Yellowstone is literally bursting at the seams with fascinating natural beauty and if you're interested in exploring sub-alpine forest pines as raging rivers and active geysers bubble away nearby, then 'hold onto your picnic baskets Boo-Boo' as this national park is top of the pile. Located mainly in the northwest state of Wyoming, which is one of America's least inhabited, it's easy to see why fans of peace and tranquillity hold the park in such high regard and, with over two million acres of protected wilderness to explore, rest and relaxation are never far away.
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Geothermal activity It's estimated that Yellowstone is home to over 10,000 geothermal features and with the planet's highest concentration of active geysers on show (up to 250 spurts a year) prepare yourself for some incredible displays of heat and power. This is a total hub for mud pots, hot springs and steam holes and some of Yellowstone's most fabled residents including: Old Faithful, Mammoth Hot Springs and the Norris Geyser Basin, all make for an exceedingly warm welcoming committee.
Varied scenery As you'd expect from an area that stretches for almost 3,500 square miles, the scenery of Yellowstone is as eclectic as it is beautiful and, as most of the land is undeveloped and has been left to grow organically, it's considered to be one of the greatest intact ecosystems on Earth. From lush mountain meadows and vast freshwater lakes to sensuous pine forests and flower strewn hillsides, lovers of infinite wilderness will be in their absolute element.
Wildlife experiences With well over 50 different species of mammal calling Yellowstone home you'll be hard-pushed not to catch sight of at least one creature or another staring through a thicket and with America's largest herd of bison on public view, it's more than likely going to be something big and hairy. Bears, buffalo and elk can all be found within the protected boundaries of the park and if you're extremely lucky, rare lynx and mountain lions may also make an appearance.
Walking trails The park is a huge draw for walkers and trekkers seeking solace from the trappings of urban life and well-trodden Yellowstone hiking trails provide an excellent means of exploring and keeping active without straying too far from home. Thanks to over 1000 miles of rambling routes, donning a back-pack and pair of sensible boots is pretty much the order of the day however, with such an abundance of scenic spots available if you just fancy unrolling a rug and watching the clouds float overhead, who could blame you?
For everyone hoping to gather some park ranger knowledge from their Yellowstone holiday then make sure you pack your best boots and check out the following trail which is considered to be one of the park's best day hikes. Back Basin at Old Faithful is a three-sided loop that takes in Black Sand Basin and Biscuit Basin before heading back to the old geyser. The route stretches for around 6 miles and is extremely flat and easy going with loads of thermal features to keep you warm along the way.
After a day spent trekking it's often nice to tone it down a notch and enjoy an ice-cream or glass of wine accompanied by the dusk chorus of Yellowstone's chattering wildlife. One of the ideal spots to do just that is Yellowstone Lake which is the largest of its kind in North America and holds plenty of scenic spots which are just perfect for picnic suppers and romantic strolls whilst the sun sets.
Tours that visit Yellowstone National Park
9 days | USA West | Hotels
The West is still very much wild in Yellowstone and the Grand Teton National Parks, and a photographers dream. Thrashing geysers, bubbling mud pools and towering peaks await alongside a wide array of wildlife on this western lodging tour.
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12 days | USA West | Camping
From colourful meadows and waterfalls to geothermal pools and glaciated rocky spires, this is a full-on walking trip through dramatic landscapes. Specialist local guides accompany you to spot and track wildlife including bears, wolves and eagles.
Highlights: Yellowstone | Grand Teton | Glacier National ParksView tour
7 days | USA West | Hotels
Yellowstone National Park is quite simply incredible however, winter reveals a side most travellers will miss. Explore with a wildlife and wolf tracking guide, take a skiing lesson and snow shoe in search of wildlife.
Highlights: Mammoth Hot Springs | YellowstoneView tour
15 days | USA West | Hotels
Supplying comfort and amenities in remote destinations, explore the crowned jewels of America's National Parks. Enjoy active days, scenic landscapes and restful nights in beautiful historic lodges within Yosemite, Yellowstone, Zion and the Grand Canyon.
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