Yellowstone National Park is situated atop a dormant volcano. It is a treasure trove of geological and natural wonders. From geothermal features to hot springs, this park is a popular tourist attraction. Yellowstone draws over three million visitors annually who come to take in its picturesque landscape and rich history. If you're heading to Yellowstone soon, here are some of the natural wonders you can explore in this vast expanse of wilderness. Yellowstone National Park official website
The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River
Yellowstone has its own version of the Grand Canyon, created by the Yellowstone River over thousands of years. The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is 24 miles long and 1,200 feet deep. The canyon's Lower Falls are the most commonly visited and photographed. The waterfall, twice the height of Niagara Falls, plunges 308 feet. Creating an impressive mist and foam that rises hundreds of feet high. The nearby river has a green hue due to the moss and algae that grow on the rocks from the constant mist.
In your exploration of Yellowstone National Park, Hayden Valley is a must-visit spot if you're into wildlife spotting and nature appreciation. It's a favorite place for deer, moose, buffalo, and elk to pass through. While grizzly bears are present in the area, they're unlikely to come across tourists as they're solitary animals that keep to themselves, except when they have their young nearby. However, we do not recommend hiking in Hayden Valley.
Mammoth Hot Springs
Mammoth Hot Springs is a popular hot spring that features soft limestone rock and attracts crowds of tourists each year. The travertine formations grow at a fast rate, making the area look like a cave that has been turned inside out. New water flows are constantly making their way to the surface, and you can navigate much of the area. Minerva Terrace, the main feature of this area, is one of the most colorful areas of Mammoth Hot Springs, and you can climb a natural staircase to get a better view and experience.
Yellowstone Lake is located high up in the mountainous zone of the park and is the largest alpine lake in North America. It's a great spot to appreciate the beauty of nature, and there are several activities you can partake in, such as renting a boat at the Bridge Bay Marina to catch a few trout (Bridge Bay Marina boat rentals). There are plenty of areas to walk and hike, including the West Thumb Geyser Basin.
The Lower Geyser Basin
The Lower Geyser Basin is the largest geyser basin in Yellowstone and includes several geothermal features such as geysers (The Great Fountain), hot springs, and mud pots. Visitors usually walk along the boardwalk trail, and there's also a three-mile Firehole Lake Drive that's a one-direction trip. Firehole Lake Drive Information
Mud Volcano is a popular attraction in Yellowstone National Park, despite its unpleasant smell. Sulfer causes the strong odor and hissing sound. The landscape has evolved into an artistic and extraterrestrial-looking scene due to the high concentration of sulfuric acid in the area. However, the area is prone to earthquakes due to the many fault lines underground.
Norris Geyser Basin
During your exploration of Yellowstone National Park don't forget Norris Geyser Basin. The Norris Geyser Basin is a more popular and developed spot in Yellowstone that features a boardwalk passing many geothermal features. It's home to the hottest geyser basin in Yellowstone, and the acidic levels of the water in the nearby springs and mud pots create a beautiful landscape. If you're lucky enough to see Steamboat Geyser erupt, it can shoot up to 300 feet in the sky.
Yellowstone National Park is a peaceful and scenic trip that everyone in your family will love. From hiking trails to erupting geysers, there's plenty to photograph and experience during your visit. If Yellowstone isn't your thing, maybe try a different pace, we have a great article on New Orleans that can be found here.