Dream Destinations – Yellowstone

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The end of the alphabet really throws out some weird and difficult letters but fortunately one of our Dream Destinations that we are really looking forward to visiting is Yellowstone National Park. Located primarily in the state of Wyoming, and stretching into the nearby states of Idaho and Montana, Yellowstone has been a cherished national park through USA since the late 19th Century.

Acclaimed as the most popular national park throughout USA and possibly throughout the world, Yellowstone captures visitors imagination with gorgeous scenery, amazing natural landmarks and a variety of attractions to experience and explore.

Here are some of the key reasons why we are excited about knocking the state of Wyoming off our list and experiencing Yellowstone National Park.

Old Faithful

Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park
Image courtesy of Marco Soave (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The most famous of all landmarks in Yellowstone National Park is Old Faithful geyser and for that very reason it is the most popular attraction for visitors to the park. If like us, you have never set foot inside this national park, Old Faithful is a must-see attraction just to see the geyser erupting. Despite not being the biggest or most frequent of the Yellowstone geyser family, it is still an extremely spectacular sight when you see this and for your reference it erupts on average every 91 minutes though this can vary either way.

Whilst experiencing Old Faithful, it is highly recommended to take some time to wander around some of the other boardwalks and trails within the Upper Basin to see other spectacular geysers and the beautiful natural landscape that surrounds these attractions.

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
Image courtesy of Brocken Inaglory (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
If someone tells you that the Grand Canyon is located in Yellowstone National Park, don’t be confused with the spectacular Canyon located in Arizona but be aware that the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone is equally as impressive on a much smaller scale. The Lower Falls of the Grand Canyon are one of the most photographed attractions throughout this national park and the views throughout the canyon are truly breathtaking and worthy of a visit.

Although there are numerous vantage points on either sides of the Canyon, it is highly recommended to take the time to experience both sides as you are given very different, unique perspectives on the geology of the area, plus you will get some awesome pictures for your efforts!

Yellowstone Lake

Yellowstone Lake
Image courtesy of Corrie2723 at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], from Wikimedia Commons
If you love relaxing by a lake and seeing snow capped mountains in the background, then Yellowstone Lake is the place just for you! Located at the highest altitude of any natural lake in the lower 48 states, Yellowstone Lake is a gorgeous hub for folks to take some time to recharge their batteries before exploring more of this expansive national park.

Not only can you spend time relaxing by the lake, but you can also explore some historic buildings in the close vicinity such as the Lake Yellowstone Hotel which is now on the National Register of Historic Places or the Lake Ranger Station which is now famous for having folks gather around a campfire in the evening.

Mammoth Hot Springs

Mammoth Hot Springs
Image courtesy of Ildar Sagdejev (Specious) (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The headquarters of Yellowstone National Park is Mammoth Hot Springs for many reasons including the fact it radiates such a gorgeous, spectacular display to visitors. It is stereotypical of Yellowstone in general and also features some of the oldest buildings in the park. The main attraction here are the thermal springs that are actually very different to any of the other springs or geysers throughout Yellowstone. There is a rapidly changing activity here that takes place, leaving many visitors confused over what they are actually seeing. Catch these springs on an off day and you may be left disappointed, but catch them at the right time and you will be left astounded at the impressive display.

Tower Fall

Image courtesy of Frank Kovalchek from Anchorage, Alaska, USA [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Image courtesy of Frank Kovalchek from Anchorage, Alaska, USA [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Aside from the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone Grand Canyon, the most impressive waterfall throughout the park is Tower Fall. Towering at over 130 feet in height, it is a must see for anyone who loves waterfalls. It is also interesting to explore this fall in winter as it frequently freezes over leaving a unique resemblance of the ice age.

As with many of the other natural landmarks in Yellowstone, you can capture various views of Tower Fall including an overlook that is particularly impressive.

***This post is part of the 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge (#DreamDestinations #AtoZChallenge)***

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22 COMMENTS

  1. Beautiful. This is my kind of place, too. I haven’t been, but my husband keeps talking about moving to Montana and I’d love to be close to scenery like this. And that Grand Canyon looks pretty awesome.
    Ann recently posted…Zoos and Science CentersMy Profile

    • Although we don’t have a great deal of experience with US National Parks, aside from Yosemite where we visited last year, Yellowstone is one of those that is world famous and I would love to explore this park in depth. Definitely worth spending 3 or 4 days here to capture all of the key attractions and just go wandering around the natural beauty.

  2. Great post on Yellowstone and why it is a great national park to visit. I highly recommend going if interested in geology or wildlife! It was not too crowded last Memorial Day weekend when I visited, but it does get busy once children are on summer break!
    Angela Travels recently posted…Skiing Whistler-BlackcombMy Profile

    • Cheers Angela, I appreciate your kind comments. I can imagine that Yellowstone would be pretty crazy during the summer holidays with kids traveling here from all around and camping etc. But the fact you mentioned this is a great spot if you are interested in geology or nature in general makes me really want to get here to explore. I love seeing natural landscapes and learning more about geologic formations which to me are just fascinating.

  3. Great post! It is one of the national parks that I have yet to visit, but is very high on my list! I have been to the original Grand Canyon, but did not realize there was another one in Yellowstone. The pictures all look so stunning!
    Bridget @ A Traveling B recently posted…Dear BostonMy Profile

    • Wyoming is honestly one of the states that I am least likely to visit anytime soon. There are so many other things that I want to see and experience in the States prior to this that it will likely be at least next year at the earliest before we head to Yellowstone.

  4. I’m fascinated by Yellowstone, the fact that they were looking for the volcano and stood right in it! My main reservation is that, it being a volcano, it could erupt, and I don’t want to end up perishing Pompeii style, y’know?! Can you go in the water at the springs or Lakes, or is it too toxic with all the seismic activity going on?
    Sammi recently posted…An Afternoon in ZagrebMy Profile

    • That’s a great question Sammi and maybe someone better equipped and more knowledgeable can provide you with a completely accurate answer. I think the answer is no simply because the water from the thermal pools and springs is too hot and you would get burnt. I have heard that burns from thermal spring water is even worse than a regular burn so I probably wouldn’t be tempted! Let’s stick to Iceland and Scandinavian thermal pools for the bathing.

      I hear what you are saying about the volcanic activity, you just never know when the next eruption might happen but then again you can’t live your life waiting for something bad to happen! That’s my philosophy anyway.

    • Thanks Noel, I would really love to get over to Yellowstone and take advantage of the awesome photography opportunities that are clearly on offer there. So many great landscape shots to capture – a picture perfect paradise if I have ever seen one!

    • It’s so nice to get away for a while and explore natural beauty rather than the hustle and bustle of city life. I do enjoy a good visit to a new city but nothing beats just being in the middle of nowhere, wandering around and having no worries about the time or needing to be at a specific location.

    • Alison, I completely agree with you! All too often we forget about the beauty that is right on our doorstep, in fact I would go as far as to say that you really don’t appreciate your homeland until you are no longer there. I certainly feel that way about England! Pretty much took it for granted whilst I lived there for the first 22 years of my life but now that I live in the States, it makes me miss UK even more.

    • Along with an abundance of others I hope Marysia πŸ™‚ There are just so many out there that it’s so difficult to know where to begin exploring them! Our list of US National Parks visited pretty much ends after Yosemite which is rather embarrassing but gives us the inspiration to want to visit many more.

  5. This is a great post, and Yellowstone Park looks fabulous. The States is not somewhere I have been, but would be more likely to go to spots like this. Super photos, and the last one is very interesting by Frank Kovalchek, seems like the rainbow is somehow cutting across it. Awesome.
    Jackie De Burca recently posted…Cadaques Travel GuideMy Profile

  6. I can’t recommend Yellowstone National Park enough, it’s one of the few places in the world that keeps on calling us back, apart from the stunning scenery it is one of the best places to ‘easily’ see bears (black & grizzly) and wolves. May is a fantastic time of year, when you should be able to get around all the park and the crowds are low. The bears are awake and active and you might just get to see some little cubs.

    We have combined Yellowstone with many a road trip, one of our favourite road trips goes from Las Vegas, north through the Rock State (Utah) and up to Yellowstone & the Grand Tetons, easily doable in a 2/3 week trip. Go on, move it up your priority list πŸ˜‰

    • Thanks Kristen! We love exploring national parks throughout USA and after experiencing Yosemite, we are reading to tackle another ‘Y’ national park with Yellowstone. Don’t those geysers look so awesome πŸ™‚

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