Things to Do in Yellowstone National Park

Things to do in Yellowstone National Park are nearly endless, and visitors will find plenty to entertain them while vacationing in this stunning park. A list of the top 10 things to do in Yellowstone depends on your interests, but it can include hiking, camping, backpacking, horseback riding, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, bird watching and wildlife observation, and skiing.

With so many Yellowstone attractions to choose from, it is no wonder the park is a popular year-round vacation location. Of the top 10 things to do in Yellowstone, there are plenty of activities to accommodate individual interests as well as adventure for the whole family—that has helped keep the park popular even in tough economic times.


Hikers looking for things to do in Yellowstone National Park will find miles of wilderness and backcountry trails. Yellowstone has more than 1,100 miles of trails with levels of difficulty and varying elevations. Arrangements for day hiking, backcountry hiking, and guided day and overnight hiking excursions are available through businesses throughout the park that provide hiking and camping supplies, equipment, and professional guides.

Outdoor Activities

Outdoor activities during the summer months are among the best things to do in Yellowstone National Park. Boating, swimming, fishing, rafting, and kayaking allow vacationers to be active and see some of the best scenery in North America, while relaxing while leisurely taking in the sights on horseback is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the views, atmosphere, and history of Yellowstone attractions. During the winter months, snow equipment is available at local shops and hotels for visitors to enjoy a day of cross country skiing, snowshoeing, or snowmobiling within the park.

Wildlife Observation

Watching wildlife is another of the top 10 things to do in Yellowstone for many visitors. Yellowstone has a variety of wildlife from large grizzly bears to small waterfowl. In Hayden Valley, located in the central part of Yellowstone, a leisurely drive through the valley provides scenic views of Yellowstone River and glimpses of Canada geese, swans, ducks, pelicans, moose, and herds of elk and bison. In the Lamar Valley, located in the northeast quadrant of the park, wildlife enthusiasts can observe grizzly bears and coyotes. This is also the premier location in Yellowstone for viewing wolves.


Geysers are a rare feature, and the geothermal basin at Yellowstone contains half of the world’s roughly thousand geysers. One of the most popular of the Yellowstone attractions is to watch Old Faithful Geyser, which is one of the park’s best-known features and is famous for its spectacular eruptions. You can tour the area to see several additional geysers located in the Upper Geyser Basin, while the Norris Basin, also a popular stop for visitors, features Echinus geyser and Steamboat, the tallest geyser in the world. The Lower Geyser Basin covers eleven square miles and has a display of hot springs, mud pools and erupting geysers. Also in the Lower Basin, the Great Fountain Geyser is the only geyser with predictable eruptions.

Mammoth Hot Springs

Located in the northern quadrant of Yellowstone, Mammoth Hot Springs is an interesting attraction as you observe intricate layered limestone rocks created by hot water rising through the stone. The effect is an area of rock-created terraces with unique designs and formations. The hot water that feeds the spring comes from the Norris Geyser Basin via a natural underground corridor.

Waterfalls and Yellowstone Canyon

Three popular must-see Yellowstone attractions are the 308-foot Lower Falls, 109-foot Upper Falls, Tower Fall, and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Both the Lower Falls and Tower Fall have hiking trails down to the base of the waterfalls that provide beautiful photography opportunities. Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon, though not as large as its counterpart in Arizona, is a still a sight you don’t want to miss when planning your itinerary to the park.

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