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Yellowstone National Park

Our most recommended things to do in Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park: Self-Driving Audio Guided Tour

1. Yellowstone National Park: Self-Driving Audio Guided Tour

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map. Purchase one tour per car, not per person. Everyone listens together! Note: This 142+ miles-long tour covers the essentials of Yellowstone National Park in 5-6 hours. Your adventure through Yellowstone begins at one of the five entrances and follows the Grand Loop around the entire park. Here are some of the incredible points of interest along that massive figure eight: Journey through the West Thumb, one of the largest geyser basins in the park. Watch the jets of boiling water bursting from the earth and hear the geological science behind this phenomenon. Peer deep into the Abyss Pool--if you dare--and listen to accounts of how fishermen used to cook their catch in the Fisherman’s Cone! Then, we’ll turn your eyes to the sky and tell you everything you need to know about birdwatching in Yellowstone. As you drive past Shoshone Lake, one of the park’s best-kept secrets, we’ll fill you in on Sacagawea’s connection to the park and give you the real story you probably haven’t heard. Then it’s on to the world-famous Old Faithful, where you’re guaranteed to see a spectacular show. We’ll also take you to all the other geysers in the area, which are as impressive as their famous cousin. After that, try not to let your jaw drop too low when you see Grand Prismatic, the largest hot spring in the United States and the most colorful. We’ll give you a glimpse into the microscopic life that thrives in the extreme heat and explain how they brew beer and help solve crimes. No, really! Next, we’ll stop by the Fountain Paint Pot, the most colorful mud field you’ll ever see, and reveal the secrets of Yellowstone’s “Zone of Death.” Then it’s on to the tremendous Gibbon Falls and the Norris Geyser Basin, Yellowstone’s hottest basin. We’ll hear about how this place offers a window into the earliest life on Earth and the men who first charted this fascinating land. Cross Yellowstone’s Golden Gate Bridge to reach the Mammoth Hot Springs, the most accessible place to spot a herd of elk. As you continue toward a pair of staggering waterfalls, we’ll put your mind at ease about the still-active supervolcano directly beneath you and let you enjoy the views. Check out a tree so old it’s turned entirely to stone, then hear about President Theodore Roosevelt’s eventful trip to Yellowstone. If you’ve come to see wildlife, Lamar Valley is one of your best bets. We’ll point you to a place where you can spot elk, bison, and maybe even grizzlies or wolves! Then, visit Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon--as long as you don’t fear heights! Finally, relax by the shores of the enormous Yellowstone Lake and watch for moose who come to drink from its waters. Yellowstone has all this and more within a single park, but you must see it to understand how awe-inspiring this landscape can be. So what are you waiting for?

West Yellowstone: Yellowstone Day Tour Including Entry Fee

2. West Yellowstone: Yellowstone Day Tour Including Entry Fee

Immerse yourself in the landscape and wildlife of the Yellowstone National Park on this van tour from West Yellowstone. Learn about its history from your guide, see the many incredible sights it has to offer, and enjoy a delicious lunch. Depart from West Yellowstone, Montana at 8:30 AM and enter Yellowstone National Park through the West Gate. Tour the Lower Loop with stops at notable points of interest including Old Faithful and the Geyser Basins. See sights like the Grand Prismatic Spring, Fountain Paint Pots, Artist Point, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, and Hayden Valley. Throughout, also enjoy many great views of Yellowstone Lake. Learn about the Park from your knowledgeable guide, including its geothermal features, geology, and wildlife. Enjoy numerous photos of the surroundings and wildlife and, at the mid-point of the tour, a delicious picnic-style lunch. The tour concludes at 5:30 PM back in West Yellowstone.

From Jackson: Yellowstone Day Tour Including Entrance Fee

3. From Jackson: Yellowstone Day Tour Including Entrance Fee

Explore Yellowstone National Park with a local guide. Take in breathtaking views of incredible landscapes and learn about the local wildlife as you stop at iconic points of interest. The tour covers over 250 miles, promising to be a full, exciting, and memorable day.  Your tour departs from Teton Village and Jackson, Wyoming early in the morning. Head north through Grand Teton National Park, all the while taking in impressive views of the Tetons. Enter Yellowstone and begin your tour of the Lower Loop, with stops at popular points of interest, including Old Faithful, the Fountain Paint Pots, Hayden Valley, Yellowstone Lake, Upper and Lower Falls of the Grand Canyon, and possibly more. Stop and photograph wildlife and beautiful scenery throughout the day. At the midpoint of the tour, enjoy a delicious, picnic-style lunch. During the tour, your guide will educate you on the many features of Yellowstone, including the history of the park, its geothermal features, geology, wildlife, and more. Your tour concludes in the early evening back in Jackson or Teton Village.

Jackson: 2-Day Yellowstone National Park Tour with Lunches

4. Jackson: 2-Day Yellowstone National Park Tour with Lunches

Explore Yellowstone National Park in its entirety on this 2-day guided tour. Discover the highlights of the park including the Old Faithful Area, Norris Geyser Basin, Lake Yellowstone, and a wide variety of natural landmarks. Enjoy included pickup and lunches. Start out from Jackson, Wyoming, and head north on the first day through Yellowstone, taking in about half of the park. Spend the night at the historic Chico Hot Springs Resort located to the north of the park, or at a cozy hotel in the charming town of Gardiner. On the second day, head south to see the rest of Yellowstone, ultimately returning to Jackson, Wyoming in the evening. Your tour includes the Upper and Lower loops of Yellowstone National Park. Visit all major points of interest, and enjoy a number of opportunities to take short hikes on boardwalks in many of the Geyser Basins and within the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Major points of interest include: • Upper Geyser Basin (the Old Faithful Area)• Midway Geyser Basin• Firehole Lake Loop• Fountain Paint Pots• Firehole River Canyon• Gibbon Falls • Artist Paint Pots• Norris Geyser Basin• Roaring Mountain• Gardiner's Hole• The Golden Gate• The Hoodoos• Mammoth Hot Springs Terrace• Gardiner River• The Boiling River• Roosevelt Arch• Undine Falls• Blacktail Plateau• Petrified Tree• Roosevelt area• Lamar Valley• Tower Falls• Dunraven Pass• Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone (upper and lower falls)• Hayden Valley• Sulphur Cauldron• Mud Volcano Area• Fishing Bridge• Lake Yellowstone

From Jackson: Yellowstone National Park Day Trip with Lunch

5. From Jackson: Yellowstone National Park Day Trip with Lunch

Discover Yellowstone's Lower Loop on a guided day tour from Jackson in an air-conditioned van. Be amazed by the beauty of various natural landmarks, including the Old Faithful Area, the Canyon Area, and Hayden Valley. Begin the tour in downtown Jackson. Head north through Grand Teton National Park on the way to Yellowstone. See all the major points of interest on the Lower Loop, including the Upper Geyser Basin, which is the Old Faithful area, the Midway Geyser Basin, the Firehole Lake Loop, Fountain Paint Pots, Firehole River Canyon, Gibbon Falls, and the Virginia Cascades. Experience the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, including the Upper and Lower Falls, Hayden Valley, Sulphur Cauldron, the Mud Volcano area, and Lake Yellowstone. You will also enjoy a delicious, freshly prepared picnic lunch during the day. Take some short hikes along the many boardwalks within the geyser basins and to the Upper and Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River. Be on the lookout for local wildlife species.

Yellowstone: Self-Guided Tour of National Park Highlights

6. Yellowstone: Self-Guided Tour of National Park Highlights

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map. Purchase one tour per car, not per person. Everyone listens together! Note: This 142+ miles-long tour covers the essentials of Yellowstone National Park in 5-6 hours. Commence your exploration of Yellowstone National Park at one of its five entrances, ready to traverse the spectacular Grand Loop that spans the entire park. This magnificent journey, a figure-eight route, encompasses an array of astonishing points of interest. Venture through the Mammoth Hot Springs, a geothermal wonder that's an absolute feast for the eyes. Observe the cascading terraces of hot springs, and be captivated by the vibrant colors, the result of heat-loving bacteria. Delve into the remarkable history of the area, including tales of early explorers and settlers. Continue to Tower Fall, a 132-foot waterfall that's a visual masterpiece. Here, you'll learn about its geological formation and the fascinating flora and fauna that thrive in its surroundings. Next, cross the iconic Roosevelt Arch, the stately stone structure that marks the park's North Entrance, embodying the ethos, "For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People." As you journey along the Grand Loop, you'll pass by the Hayden Valley, known for its wildlife abundance. We'll guide you through the best spots for observing bison, elk, and possibly even a bear or a pack of wolves, all while sharing lesser-known facts about these magnificent creatures. Witness the awe-inspiring show of Old Faithful, the world-renowned geyser known for its predictable eruptions. We'll also guide you to other geothermal marvels nearby, such as the Grand Geyser and Castle Geyser, each with their own spectacular displays and intriguing stories. Prepare to be mesmerized by the Grand Prismatic Spring, the largest hot spring in the U.S. and a riot of colors. Learn about the microorganisms that create this stunning visual effect and the fascinating uses they have in modern science. Experience the eerie beauty of the Petrified Forest, home to ancient trees turned to stone over the millennia. Hear about its formation and how it has contributed to our understanding of the Earth's past. Finally, unwind by the tranquil Yellowstone Lake, one of the largest high-altitude lakes in North America. Look out for waterfowl, otters, and even moose that frequent its shores, as you listen to stories about the lake's geological history and its importance to the park's ecosystem. With a landscape brimming with geothermal wonders, rich wildlife, and breathtaking vistas, Yellowstone National Park is a testament to the grandeur of nature. A journey here is a step into a world of awe-inspiring beauty and ecological diversity, an experience that you'll cherish for a lifetime. So, don't wait any longer - come and immerse yourself in the wonder that is Yellowstone!

Gardiner: Yellowstone River Half-Day Whitewater Rafting

7. Gardiner: Yellowstone River Half-Day Whitewater Rafting

Experience rafting in one of the remote areas along the Yellowstone River. Your guides will travel down the rapids and floating sections of the river with you before you’re taken back to your meeting point at the end of the trip.After meeting at the departure point, you'll get fully geared up for rafting. All equipment is included. Once you're all geared up, you'll be transported by bus to the river entrance where you will meet your river guide.From there, your experience begins as you paddle and splash along 8 miles of gorgeous river. There is a splendid mixture of rapids and calm floating sections to appease every adventure level. You'll be picked up 2 hours later and taken back to the meeting point where you'll have access to changing room facilities and view the rafting images taken of you and your crew.

From Gardiner: Yellowstone River Scenic Float

8. From Gardiner: Yellowstone River Scenic Float

A guide will expertly row your raft down the river, avoiding major rapids and splashing through some of the more mild rapids to cool you off. Enjoy 6 miles of stunning scenery as you float down the incredible Yellowstone River. Pick up interesting insights into the area from your guide. Arrive at the meeting point for a quick and easy check-in with minimal paperwork and fuss. There are dressing rooms for your convenience. When it's time to hit the road, leave all your worries behind as you board the bus and then the shuttle across town to the river access point. After a safety briefing, hop aboard to enter the Yellowstone River. Bring your waterproof cameras on this Yellowstone float trip to ensure you capture every moment of your tour. It is not uncommon to see wildlife such as Osprey birds, geese, deer, and maybe even a Bald Eagle. Marvel at unbelievable views of the Gallatin and Absaroka mountain ranges, sitting to the east of the Yellowstone River.

Yellowstone: Old Faithful, Waterfalls, and Wildlife Day Tour

9. Yellowstone: Old Faithful, Waterfalls, and Wildlife Day Tour

Embark on a small-group Yellowstone National Park tour adventure for a fantastic way to observe North American wildlife as well as take in Yellowstone’s numerous geyser basins, including the famous Old Faithful geyser! Begin by passing through Grand Teton National Park*, taking time to stop and observe wildlife and scenery along the way. Continue to Yellowstone National Park, making stops at Old Faithful geyser, Old Faithful Inn, Yellowstone Lake, Hayden Valley, the Lower Falls of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Fountain Paint Pots and Mud Pots, as well as several other geyser basins. Make many stops throughout the tour for wildlife viewing opportunities and utilize the binoculars and spotting scope provided to see animals that are further away. Your expertly trained wildlife tour guides will be on the lookout for bison, grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, moose, elk, eagles, mule deer, pronghorn, fox, coyotes, and more. You will have the opportunity to take easy walks along the various boardwalks throughout the park for scenic views of the area. Enjoy a picnic-style lunch that will be served by your guide in the unforgettable Yellowstone National Park setting!

Yellowstone & Grand Tetons: 4-Day/3-Night Wildlife Adventure

10. Yellowstone & Grand Tetons: 4-Day/3-Night Wildlife Adventure

Visit world-famous Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks on this 4-day, 3-night adventure. Accommodation with breakfast is included. Your expert, naturalist guide will lead you through the famous landmarks and show you an unforgettable collection of mountains, geysers, and wildlife. Get the chance to see bison, elk, moose, eagles, mule deer, grizzly, black bears, and more. This tour will give you the best chance of possibly seeing the elusive grey wolf in the spring, summer, and fall months. Day 1: Grand Teton Dusk Adventure Begin your adventure on a gorgeous evening wildlife safari in Grand Teton National Park. Enjoy an evening filled with wildlife watching in Grand Teton National Park. Look out for bison, moose, bald eagles, pronghorn, coyotes, and mule deer. Keep your eyes open and cameras ready for possible bear sightings as well. Night 1: Accommodation in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, at the 49'er Inn and Suites (or similar and subject to availability) Day 2: Grand Teton and Yellowstone Wildlife Depart early from Jackson, Wyoming, to explore more of Grand Teton National Park and then head into Yellowstone National Park and stop to observe more wildlife along the way. Take advantage of a day filled with history, park landmarks, wildlife, and world-famous scenery. Discover Oxbow Bend, Jackson Lake, Yellowstone Lake, West Thumb Geyser Basin, Hayden Valley, and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Rest for the night in the famous cowboy town of Cody, Wyoming. Night 2: Lodge accommodation in Cody, Wyoming, at the Cody Inn (or similar and subject to availability) Day 3: Yellowstone Wildlife & Scenic Upper Loop Adventure Begin your day with a visit to the Buffalo Bill Cody Museum. After lunch, make your way through the scenic Chief Joseph Highway. If time allows, take an evening safari in the famous Lamar Valley of Yellowstone and be on the lookout for wolves, bears, bison, and much more along the way. Lodge in the fun and remote mining town of Cooke City, MT. Night 3: Lodge accommodation in Cooke City, Montana, at the Alpine Motel (or similar and subject to availability) Day 4: Hydrothermals, Wildlife Viewing, and Old Faithful After an early morning wildlife safari in Lamar Valley, spend the last day of touring focusing on Yellowstone's major hydrothermal features. Stop at the Roosevelt Arch, and take the opportunity to walk around the boardwalks at Mammoth Hot Springs, Fountain Paint Pots and Mud Pots, and the world-famous Old Faithful Geyser. Explore and shop at The Old Faithful Inn before making your way back through Grand Teton National Park, viewing wildlife, and returning to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The adventure ends in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and drop-off at Jackson area hotels between 4:30-6:30 p.m.

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Top sights in Yellowstone National Park

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Frequently asked questions about Yellowstone National Park

What top attractions are a must-see in Yellowstone National Park?

Insider tips: Planning a trip to Yellowstone National Park

Jurga Rubinovaite is an avid traveler, photographer, and chief adventure planner behind the popular family travel blog Full Suitcase. On her blog, you can find more information and all the details for planning a trip to Yellowstone.

What should I do on my first trip to Yellowstone National Park?

Yellowstone National Park is best-known for its geothermal activity, beautiful nature, and wildlife. And while there are many great things to do in Yellowstone, the absolute must-sees are the Old Faithful Geyser, the Grand Prismatic Spring, and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. If you have time, be sure to drive through Hayden Valley and/or Lamar Valley - these are the best areas to see bison, bears, and other wildlife.

What are some hidden gems to see in Yellowstone National Park?

Yellowstone has so many natural wonders that most visitors don't even cover all of the ‘musts’. But if you have the time to explore deeper, some of our favorite lesser-visited places in Yellowstone include Lone Star Geyser, Hwy 212 east of Lamar Valley (+ Beartooth Highway outside the park!), and Boiling River, a warm geothermal river where you can swim in!

How much time should I spend in Yellowstone National Park?

While you can see the main highlights of Yellowstone in a day or two, ideally, you plan 3-4 days for Yellowstone National Park. This will allow you to visit all the main geyser basins, explore the best viewpoints of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, drive to Lamar Valley, and do a couple of short hikes or outdoor activities such as kayaking on Yellowstone Lake or rafting nearby. Add another day or two for the nearby Grand Teton National Park. See suggested Yellowstone itinerary.

What is the best way to get around Yellowstone National Park?

The best way to travel around Yellowstone is by car or by joining a tour. Yellowstone National Park is huge and there is no public transport inside the park. In high season, be sure to rent a car well in advance. If you are traveling in winter, keep in mind that most of the park roads are closed, but some areas are open to ‘oversnow’ travel, so you can visit Yellowstone by snowmobile or snowcoach.

What are the best months to visit Yellowstone National Park?

The best months to visit Yellowstone are between late spring and early autumn - from mid-May to mid-October. That’s when most roads and facilities in the park are open and everything is accessible. If you are looking for a very unique experience, you can also visit Yellowstone in winter. The best time for winter travel is between mid-December and the end of February.

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Yellowstone National Park?

The best place to stay for visiting Yellowstone is accommodation inside the park itself. There are several historic lodges including the famous Old Faithful Inn and Lake Yellowstone Hotel, but one of the nicest and best-located are the Canyon Lodges. However, Yellowstone accommodation is usually fully booked more than a year in advance. The best places to stay near the park are West Yellowstone or Gardiner. Here you can find more tips and information for where to stay in and near Yellowstone.

Other Sightseeing Options in Yellowstone National Park

Want to discover all there is to do in Yellowstone National Park? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Yellowstone National Park

Overall rating

4.9
(1,005 reviews)

Really amazing tour, I was on my own so it really helped being in a group and having the comfort and ease of being picked up at my hotel and dropped off that evening. Our guide Ben was amazing, so kind & knowledgable. We saw everything you could possibly see in Yellowstone in one day as well as Grand Teton! Ticking off two national parks in one day was really special and we saw Elk, Moose, Bison & even a Grizzly Bear at the end. Ben went above and beyond to make sure we made the most of our day! The breakfast and lunch were GREAT additions too, so nice to have that all taken care of. Amazing day from start to finish.

We are so glad we purchased this audio tour, and it was a fantastic way to experience Yellowstone, national park, especially his first timer. The narrator walked us through each stop, and there was no point that we were worried about getting lost or not being able to follow the map. We loved all of that information shared as we passed each attraction. Definitely recommend this to people visiting the park!

What a great tour! We loved all of the history - fun trivia and background about the area. The narrator has a great voice and was enjoyable to listen to. The tour was easy to upload and follow. Love it all! I would buy a driving tour like this for all of our adventures if I could.

Great couple of days exploring Yellowstone with small group and very knowledgeable guide Rohan. Lots of awe-inspiring sights and learnt a lot about the history of Yellowstone natural wonders.

We enjoyed our tour, our tour guide Chance was very knowledgeable, and we were able to see everything we wanted to.