I am going to share with you my top 5 things you need to see in Yellowstone National park. I only had 2 days to spend in Yellowstone National Park while traveling from Seattle, Washington to Minneapolis, Minnesota. I was traveling from west to east and purposely wanted to camp in Yellowstone National Park. I stayed at the Bridges Bay Campground. I had not made reservations for that night but got lucky when checking in with park officials on a vacancy late in the evening. I would suggest making reservations before traveling. Very crowded during summer months. I was traveling at the end of August. Temperatures were getting cooler in the mornings and I would suggest bringing a down winter jacket to wear, especially if you like taking photos during sunrise. I have heard so much about Yellowstone that I decided to see for my myself and boy, I can tell you that the experience, the photos live up to its reputation. Just when I thought I had figured out Yellowstone National Park, Yellowstone revealed its sheer size and grandeur.
Top 5 Things to See in Yellowstone National Park
- Fountain paint pots
- Midway Geyser Basin
- Biscuit Basin
- Old Faithful
- North and South Rim Roads-Artist Point, Brink of Lower Falls, Lookout Point, and Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
Arriving from the west entrance of the Yellowstone National Park, I quickly drove into the visitors centre to get park brochures and some questions answer. For example, where to camp? Best places to see in the park? Having received my answers, I quickly went to see these top 5 things to see in Yellowstone National Park. I made a short video of what to expect in Yellowstone National Park.
1. Fountain Paints Pots
If you like pictures, I would suggest going during sunset. Beautiful walkway, sun slowly fading away, and the heat and steam from the pools where magic. With the sun setting, all tourists were gone, I found myself and another photographer only ones there. More pictures in a tranquil setting. Clearly among the top 5 things to see in Yellowstone National park.
2. Midway Geyser Basin
Second stop was Midway Geyser Basin, probably one of the best known attractions of Yellowstone National Park. The beautiful tri-color basin of blue, yellow and orange will leave you speechless. The picture below was taken in mid-afternoon. If are traveling there, you should be aware there are two ways to get a view of Midway Geyser Basin. First way, is the main entrance where visitors can park there car, and walk along the boardwalk to get a close up. (Look at the picture below, and see the people watching). Second way to view Midway Geyser Basin, travel south down the street from the main entrance. Park at Fairy Falls parking Lot. Look for Grand Prismatic Spring overlook trail. Follow the trail and people. It is an elevated spot overlooking Midway Geyer Basin giving you a breathtaking view . This trail is about 1mile in length, give or take, one way. This hike is well worth it and a must, if you come to Yellowstone National Park.
3. Sapphire Pool, Biscuit Basin
Third stop you need to see in Yellowstone National Park, is the Sapphire Pool, in Biscuit Basin. The location is nearby Midway Geyser Basin. You do not need to travel that far. Sapphire pool is a beautiful two tone colour blue. The picture below was taken mid afternoon. Some visitors prefer Sapphire Pool over Midway Geyser Basin. I’m still on the fence about that one! Off to the next attraction you must see in Yellowstone National park.
4. Old Faithful
The fourth attraction you must see in Yellowstone National Park is, Old Faithful. This is where water shoots up from the ground into the air, ranging anywhere from 106 ft (32.3 meters) to 180 feet (40m) in the air. It can take anywhere from 51 minutes to 120 minutes between intervals eruptions . Park Rangers continue to monitor and predict times Old Faithful will erupt. Below is a picture I took first thing in the morning. To avoid large crowds, I would suggest coming early. There is seating however, it is first come first serve. This is truly a magnificent event like you never seen before. Again this one of the top 5 things to see in Yellowstone National Park. Click link to see live eruption.
5. North and South Rim Roads
The fifth and final attraction to see is at the North and South Rim Road. If you travel along the South Rim Road you will arrive at the entrance of Artist Point. Artist Point is known for its sheer size and beautiful and powerful waterfall. The picture below was take about mid afternoon. The colours (gold, different shades of brown and violets) were very bright and vibrant. This is truly a sight to see. As your are wrapping up, get in your car and travel to the North Rim Road.
The North Rim Road will lead you to following: Brink of the Lower Falls, Lookout Point and Grand Canyon of Yellowstone National Park. All these amazing places are within close proximity of each other and are on the same road. You can park your car or walk the way. If you don’t have time, I would suggest go by car. If you were to do a short hike in Yellowstone National Park, you must travel the Brink of the Lower Falls, a little hike that will give you breathtaking view of the mountains. This is a must! The hike consists of switchbacks, roughly less than one mile in length and can be challenging. In my opinion, it gives you the award for best effort to reward.
Bonus: Beartooth Highway, Hwy 212
As a bonus, and if you already made it here, travel to the northeast section of the park where you will view the magnificient bison grazing in the field. Follow the trail, out of the park, where that road will turn into Hwy 212 also known as Beartooth Highway. This is the big surprise. Amazing views, switchbacks for 1 1/2 hours. It reminded me of the Sun Road in Glacier National Park, Montana. Hwy 212, also known as Beartooth Highway will give the Sun Road in Glacier National Park a “run for its money.”
Ladies and gentlemen these where my top 5 places things to see in Yellowstone National Park. As I said before, I had only two days in Yellowstone National Park. This northeast corner was a specular way for me to end my trip in Yellowstone National Park. Hopefully, you will have the opportunity to experience what I have.
Please leave comments and/or suggestions.