Yellowstone National Park covers the northwestern corner of the state of Wyoming but also stretches into neighboring Idaho and Montana. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was the first of the world's national parks. It has an area of nearly 3,500 square miles.
A must-see attraction in the park is the geyser known as Old Faithful. It got its name from the way that it erupts at intervals so regular that you could almost set your watch to them. Every 91 minutes, hundreds of gallons of water shoot an average of 145 feet into the air, leaving a cloud of steam. If you've always wanted to see a geyser erupt, this is the one to go to since you're guaranteed an eruption.
Old Faithful is only one of more than a thousand geysers in the national park, although most don't erupt that often. Steamboat Geyser is the largest of these. There are many thermal areas here, because Yellowstone is actually the caldera of a huge volcano. When visiting, be sure to walk only along the boardwalks because many of the mud and thermal pools are much, much hotter than they seem and people have died in them.
The thermal pools and geysers great reasons to visit but the popular park also offers much, much more. The landscape here is astonishingly beautiful and a favorite among landscape photographers. You'll be able to admire and take dramatic pictures of mountains, meadows, rivers, canyons, lakes, waterfalls and a petrified forest, among others.
There is an abundance of wildlife, with bison, bears, wolves, mountain lions, deer and elk just some of the species that live in the park. A great way to see them up close is during a hike or a trip on horseback. Cars are the normal mode of transport here but in around April there is a week when cars aren't allowed and cycling in the park is a joy at this time.
Because the national park is one of the most popular in the USA, accommodation options within its boundaries fill up very quickly. This is why staying just outside of park borders is often a better option. Gardiner along the northern boundary and West Yellowstone along the western boundary are the two main gateway towns and offer plenty of motels.
To visit the area in summer, you'll have to book far ahead if you want to be assured of accommodation of your choice. Summer is the most pleasant time to visit but is also the most crowded. Fall has a different kind of beauty with fewer crowds and if you want something completely different, come in winter and bring your skis.
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