National Park

Yellowstone Attractions

Yellowstone Things to Do

Yellowstone has is an amazing wonderland of geysers, hot springs, spectacular canyons, North America’s largest high-altitude lake, a great diversity of wildlife and vibrant wildflowers in the summer.

Here are some of the major attractions of Yellowstone that you should consider visiting on you trip to this amazing place.

People have been visiting and living in the Yellowstone area for thousands of years. In the mid 1800s, explorers and artists brought Yellowstone’s wonders to the attention of the federal government. The park was established in 1872.

Visit Mammoth Hot Springs to walk the self-guiding trail around Fort Yellowstone, which chronicles the U.S. Army’s role in protecting the park.

Other historic sites include the Norris Geyser Basin Museum, Obsidian Cliff, and the Old Faithful Inn and Historic District.

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
This spectacular canyon, including Upper and Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River, can be seen from the overlooks and trails of the Canyon Village area, and from the Tower Fall and Calcite Springs overlooks south of Tower Junction.

Geysers & Hot Springs
Geysers, hot springs, mudpots, and fumaroles are evidence of ongoing volcanic activity. To see them, visit Mammoth Hot Springs, Norris Geyser Basin, Fountain Paint Pot & Firehole Lake Drive, Midway Geyser Basin, the Old Faithful area, West Thumb Geyser Basin, and Mud Volcano.

Lake Area
Yellowstone Lake is North America’s largest high-altitude lake. The area is prime habitat for many birds and mammals. You can also enjoy boating, fishing, hiking, and viewing hydrothermal features.

You can see a variety and abundance of wildlife unparalleled in the lower 48 states. All the large mammals present when Yellowstone became a park are here today: grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, mountain lions, elk, bison, pronghorn, moose, and bighorn sheep. You’ll also see a large variety of birds, including bald eagles. Check at a visitor center for the best wildlife viewing locations.

Magenta and blue—the colors used in this planner—hint at the vibrant wildflowers that brighten Yellowstone in summer.
Read more about park highlights at


Albright Visitor Center, Mammoth
Open All Year
Information, bookstore, exhibits on wildlife and history and films on the national park idea, Yellowstone, and artist Thomas Moran.

Old Faithful Visitor Center
Open Mid April to early November
Information, bookstore, geyser eruption predictions, and a film about hydrothermal features. Also open late December through early March. Access only via over- snow vehicle.

West Yellowstone Visitor Information Center
Open Late April to early November
Information and publications.
Also open mid December through early March.

Fishing Bridge Visitor Center
Open late May to late September
Information, bookstore, and exhibits on the park’s birds, wildlife, and lake geology.

Grant Visitor Center
Open late May to late September
Information, bookstore, exhibit and video on fire in Yellowstone.

Madison Information Station
Open late May to late September
Information and bookstore.

Museum of the National Park Ranger, Norris
Open late May to late September
Exhibits at this historic soldier station on the history of the park ranger profession.

Norris Geyser Basin Museum
Open late May to late September
Information, bookstore, and exhibits on the hydrothermal features of Yellowstone.

West Thumb Information Center
Open late May to late September
Information and bookstore.

Canyon Visitor Education Center
Open May to early October
Enter the Canyon Visitor Education Center and the world of Yellowstone’s supervolcano—an idea that has captured the minds and imaginations of people around the world. You can see, hear, and learn how the Yellowstone volcano, its geysers and hot springs, and geologic history influence all life found here.


This post incorporates text from:

Yellowstone National Park Trip Planner 2010.