A First Timer’s Guide to Visiting Yellowstone [Infographic]
What to See and Do
Visiting Yellowstone for the first time? Here are some infographics to help guide you on all of the fun things to do, see, and eat within the Park. Our first-timer’s guides show you what to do, what to see, and some dos and don’ts for visiting Yellowstone.
What to Do
At Yellowstone National Park, there’s no shortage of adventure to be had. Whether you sign up for a guided tour with a knowledgeable park professional or choose to experience Yellowstone on your own, there’s plenty to experience and discover! In fact, you may have a hard time choosing what to do during your visit. To help you out, we’re sharing five of our favorite “must-do” experiences.
Yellowstone Lake has 140 miles of shoreline to be explored. Rent a motorboat or charter a guide boat for fishing, exploring or take a scenic cruise aboard the Lake Queen to spot eagles, ospreys, and shoreline wanderers.
Yellowstone is home to more free-roaming wildlife than almost anywhere else in the Continental U.S. and dawn is one of the best times to search out the wild animals.
Since the park focuses on minimizing light pollution, you won’t have to go too far from any developed area or lodge to find a truly dark location from which to enjoy “the show.”
Tour the Iconic Lodges of Yellowstone
Lake Yellowstone Hotel opened its doors for the first time in 1891, making it the oldest lodge in the oldest national park. The Old Faithful Inn is considered to be the iconic symbol of rustic architecture in national parks. Both offer free daily tours in the summer.
Energize your pioneer spirit on a stagecoach ride. Feel the rumble of the replica Tally-ho coach. Hear about the history of the stagecoaches in Yellowstone.
WHERE TO EAT
- For an upscale dining experience, visit: Lake Yellowstone Hotel Dining Room
- For iconic atmosphere, visit: Old Faithful Inn Dining Room
- For the best view, visit: Grant Lake House Restaurant
- For the best value, visit: Wylie’s Canteen at Lake Lodge
- For a Western Experience, reserve an: Old West Cookout
Dinner reservations are required for some restaurants. Call 307.344.7311 or visit Yellowstone NationalparkLodges.com for more information.
Dos and Don’ts
Check out this infographic of Park Do’s and Don’ts to help you make the most of your visit!
- Do bring your camera. Yellowstone is packed with stunning scenery, captivating wildlife, and tons of natural wonders
- Do hike in groups of three or more people
- Do be alert. Watch for wildlife, fresh tracks and scat
- Do carry bear spray when hiking
- Do give wildlife their space. Stay a minimum 100 yards from bears and wolves and 25 yards for all other wildlife
- Do explore & have fun. Yellowstone is the world’s first national park and has over 2.2 million acres of park to be explored
- Don’t feed any animals. Even birds and squirrels
- Don’t forget to wake up early. Dawn is the best time for wildlife spotting
- Don’t take anything, including wildflowers, from its natural setting in the park
- Don’t speed. The park speed limit is 45 mph (73 kph), except where posted slower
- Don’t wander off boardwalks and designated trails. Water in geysers and hot springs can severely burn you. Keep hands and feet out
- Don’t run from bears. They have an instinct to chase
What to See
At 2.2 million acres, it can be hard to know where to start when visiting Yellowstone. Here are our top five must-see destinations in Yellowstone National Park.
1. Old Faithful Area
The world’s largest concentration of active geysers is here. View Old Faithful Geyser, then walk past hundreds of active geysers and hot springs along the Firehole River.
2. Lamar Valley
One of the best places for spotting wildlife in Yellowstone. Its broad vistas provide great opportunities to spot wildlife grazing along the Lamar River and on the open hillsides.
3. Canyon Village
The Canyon Village area is a great basecamp for exploring the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, watching wildlife in Hayden Valley and hiking to the top of Mt. Washburn.
4. Norris Geyser Basin
It’s the hottest, oldest and most dynamic geyser basin in Yellowstone. Norris includes Steamboat Geyser, the world’s tallest geyser (300 to 400 feet).
5. Yellowstone Lake
Yellowstone Lake is the largest high-elevation lake (above 7,000 feet) in Noth America. It has 141miles of shoreline and is more than 400 feet deep.
For more travel experiences to Beautiful Places on Earth™ available from Xanterra Travel Collection and its affiliated properties, visit xanterra.com/explore.
Want to experience Yellowstone in-depth? See what makes Yellowstone National Park a great place to work for a season or longer!
Explore Seasonal Packages
Explore Water Adventures
Yellowstone Lake, with 140 miles of shoreline, is home to native Cutthroat Trout and the non-native Lake Trout. It’s also a lake with lots of beautiful scenery, interesting history and is adjacent to some of the most remote wilderness in the lower 48 states.Learn More
Explore Wild West Adventures
Experience Yellowstone the way the first pioneers did with a selection of unique adventures. Travel by stagecoach or horseback and enjoy a traditional cookout dinner. An experience not to be missed!Learn More
Explore Land Adventures
Explore the incredible natural wonders of Yellowstone National Park, guided by one of our knowledgeable park professionals.
You’ll discover a wide variety of dining options in the park from casual to upscale. In addition, over 50% of our food is sustainably produced. Find the perfect meal dining inside the park.Learn More