USA // Breathtaking Yellowstone National Park
BREATHTAKING! That’s the first word that comes to mind when I think about Yellowstone National Park. It is just such an amazing place on earth. Nature at its wildest and yet so very approachable. My first piece of advice would be to make sure you have at least 2 to 3 days to visit the park, because almost every spot marked on the map is worth your while.
Buffalo Bill Cody scenic byway
We visited Yellowstone during a road trip in September, early enough so the roads were still snow free. Because trust me, you will want to discover every corner of this great National Park! We entered through the Eastern gate, coming from Cody (Wyoming) and driving along the beautiful Buffalo Bill Cody scenic byway. I couldn’t agree more with Teddy Roosevelt, who once described this route as “the most scenic 50 miles in America”.
Already a few minutes after entering the National Park we stumbled upon our first bison, we couldn’t believe it! Finally! Wildlife! Little did we know that bison are seriously omnipresent in Yellowstone, popping up very photogenically every few miles. So there is no need to go completely FOMO about this. Bears and moose however… definitely keep an eye out!
Yellowstone National Park Highlights
Basically, the main roads connecting the highlights of Yellowstone are 2 big circles. It is a good idea to take a day for each of these circles, and if you are lucky enough to have a day extra visit some of the outer roads of the park.
If you are hoping to spot serious wildlife (as in: bison, bears, moose, wolves) Hayden Valley is a good vantage point with expansive views. However moose mostly prefer wandering the streams, marshes, and willow thickets along the road between Mammoth Hot Springs and the Norris Geyser Basin.
Here are a few spots you shouldn’t miss when visiting Yellowstone National Park:
- Hayden Valley & Lamar Valley, for the wide views and wildlife
- The Old Faithful, a.k.a. the one and only Yellowstone classic
- Artist point, for an excellent view on 2 other must-sees: the Yellowstone waterfalls amid the colourful Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
- Grand Prismatic Spring, the biggest, steamiest and most colourful hot spring of them all
- Yellowstone lake, for a very peaceful scenery
- Norris Geyser Basin, panoramic views of a lunar landscape filled with geysers and hot springs
- Mammoth Hot Springs, with step-like terraces in various colours, and the bonus of large herds of elks hoovering the area