Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

America's iconic first national park, Yellowstone is home to over 60% of the world’s geysers – natural hot springs that periodically erupt in towering explosions of boiling water and steam. And while these astounding phenomena and their neighboring technicolor hot springs and bubbling mud pits draw in the crowds (over 4 million people each year), the surrounding canyons, mountains and forests are no less impressive, teeming with elk, bison, grizzly bears and wolves.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Yellowstone National Park attractions

1. Lake Yellowstone Hotel

1.19 MILES

The buttercup-yellow colonial Lake Yellowstone Hotel, dating from 1891, is the park’s oldest building and certainly its most elegant. Robert Reamer (who…

2. Fishing Bridge

2.41 MILES

There has been a bridge at Fishing Bridge since 1902, but it closed to fishing in 1973 to protect spawning cutthroat trout – to the benefit of resident…

3. Fishing Bridge Visitor Center

2.51 MILES

The displays of stuffed birds and wildlife inside this small center are less interesting than the historic 1931 building itself: built as an information…

4. LeHardy's Rapids

4.33 MILES

These rapids are named after topographer Paul LeHardy, whose raft overturned here, spilling guns, provisions and bedding but sparing his life. Rock uplift…

5. Mud Volcano

5.22 MILES

A fairly subdued geothermal area near Fishing Bridge, Mud Volcano still delights with the huffing, steaming maw of Dragon's Mouth Spring and the spectacle…

6. West Thumb Geyser Basin

11.71 MILES

Although West Thumb is not one of Yellowstone’s prime thermal sites, its 0.5-mile shoreline boardwalk loop (with a shorter inner loop to finish with)…

7. West Thumb Information Center

11.77 MILES

This former ranger station, dating from 1925, serves as a summer bookstore and winter warming hut. Rangers lead an hour-long boardwalk stroll from here…

8. Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

12.16 MILES

Near Canyon Village, this is one of the park's true blockbuster sights. After its placid meanderings north from Yellowstone Lake, the Yellowstone River…