DestinationsYellowstone National Park – An Ultimate Guide to Explore for First Time Visitors
Yellowstone National Park – An Ultimate Guide to Explore for First Time Visitors

Yellowstone National Park – An Ultimate Guide to Explore for First Time Visitors

Coming to the USA, there aren’t not only bustling cities and the top entertainment areas but also stunning national parks. One of them is Yellowstone National Park. So what’s there in Yellowstone for you to experience? Let’s follow The Broad Life to explore one of the biggest and most ancient national parks in the world!

About Yellowstone National Park

This is the world’s first and oldest national park. The Native Americans came to live here about 11,000 years ago. In fact, it has an area of ​​up to 8,983 square kilometers and stretches across many states including Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. Most of the area is located in the eastern corner of Wyoming.

a picture of the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park
A picture of the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park. Image credit to Mike Goad on Flickr.

With extremely majestic natural landscapes and diverse ecosystems, Yellowstone National Park is one of the famous tourist destinations that any person wants to visit once. Especially, Yellowstone National Park is actually situated above a giant ancient supervolcano. Indeed, it’s one of the largest supervolcanoes in the North American continent and one of the most terrible “time bombs” on Earth. Because it is located in the crater of a volcano, the park has many attractions:

  • The geysers.
  • Hot waterfall.
  • Hole spewing gas from the crater.
  • Hot mud areas.
  • The natural ecosystem is extremely diverse.

Yellowstone National Park not only has a majestic natural landscape but also owns an extremely rich and diverse ecosystem with hundreds of species of wildlife, birds, and fish. Even, there are many rare species in danger of extinction. With 3 million visitors a year, Yellowstone is currently one of the most visited national parks in the world.

Directions to Yellowstone National Park

There are many directions to enter Yellowstone, corresponding to each direction is an entrance including the West Entrance, East Entrance, North Entrance, Northeast Entrance, and South Entrance. Among those, West Entrance is closer to most of the attractions in the park.

The Yellowstone entrance fee is $35 per vehicle. Therefore, for each car, no matter how many people, you only pay a $35 entrance ticket and you will have 7 days wandering in Yellowstone.

The Weather and Climate in Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park has short summers and very cold winters. From April to May is the springtime. However, you still need to keep warm because the weather is also cold. Yellowstone’s peak tourist season usually falls in the summer when a huge number of visitors come to the park. If you don’t like crowds, don’t go at this time.

Winter takes place from mid-December to March every year. This is the time when the weather is quite cold, so the number of visitors to Yellowstone National Park is the least. Thus, you will have more space and time to enjoy these wonderful and special experiences.

Top 5 Things to Do in Yellowstone National Park

The vast Yellowstone National Park has plenty of amazing places to visit and things to do for visitors. On top of that, there are must-visit spots like Mammoth Hot Springs, Norris Geyser Basin, Fountain Paint Pots in Lower Geyser Basin, Grand Prismatic Spring in Midway Geyser Basin, and the most famous Old Faithful in Upper Geyser Basin.

Let’s see what’s there in Yellowstone National Park for you to experience!

1. Exploring the Beautiful Geysers

Old Faithful geyser eruption in the Winter
Old Faithful geyser eruption in the winter.

According to current statistics, there are about 300 geysers in Yellowstone National Park. Up to half of all hydrothermal geysers worldwide. Of which the most famous, the most beautiful must be said to be Old Faithful. This geyser is located in the Upper Geyser Basin. It erupts about 17 times a day. The water sprays from 30m to 55m high, creating a magnificent natural landscape that makes anyone visiting Yellowstone National Park surprised.

2. Admiring the Grand Canyon

the grand canyon of yellowstone national park
The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone National Park.

The Grand Canyon is a beautiful canyon located in Yellowstone National Park. It is about 20 miles long and attracts visitors with its beautiful golden cliffs. It can be said that the Grand Canyon is currently one of the most beautiful natural attractions in Yellowstone National Park as well as in the whole United States.

3. Visiting Yellowstone Lake

The mysterious beauty of Yellowstone Lake with the fog
The mysterious beauty of Yellowstone Lake with the fog.

Inside the area of Yellowstone National Park, USA, there are many beautiful lakes. In which the most beautiful and famous must be mentioned Yellowstone Lake. This is also the largest freshwater lake in North America by area. The lake has a depth of up to 2,357m. Not only has the majestic and poetic landscape, but Yellowstone Lake also possesses an extremely diverse ecosystem.

4. Camping at Yellowstone Park

Slough Creek Campground in Yellowstone national park is a good place for tents and small RVs
Slough Creek Campground in the national park is a good place for tents and small RVs.

One of the experiences that you should not miss when coming to this national park is camping. Indeed, Yellowstone is the largest camping site in the US with many different areas.

  • Xanterra Parks and Resorts has 5 campsites: Madison, Fishing Bridge RV Park, Bridge Bay, Canyon, and Grant Village.
  • The National Park Service has 7 campsites: Mammoth, Norris, Tower Fall, Indian Creek, Pebble Creek, Slough Creek, and Lewis Lake.

The number of camping spots at Yellowstone is a lot. However, in the high season around July or August, if you do not book in advance, you will most likely not have a place to camp here.

5. Seeing Wild Animals

A bear family in Yellowstone National Park in the winter
A bear family in Yellowstone National Park in the winter.

Yellowstone Park is currently home to about 300 species of birds, 67 species of mammals, and 16 species of fish. Among them are endangered species such as gray wolf, lynx, elk, and grizzly bear,… You will have the opportunity to see lions, leopards, and tigers at a very close distance. Nevertheless, you should not get too close to them and always follow the guide because the animals here are pretty aggressive.

Places to Stay in Yellowstone National Park

Your Accommodation Choices Outside the Park

If you’re looking for modern amenities like televisions, internet access, and air conditioning, your choice will be one of the accommodations just outside the park. There is a wide range of accommodation choices in West Yellowstone, Gardiner, Cooke City in Montana, and near Yellowstone East Entrance in Wyoming. Here are some highly-rated hotels in convenient locations just outside the park:

I. West Yellowstone

  • Less than a 2-minute drive from Yellowstone West Entrance, the pet-friendly Kelly Inn West Yellowstone offers impeccably clean rooms with bright round wood décor as well as a heated indoor pool, hot tub, and sauna. Rates include continental breakfast.
  • The Cozy Yellowstone Cabin Located In Town with kitchenettes.
  • Best Western Desert Inn with an indoor pool. It’s just 2 blocks from Yellowstone West entrance and within walking distance of restaurants.

II. At Gardiner

  • About a mile from the Yellowstone North Entrance, Travelodge by Wyndham Gardiner offers clean rooms with free breakfast. Some rooms have a kitchenette.
  • In addition to the complimentary breakfast, The Ridgeline Hotel features an indoor heated swimming pool, hot tub, and saunas. It is just minutes from the North Entrance.

Besides that, the accommodations in Canyon Village are probably good choices because it’s near the attractions in Yellowstone. Yet, no matter where and what type of accommodation you choose, you should make a reservation in advance.

Hotels Inside Yellowstone National Park

On the other hand, if you can live without those, and have the time and money, I recommend staying at two or three different hotels in the park when you visit different parts of the park. You can choose from nine motels run by the park’s franchise, ranging from rustic cabins to hotel rooms. It’s never better than waking up in a new place every day.

Yellowstone Lake Lodge and Cabins is located right in the area of the beautiful Yellowstone Lake
Yellowstone Lake Lodge and Cabins is located right in the area of the beautiful Yellowstone Lake.

Information about Yellowstone National Park

Unlike many national parks, Yellowstone offers a wide range of services for visitors within the park.


Snacks, dining, and cafeteria-style dining are available throughout the park. Some dining restaurants include the Mammoth Hotel Dining Room, the Old Faithful Inn Dining Room, the Old Faithful Snow Lodge Obsidian Dining Room, the Lake Yellowstone Hotel Dining Room, and the Grant Village Lake House Restaurant.

Gas and Vehicle Service Stations

Stations offering both gas and vehicle repairs are located at Canyon Village, Fishing Bridge, Grant Village, and Old Faithful.

Camping and Recreational Equipment Stores

Yellowstone general stores also stock items commonly required for camping and outdoor recreation.

Grocery Stores

There are a dozen Yellowstone general stores located in the park near the campground and accommodation. In addition to basic groceries and snacks, they also offer ATMs, gift items, clothing, and sporting goods.

Souvenirs and Bookstores

Yellowstone Association’s stores are located in Canyon Village, Fishing Bridge, Grant Village, Madison, Mammoth, Norris, Old Faithful, and West Thumb.


America is indeed a lucky country because it is endowed by nature with many impressive natural landscapes. If you have the opportunity to travel around the US, you must definitely spend time exploring Yellowstone National Park. It will definitely be a trip with great experiences!

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an ultimate guide to explore yellowstone national park - the broad life pinterest board
a guide to yellowstone national park - the broad life pinterest board


The USA is a big country with so many beautiful places for you to explore and things for you to experience. If you plan to do a long trip in the US, I’m sure you will be interested in reading these posts below:

Khoi Nguyen builds The Broad Life with a desire to inspire people go exploring the world and live a more interesting, experience, and adventurous life. This blog shares the stories, pictures, and experiences at destinations where he has traveled to.


  • Cinny

    You know, the older I get, the more I learn about how cool Yellowstone is. I wish I had that appreciation as a kid when my parents took us there.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      Yellowstone National Park is truly an amazing place that we should visit.
      The more I travel, the more things that I wish I know earlier to enjoy this broad life.

  • Tools for Healthy Aging

    I think Yellowstone is one of those places that’s on everyone’s bucket list. I know it’s one mine. Thank you for sharing this info.

  • Bryan Carey

    There is much to see in Yellowstone Park, that is for certain! Don’t forget Yellowstone Falls, upper and lower. And while Yellowstone Lake is a great sight to see, it isn’t the largest freshwater lake. Outside of the Great LakesThere are several lakes that are larger in area, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Okeechobee, just to name two.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      I’m so sure that you visited Yellowstone many times.
      Your comment adds a lot of info for me. Thanks for sharing!

  • Kelly Bolen

    This is awesome! I am planning a trip for my husband to Yellowstone for the summer 2023! I will be saving this post! Thank you!

    • Khoi Nguyen

      I’m happy that you find this post helpful. I hope you and your husband will have a great trip to Yellowstone in the summer 2023.

  • Fransic verso

    Oh my… The lake looks so pretty. I’ve had some friends that went to The Grand Canyon and they liked it. I wish one day to explore more of the US and go to these places.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      The US has so many places to explore besides Yellowstone. I hope you will have a great trip there.

  • Knycx Journeying

    Wow the Yellowstone National Park has always been on my bucket list and you have provided so many useful and practical guide and information! I am saving this for my next visit 🙂 – Knycx Journeying

    • Khoi Nguyen

      It’s great that this post is helpful for you.
      Enjoy and have a great trip to Yellowstone National Park!

  • Blair Villanueva

    Fascinating place and I would like to visit it someday. I would like to know the stories of Yellowstone relating to its original Indigenous owners, to understand more of the place.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      You have a really good purpose to visit the place. Indeed, Yellowstone is always the most-wanted destination to the travelers in the US.

  • Jennifer Prince

    Ah! I love this park. It’s been decades since I’ve been there. I need to get back and experience it again.

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