Yellowstone: notre guide
Visit Yellowstone: The American Park the biggest, the oldest et the most famous. It is often considered to be the most beautiful park in the USA, if not in the world. It sends heavy! It is true that it is one of the only places in the world where you can see, in the same area, these 4 geothermal phenomena: geysers, springs (hot springs), fumaroles, and baths mud. And it is these phenomena, very special and rare, integrated into a very beautiful environment that make the reputation of this park. Also note that Yellowstone has incredible wildlife. It houses, among other things, deer, elk, bison, bears, wolves, coyotes etc.
WHEN TO VISIT THE YELLOWSTONE
T O U T E L ‘ A N N E E
The Yellowstone is open year-round. Being located on average at an altitude of 2400m, the winter is very cold (negative temperatures during the day and often below -20° at night). Summer is hotter. We were there at the end of August and we had easily 28° during the day but 4° at night…
July and August are really the most touristic months. A posteriori we said to ourselves that this park must really be classy to visit in mid season.
HOW TO VISIT THE YELLOWSTONE
V O I T U R E
Yellowstone Park is very large (area larger than Corsica, to give you an idea!) so being conveyed seems to us primordial. However, there are still shuttles, but these make tours “organized” by the visitor centers.
Yellowstone is part of the Beautifull Pass (pass valid for 1 year, $80, to be purchased during your first visit to an American national park).
Finally, for those who want to visit Yellowstone on foot, a backpacker : You need a background permit. You have to go through the Rangers to get it. They will explain the hikes to do and the precautions to take for bears (purchase of bear box, whistle, bear spray…). Attentionat 4:30 p.m. there will be no one to receive you.
WHERE TO SLEEP TO VISIT THE YELLOWSTONE
You will find lots of campsites in Yellowstone and distributed throughout the park area. Some work by reservation (plan 6 months in advance) and others on a 1st come 1st served basis. As we told you, from July until mid-August, there are a lot of people and the campsites are often full before noon. At the end of August, from 2 p.m., all the campsites were full when we were there.
here are the First-come, First-served :
Indian Creek – Lewis Lake – Mammoth – Norris – Pebble Creek – Slough Creek – Tower Fall
Inside the park you will also find lodges. But necessarily they are much more expensive than camping and are to book well in advance. Otherwise, you can sleep outside the park, but it’s far! We advise you only as a last resort: you will already be doing a lot of miles in Yellowstone.
Inside Yellowstone you will find convenience stores, restaurants, petrol, laundry etc… In short, everything you need.
WHAT TO DO TO VISIT THE YELLOWSTONE
R E G A R D E R – A D M I R E R
Yellowstone is very big, and there are plenty of things to see. All the points to see are very good (even too well) furnished. We stayed there for 3 days, and we did a different part of the park every day. However, if you have less time you can see everything by speeding yourself up a bit.
Our 1st day: Northwestern part of Yellowstone:
-Mammoth hot spring : This area, northwest of Yellowstone, is famous for its huge white and yellow-orange calcareous concretions. Here, the limestone formations are in the shape of a staircase, with basins on each floor. Thus, Mammoth hot spring includes 2 large terraces:
- Lower Terrasses Area : the most impressive place, and therefore the best known to see these formations. There is a path, very well laid out, in wood, which allows you to go around. From there you will see Palette Spring (the most beautiful terrace in our eyes), Minerva Terrace, Jupiter Terrace, Canary Spring…
- Upper Terraces Area: an area served by a one-way road. But we advise you to walk there. Here you will see Angeles Terrace, White Elephant Back etc…
– Norris Basin: this place, which was 2 steps from our campsite, concentrates geysers, hot springs, fumaroles. It is a very beautiful place. It is divided into 2 parts: Porcelain basin et Back Basin. Thus, you can walk on a path, always well laid out and make a loop of the length of your choice.
The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he came to see!
Our 2nd day: South part of Yellowstone
This is the game the most touristic of the park.
-Upper Geyser Basin: this place has many geysers. The best known is Old Faithful Geyser: 50m high, and erupts every 1 to 2 hours. So that everyone can see this show, a platform has been set up all around it with many benches. From from Old Faithful Geyser, you can take a walk for a few miles to see other geysers, numerous hot spring pools and fumaroles.
Consider going to the Visitor Educator Center first. Not only you will find the forecast times of the eruptions of the different geysers (and believe us, the predictions are pretty good!). But you will also find plenty of information, very well explained and in a fun way, on all these geothermal phenomena in the park.
-Biscuit Basin: a place where several pools and fumaroles are dedicated.
-Midway Geyser Basin: it is the most famous site in Yellowstone, since it includes the most beautiful multicolored natural pool in the park: Grand Prismatic. You have a landscaped path that allows you to pass between several pools, often of a magnificent blue, and along Grand Prismatic. But to have the best view on the latter: park a little lower and take a path that will take you to the heights. A word of advice: come there on a sunny day (the sun’s rays will make the colors even more intense) and not too early in the morning (the temperature difference between the hot pool and the air being very significant, a lot of smoke escapes, spoiling the view a little).
-Fountain paint pot: here there are whirlpools and small mud geysers. It’s nice to see.
Day 3: Grand Canyon and the Yellowstone Valley
It’s a completely different place to the rest of the park, but very beautiful too. For the record, it is thanks to the intense yellow colors of this canyon that the park is called “Yellowstone”.
–Lower falls : this is the big attraction of this canyon: a 94m waterfall. You can see it from different angles:
- Lookout Point: which gives an overview of the waterfall.
- Red Rock Point: a point of view facing the waterfall, a little lower (0,5miles) de Lookout Point.
- Brink of the lower falls trail: a very well laid out little path that leads you to the place where the waterfall flows into the void. This is the best view of Lower Falls in our opinion.
Other views of this waterfall exist from the left bank of the canyon (Artist Point , Uncle tom’s Trail…) but which were closed during our stay (August 2017).
–Inspiration point: a viewpoint that gives you a panorama of the entire Yellowstone Canyon. Wonderful! We would have believed it in front of a painting. On the other hand, we do not see the waterfall.
South of Canyon Village, there are also things to see.
–Hayden Valley: a “big meadow” where you will have a good chance of seeing herds of bison (and deer if you are really very lucky).
–Mud volcano: another zone of geothermal phenomena: fumaroles, bubbling bath, mud bath… this is also where “Dragon’s Mouth” is found: a sort of cave from which a strange noise comes out.
Le Yellowstone est a must-see parkwhere you will be able to see natural phenomena rare and exceptional. Unfortunately, we cannot talk about the hikes to do there. Indeed, we did not find the right place: lots of trees, little difference in altitude, but above all the mandatory equipment to have against bears (bear box, bear spray etc) for backpackers. In addition, fatigue after 1 month of tenting through American parks dissuaded us from walking. However, leaving the paths laid out for tourists must really allow you to discover the fauna of this park et see lots of animals. Anyway, we can only have beautiful images in mind after a passage in Yellowstone.
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The article Yellowstone: Our Guide first appeared on Romlands.