How we got there: Drove from adjacent Grand Teton National Park.
Lodging: Canyon Village (We stayed in the Frontier Cabins, but these have since been replaced)
- Uncle Tom’s Trail – Steep metal staircase with 328 steps that leads to a platform overlooking the massive Lower Falls.
- Norris Geyser Basin – 2.25 miles of boardwalks and trails pass through the hottest and most changeable thermal area of Yellowstone.
- Grand Prismatic Spring – One of the most famous Yellowstone sites, view the rainbow-colored spring from a short boardwalk trail.
- Dinner at Old Faithful Inn Dining Room – The famous lodge with its towering lobby of log construction also has a great restaurant. We got lucky and walked in with only a short wait, but make reservations to guarantee a slot.
- Mt Washburn – 6.2 mile out and back hike from Dunraven Pass parking lot leads to 10,243 ft peak and fire lookout. 1,343 ft vertical climb. Panoramic views in all directions and all the way to the Tetons 75 miles south.
- Mammoth Hot Springs – Short boardwalks lead to views of bizarre terraced pools and cascades of hot spring mineral water. Be sure to check out the Roosevelt Arch at the nearby north entrance in Montana.
Tips: This park is huge, plan to spend at least three days to see a variety of attractions. Avoid midday crowds at easily accessible locations, go off the beaten path during peak hours and then visit the popular spots later when crowds are gone.
Next time: Boating on Yellowstone Lake. Another long day hike, maybe Fairy Falls or Beaver Ponds.