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Overview

Yellowstone is one of the oldest national parks in the world, one of the largest, the USA's first and arguably the best. This 2.2-million-acre wonderland underpins the very definition of wilderness, with its amazing wildlife, inexplicable geothermal plumbing bubbling up and over the surface of the Earth, and rugged alpine landscape, complete with a vast lake and an awe-inspiring canyon. The figure eight of blacktop that cars take around the park zips right by many of the best-known wonders — Old Faithful Geyser, Mammoth Hot Springs, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and Tower Falls, to name a few — but travelers to the park who stick to ...

Yellowstone is one of the oldest national parks in the world, one of the largest, the USA's first and arguably the best. This 2.2-million-acre wonderland underpins the very definition of wilderness, with its amazing wildlife, inexplicable geothermal plumbing bubbling up and over the surface of the Earth, and rugged alpine landscape, complete with a vast lake and an awe-inspiring canyon. The figure eight of blacktop that cars take around the park zips right by many of the best-known wonders — Old Faithful Geyser, Mammoth Hot Springs, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and Tower Falls, to name a few — but travelers to the park who stick to their cars are missing the point. This is a hiker's park, laced from top to bottom with trails of every description. But it's also an angler's park, a wildlife-watcher's park, and a park for anybody who appreciates nature. Of the gateway towns, check out funky little Gardiner at the north entrance, complete with well-worn watering holes and a bevy of river rats.

Eric Peterson
About the Expert

Eric Peterson has written and contributed to numerous Frommer’s guidebooks covering the American West, including Montana & Wyoming, Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks, and Texas.

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Eric Peterson for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer is the nicest weather-wise; most of the park's roads are closed between fall and spring.