earn a name.

    Old Faithful is highly predictable, and many travel from all over just to see it’s timely and spectacular outburst. The surrounding area is known as the Old Faithful Historic District and includes many museums and historic buildings to explore, such as Madison Museum, Fishing Bridge Museum, and the Old Faithful Visitor Education Centre.

    Phone: +1 307-344-7381

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    2

    Mammoth Hot Springs

    Explore geothermal majesty powered by a supervolcano

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    Mammoth Hot Springs is a collection of hot springs in the Mammoth Hot Springs Historic District of Yellowstone National Park. It’s one of the park’s notable geothermal areas and stems from the same magmatic system as the supervolcano.

    One of the most prominent features of Mammoth Hot Springs is the Minerva Terrace, a series of travertine terraces that extend down to the river. Other attractions in the historic district include Fort Yellowstone, a historic administrative centre, and concessions for food, shopping, and services.

    Phone: +1 307-344-7381

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    3

    Upper Geyser Basin

    Hike paths by the best geysers in Yellowstone

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    The Upper Geyser Basin is the place to go if you want to see the best geysers in Yellowstone National Park. The site holds most of the park’s geysers in an area spanning a square mile, making it one of the most concentrated geyser regions in the world.

    Old Faithful, Grand, Daisy, Castle, and Riverside geysers are all found in the Upper Geyser Basin. Other Yellowstone landmarks are found within Upper Geyser Basin, such as the Fountain Paint Pots and the Morning Glory Pool, which you can see on a hike.

    Phone: +1 307-344-7381

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    4

    Roosevelt Arch

    Admire the views at this manmade arch

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    The Roosevelt Arch is a triumphal arch that was constructed by the US Army at Fort Yellowstone in Gardiner, Montana. The arch itself is made of local basalt and features vehicle and pedestrian doorways to enter the park.

    On the arch, you can read the inscription from the Organic Act that designated the park, which reads “For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People.” The arch is one of the structures that contributes to the North Entrance Road Historic District, which stretches to the park headquarters in Mammoth Hot Springs.

    Phone: +1 307-344-7381

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    5

    Grand Prismatic Spring

    See the colours at this massive thermal spring

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    The stunning Grand Prismatic Spring is a famous thermal feature in Yellowstone National Park due to its coloration and size. The Grand Prismatic Spring is massive, with a diameter that's bigger than a football field and a depth of 121 feet.

    Its most unique feature is the mixture of orange, yellow, green, and blue waters that form a vibrant and multilayered effect. The hue and depth of the colours change with the seasons, depending on what bacteria are thriving at that particular time, so you’ll never see the same image twice.

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    6

    Boiling River Hot Spring

    Soak in the relaxing waters of this hot spring

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    Boiling River Hot Spring is a hydrothermal phenomenon that occurs where the hot spring enters the cool waters of the Gardner River. When the hot and cold waters mix, the temperature becomes safe for swimming.

    The temperature at the hot spring is still more than 140 degrees, making it too dangerous for swimming, but you can swim farther down the river to find an ideal spot with a comfortable temperature. You need to hike to get there, but it’s worth the effort for the relaxation of soaking in the water.

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    7

    Fairy Falls

    Marvel at this stunning waterfall

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    Fairy Falls is a spectacular waterfall in a scenic location within Yellowstone National Park. One of the tallest waterfalls in the park, Fairy Falls is located behind Midway Geyser Basin and empties into a shallow, tranquil pool of cold water.

    The falls can be reached with a hike from trailheads near Midway Geyser Basin or the Nez Perce picnic area. Though the hike is long, it’s a comfortable hike for beginner skill levels and is without hazards or challenges along the way.

    Phone: +1 307-344-7381

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    8

    Blacktail Plateau Drive

    Take a drive along this scenic road

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    The Blacktail Plateau Drive is one of the best scenic drives in Yellowstone National Park if you want to take in the scenery by car. The drive is 6 miles in 1 direction, taking you into the meadows of the Blacktail Deer Plateau.

    Once there, you can take a stroll through the plateau to see the scenery and look for elk, bison, and bears. The road is winding, so it’s best to allow a half-hour or more to take the drive and see the scenery along the way.

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    9

    Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

    See Yellowstone's own massive canyon

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    The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River is one of the best examples of the park’s unique geological history. Resulting from a volcanic eruption around 640,000 years ago, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River formed when hydrothermal activity weakened the rocks and sediments in the volcanic caldera, allowing the river to create the canyon.

    The canyon stretches from Lower Falls to Tower Autumn, and along the way, you can see dramatic shifts in orange, brown, and green colours from the sediment and hydrothermal features. If you prefer driving to hiking, you can take a scenic ride along the rims to take in the view of the canyon from above at various lookout points.

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    10

    Norris Geyser Basin

    Explore the array of colours in this hydrothermal area

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    The Norris Geyser Basin is one of the hottest and most acidic of Yellowstone National Park’s hydrothermal areas and is part of one of the world’s largest active volcanoes. The geysers and features of the Norris Geyser Basin are constantly changing and shifting from the seismic activity on the fault lines that run through the basin.

    Along with seeing the geysers themselves, the basin’s mixture of features creates a kaleidoscope of colours and provides a tranquil habitat for wildlife, such as elk and bison.

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