YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK 3-DAY ITINERARY
A 3-day itinerary for Yellowstone National Park will give you a taste of some of the park's most iconic geysers, wildlife, and landscapes. Yellowstone is vast, so this itinerary will focus on the park's major highlights. Keep in mind that the park's size and traffic can affect travel times, so plan accordingly. Also, keep in mind that weather conditions and seasonal closures may affect certain attractions, so it's always a good idea to check for updates before your trip. Here's a suggested 3-day itinerary:
Day 1: Lower Loop Highlights
- Start your day early and head to the Old Faithful area. Witness the famous Old Faithful geyser erupt, which happens approximately every 90 minutes.
- After enjoying Old Faithful, take a walk around the boardwalks to explore the Upper Geyser Basin and witness other geysers and hot springs in the area, such as Castle Geyser and Grand Geyser.
- Drive to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Visit the Upper Falls and the Lower Falls viewpoints, which offer breathtaking views of the canyon and the powerful waterfalls.
- Hike the South Rim Trail to Artist Point, one of the most famous viewpoints in the park, for stunning views of the canyon and the Lower Falls.
- Overnight in the Old Faithful area or in West Yellowstone.
Day 2: Upper Loop and Lamar Valley
- Head towards the Norris Geyser Basin and explore the various geothermal features, including Steamboat Geyser, the tallest active geyser in the world (although its eruptions are unpredictable).
- Continue driving north to the Mammoth Hot Springs area. Take a walk on the boardwalks to see the unique terraces formeda by hot springs deposits.
- Drive through the scenic Lamar Valley, known for its abundant wildlife. Keep an eye out for bison herds, elk, pronghorn, and even wolves and bears.
- If time allows, visit the Tower Fall area for a short hike to the base of the waterfall.
- Return to the Mammoth area or stay in the Tower/Roosevelt area for the night.
Day 3: Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and Hayden Valley
- Start your day by revisiting the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, this time exploring the North Rim and other viewpoints, such as Brink of the Upper Falls and Inspiration Point.
- Drive south and spend some time in the Hayden Valley, another excellent spot for wildlife viewing. Binoculars or a spotting scope can enhance your experience.
- Visit the Mud Volcano area to see unique hydrothermal features, including Dragon's Mouth Spring and Mud Volcano.
- If you have extra time, stop by the West Thumb Geyser Basin and take a walk around the thermal features along the shores of Yellowstone Lake.
- Depart Yellowstone National Park, or if you have another day, consider exploring additional areas of the park you haven't visited yet.
Please note that this itinerary covers only the major highlights of Yellowstone National Park. The park has much more to offer, so if you have more time, consider extending your visit to explore other areas, take longer hikes, and immerse yourself further in the park's natural wonders. Also, be sure to check for any road closures or updates before your trip, as conditions can change depending on the time of year. Enjoy your visit to Yellowstone!
Before your trip, make sure to grab your
Yellowstone National Park offers several campgrounds, each with its own unique features and attractions. Choosing the "best" campsite depends on your preferences, the time of year you visit, and the type of camping experience you seek. Here are some of the best campsites in Yellowstone National Park:
Fishing Bridge RV Park: This campground is the only one in Yellowstone that offers full hookups for RVs. It is centrally located and provides easy access to the Yellowstone Lake area.
Madison Campground: Situated near the Madison River, this campground is relatively close to the West Entrance and offers beautiful views and a peaceful atmosphere.
Bridge Bay Campground: Located along the shores of Yellowstone Lake, this campground provides stunning lake views and convenient access to the Lake area and Fishing Bridge.
Canyon Campground: This campground is close to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, offering spectacular canyon views and easy access to hiking trails.
Mammoth Hot Springs Campground: Situated near the Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces, this campground offers unique thermal features and is close to the park's North Entrance.
Please note that both campsites in Yellowstone National Park fill up quickly, especially during peak seasons. It is essential to make reservations well in advance, especially if you plan to visit during the summer months. Additionally, keep in mind that some facilities may have limited availability during the off-season. Yellowstone National Park offers a truly unforgettable experience surrounded by stunning natural beauty and unique geological wonders.