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Time to Explore Yellowstone


Article by Ava Roxanne Stritt

Photography by Ava Roxanne Stritt

Yellowstone National Park is something you read about in your science books growing up. It may have seemed like a dream to get to visit one day, but it is a very simple place to visit and enjoy with just a small amount of simple travel planning. It became the first national park on March 1, 1872. Here you get to enjoy so many natural wonders and a huge array of wildlife. Also, you can enjoy unique hydrothermal and geologic wonders caused by hydrothermal activity of the Yellowstone Volcano. Enjoy National Park week!!

How to Get There

There are many options when it comes on how to get to Yellowstone National Park. You can drive or fly into many different airports including Jackson, WY, Salt Lake City, UT, or even Billings, MT. I have done it all, but the views from driving in from Billings through Beartooth Highway are some that are priceless. In all the places I have been in the world, this is one I want to return to and experience again – even with all the thrills of the huge drop-offs beside the winding roads. Just know that this route is not open during the winter months. It is definitely the way to beat the crowds during the summer. I entered this way over the Fourth of July Weekend. When I exited the South Gate, traffic was backed up for almost 10 miles trying to enter the park. There are not many bathrooms or gas stations along this area, so please plan accordingly. 

Where to Stay near Yellowstone

Here you can find all kinds of accommodations to make your dream trip come true. When visiting the area, I have stayed in a variety of accommodations from a cabin in the woods to a luxury hotel. Take a look at my pool day at Amangani

What is the No. 1 Thing To Do in Yellowstone?

Finally seeing Old Faithful Geyser is my No. 1 activity for a visit to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. What a faithful sight and very dependable. They usually daily predict the times it will erupt, but the joke is – if you drive up and see people leaving it will be a while and if you see people gathering it may be soon. Be sure not to miss this huge tradition for all that visit Yellowstone. Features like Old Faithful are what inspired the area to become a national park. Old Faithful is one of almost 500 other geysers in the park and one of 6 that the Yellowstone Park Rangers are able to predict eruptions. Very rarely does the times change. It does alternate from one shorter time interval to one slightly longer. The times over 30 years have only fluctuated by around 30 minutes. That is amazingly faithful and why it has the name Old Faithful. 

What Else to Do in Yellowstone 

My next top activity in Yellowstone National Park is viewing animals. Do not worry. It is hard to visit without seeing multiple types of wildlife there. Yellowstone National Park is very abundant with wildlife and also diverse. The wildlife is as famous as Old Faithful and much cuter. Each need to be respected, though. 

There are almost 300 types of birds, 16 kinds of fish, 5 types of amphibians, 6 species of reptiles and 67 species of mammals including 2 kinds of bears – Oh my! Animals are not on your schedule or any itinerary. They migrate as they must for survival. You can see many in areas without many people and also see many walking down the road blocking traffic. 

Bison block traffic most days. Safety is a must during these times. Please do not get out of your car or approach these grand animals. They may be scared or protecting their family. You can get hurt. 

The herd of bison in Yellowstone National Park is said to be the oldest and largest public herd in the United States. It is estimated to be over 4,800 large. 

What to do near Yellowstone National Park

The city of Jackson, Wyoming, is down the road from the south park entrance. You can see the amazing Grand Tetons on your way there from the park. Please see the Top Things to Do Near Jackson and see if this is your spot to land during your Yellowstone adventure for a ton of shopping, dining and fun activities. 

What to Remember at Yellowstone

Once you are there, just enjoy the moment. Do not try to photograph everything. Breathe deep and take in all that Mother Nature and your world has created to dazzle you. The sky will be bluer and the air cleaner. Get there while these areas still exist and know that you are also a part of this grand world we call home.