tips for Yellowstone National Park
Each year millions of visitors cram into Yellowstone National Park to see its amazing beauty. Over 3,000 square miles in size, there are countless geothermal features, waterfalls, scenic views, and wildlife to take in on your trip.
If you plan to go to Yellowstone National Park, here are eight things that you should know before you go.
1) We’ll start with the most important: please know that it is very dangerous to walk off of the paths or wooden walkways near any thermal features. People die every year when they don’t heed this basic warning.
2) Yellowstone is very popular and just about every major attraction is on Grand Loop Rd., which makes a large oval around the park. There is a second major road (Norris Canyon Rd.) that cuts across the middle, creating a large figure 8. That makes planning to visit Yellowstone pretty easy (we visited the top loop in one day and the bottom loop in a second day). That being said, these roads carry a lot of traffic, especially in the summer. And, if there are any neat animals near the road, then traffic will stop and might become impassible.
3) There are eight different visitor centers and museums. Don’t think that once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. Each visitor center focuses on different aspects of the park.
4) The animals might seem tame, but they’re not! True, many of the animals are used to seeing people and might have more tolerance for you getting close to them than animals in other places. However, people are seriously injured and killed by animals at Yellowstone and it’s often due to poor decisions by the humans, not the animals. When there are potentially dangerous animals in the area (bears, male elk, etc.), park employees and volunteers usually help manage traffic and keep people safe.
5) Yellowstone is spectacular in that so many of its cool features are right beside Grand Loop Rd. That makes for several spots of quick pull-offs and an opportunity to walk around and take pictures without having to hike through the park. In fact, much of the park is accessible by people who use wheelchairs and other devices.
6) It doesn’t get very hot in Yellowstone. In fact, it’s not impossible to see snow flurries in the summer! Most summer days are pleasant but might require a jacket or sweatshirt. Evenings can get chilly, so plan accordingly.
7) There are several more things to see in Yellowstone than you can do in a couple of days. At some point you might have to prioritize the sights and try to see examples of each type of feature.
8) There are an abundance of lodging and camping options inside the park. However, Yellowstone is so popular that many options fill up months in advance. There are a couple of towns just outside the park with many lodging options.
This information is provided by Short and Sweet Introductions. Visit www.shortandsweetintroductions.com/west for more information like this and to learn about more vacation destinations in the American west.