Yellowstone National Park

Travel

Jun 19, 2018

Yellowstone, you stole our hearts. This National Park that sits atop a supervolcano and sprawls across three states is full of wonder; lakes, mountains, rivers, bison, hot springs, geysers and so much more. 

Where to Stay:

Under Canvas Yellowstone: We’re huge fans of Under Canvas. We’ve stayed at several of their magnificent locations (like this time in Zion!) and will continue to do so. We love the feeling of “camping” with the amenities of a hotel (e.g. hot shower, comfortable beds, a fire inside each tent, Bare Bones lanterns and more). This particular Under Canvas location is situated at the base of some absolutely stunning Montana mountains – just 10 minutes outside of Yellowstone National Park.  We loved coming back from a day in the park and enjoying wine on our deck which overlooked a field of green and the occasional bison + deer. There’s also nightly s’mores by the community fire pit, and even live music by the hot springs on certain nights.

Bar N Ranch: If Glamping isn’t your thing, check out Bar N Ranch – a property that features a grand lodge and private cabins in a classic Western style setting (it’s just a stones throw from Under Canvas). We snagged a private cabin which came equipped with a hot tub out back, mini kitchenette, plush robes and unparalleled views of Montana’s mountains.

What to See in the Park: 

This park is HUGE. I mean, HUGE. Growing up just a few hours from Yosemite, we took frequent trips to what I then perceived to be a large park. Yellowstone, however, is THREE TIMES the size of Yosemite National Park. It’s 3500 square miles of dramatic landscape atop a supervolcano/volcanic hot spot (hence: hot springs on hot springs on hot springs). I admit to associating Yellowstone with Old Faithful (and not much more) so to say I was impressed with all that is actually in the park is an understatement. Here are a few “must do’s”!

  • Old Faithful – It’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think “Yellowstone”, amiright? Because of this, we were quick to dismiss it as a “must see” attraction and almost skipped it altogether. Don’t. Skip. It. Sure, it’s water spouting out of the earth, but it’s much more than that: it’s hundreds of people who have come together to watch one of the world’s most popular attractions and it’s a rather moving sight to see the looks on everyone’s faces when the water begins to erupt. There are also tons of wooden walkways around the area that take you out to other beautiful sights: hot springs, rivers, bison and more.
  • Grand Prismatic Spring – Talk about “earth tones”. The palette of this vast hot spring is incredible. I’ve never had the urge to paint, but was so inspired by the colors of this vast spring laden with a blue unlike any blue I’ve ever seen, yellows brighter than mustard fields in springtime and oranges as bright as molten lava. It’s breathtaking (…as is the smell, but you’ll overcome this).
  • Mammoth Hot Springs – Also a quintessential attraction, the Mammoth Hot Springs are an attraction you’ll likely recognize by the “terraces” (little step-like structures).
  • Grand Canyon of Yellowstone – You have to see it to believe it.
  • Hayden Valley – This large, sub-alpine valley is stunning. It’s full of wildlife and has some of the most beautiful meadow after meadow.
  • Steamboat Geyser – While Old Faithful gets all of the street cred for being the park’s quintessential attraction, Steamboat Geyser is actually the tallest geyser not only in the park, but in the world. It’s a sight to behold with eruptions as high as 300-400 feet.

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