Yellowstone National Park is in Full Swing
To Visit Yellowstone National Park in 2020. The best thing to do is to sleep right there, but you have to book well in advance. From what is known as the “South Rim Trail” the view is amazing. Visitors appreciate the entire panorama of the park’s Grand Canyon.
Bisons at Yellowstone
Getting around on the road through Hayden Valley is very difficult. It happens that a herd of bison crosses the street and hinders traffic in all directions. It can take up to half an hour until all the animals finish crossing. you must keep a safety distance of 25 meters to get close to the animals. Although American bison was practically extinct 100 years ago, here in Yellowstone National Park they live freely.
Early morning and late afternoon are opportunities to see elk, grizzly bears, and bison. The routes that connect the main attractions of the oldest national park in the world are long and therefore it is advisable to get up early. Also try to get to the hot springs and geysers before the many other travelers.
For some years now, the number of visitors to many national parks in the United States has been growing rapidly. Yellowstone is no exception. Every year, since 2015, more than four million visitors arrive. A mark that Yellowstone National park had never reached before. However, the increased flow of tourists to animals and geysers did not make the National Park Service (NPS) difficult to access the park.
It is recommended not to travel from one geyser to the other by car, but to walk along the specially marked trails. With getting away from the routes a bit is a completely different experience.
Yellowstone, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho
The park largely occupies the northwest part of the US state of Wyoming, although some smaller portions are part of neighboring states like Montana and Idaho. Still, it’s hard enough to avoid long car rides in Yellowstone. From the hot springs at Mammoth Hot Springs in the north of the national park to the Old Faithful geyser, the journey time is one hour 25 minutes. And that’s without the delay for bison.
The ideal is to go in a caravan and use one of the 12 camps that the park has. However, many of the more than 2,000 places there are usually already reserved in advance for the months of July / August, so those who arrive without much planning have little opportunity to find a place.
Outside the park there are possibilities to stay overnight in Cody, in Wyoming, as well as in West Yellowstone and Gardiner, in Montana. But this of course translates into longer travel times to get to the park every day.
Many of the main attractions in Yellowstone National Park are located near the Grand Loop Road, a route that is eight on the map. Many visitors concentrate one day in the southern ring of this eight and another day in its northern part. All roads seem to lead to the Old-Faithful Geyser. Meanwhile, the bison jam in Hayden Valley seems to have been fixed.
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone National park
Shortly after, you reach the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone National Park, a 900 feet deep and 20 miles long gorge that offers a real attraction with the 270 feet Lower Falls.
The Canyon Rim Walk, one of the very interesting tours offered daily by the NPS at no cost. The guides try to explain to their listeners not only what they see, but also what they do not see because it is deep in the ground. And is that Yellowstone is located a mile and a half above sea level, and on top of a huge volcano that last erupted 640,000 years ago.
Below the national park, water circulates through a giant system of cracks and wells. Snow and rain seep in, are heated by the underground volcanic heat source, and come back out to the surface. That’s why there are so many geysers, fountains, and hot pools here. Yellowstone’s most famous geysers are in the west and southwest of the park. In the Norris Geyser Basin, for example, is the Steamboat Geyser, whose eruptions can measure up to 90 meters. There is no other place in the world where water shoots up to such a height.
However, it is difficult to predict when the water will rise. Sometimes there are fewer than ten eruptions in 25 years. But in the spring of 2018 the Steamboat entered a more active phase and had 25 eruptions in the first half of 2019 alone. And there’s also the Old Faithful, to which all roads lead. This geyser releases an average source of 30 to 55 meters high of up to 8,000 gallons of boiling water every 90 minutes towards the sky. Huge parking lots, various accommodations and a visitor center: this geyser does not disappoint and is exploited to the maximum for tourism.
West Thumb, a Group of Geysers
Another interesting attraction of Yellowstone is West Thumb, a group of geysers and hot springs on the west coast of Yellowstone Lake. Departing before dawn it is possible to arrive before the masses of tourists. There is silence on the catwalks. You can enjoy nature without interruption, at least for the moment. Until you get the buses with tourists.