10 Budget-friendly Things to do in Yellowstone National Park That You Shouldn't Miss

December 9, 2021 Florencio Paulino

Established in 1872, Yellowstone National Park is a national treasure. Located primarily in Wyoming, the park also extends into Montana and Idaho. Yellowstone has active geothermal features with geysers and boiling mud pots throughout the park. The most famous is Old Faithful, a geyser that has erupted on the clock for decades. Travelers be warned, July is the busiest month of the year, with almost a million visitors alone. The park has a tour bus system, nine visitor centers, and 2,000 campsites.

1. Upper Geyser Basin

Center Loop Road, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190 +1 307-344-7381 http://www.yellowstonenationalpark.com/uppergeyser.htm
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5.0 based on 1,302 reviews

Upper Geyser Basin

Most of the geysers in Yellowstone Park can be found here.

Reviewed By I5101IEjayd - Bloomsburg, United States

We were lucky enough to have the timing fall for us to see three eruptions during our walk on the trail, plus the morning Glory pool at the end is a mini grand prismatic that you can get within feet of, if you are lucky enough to time this trail, it will be one of the best trails you are on, but if the timing doesn't line up, 90% of the geysers on the path are nothing special to see.

2. Lower Yellowstone River Falls

Yellowstone River, Yellowstone National Park, WY http://www.yellowstonenationalpark.com/roadsidewaterfalls.htm
Excellent
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5.0 based on 1,417 reviews

Lower Yellowstone River Falls

A spectacular waterfall located in Canyon Country.

Reviewed By Tommy599 - Two Rivers, United States

We crossed Chittenden bridge across the Yellowstone river; stopping first at Uncle Toms to view the smaller upper Falls, then on to Artist Point to view the MAGNIFICENT lower falls and the unbelievable colors of the canyon. It is IMPOSSIBLE to describe the majesty of this waterfall and canyon colors, so we will not even try,

3. Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190 https://www.yellowstonepark.com/things-to-do/grand-canyon-of-the-yellowstone-colors
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5.0 based on 5,017 reviews

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Reviewed By USN_Seabee_Wife - Chehalis, United States

#1 Rule: Don't forget your camera, make sure your batteries are charged and that you have plenty of SD cards for your digital camera. What is here: The dramatic, 1,000-foot-deep Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone rewards visitors with dazzling views of multi-hued rock walls and majestic waterfalls. With walking and hiking trails for all abilities, and learning opportunities for the whole family, it’s easy to spend an entire day in this unique area of the park. The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is roughly 20 miles long and varies from 1,500 to 4,000 feet wide. Geologists believe it was formed as the Yellowstone River eroded softer, less resistant rock that had been weakened by hydrothermal gases and hot water. The colorful canyon is a natural work of art: streaks of red, orange, gold, black, and even green decorate the canyon walls. Several miles of trails connect 10 primary overlooks that afford dramatic views from both sides of the canyon. When we went there had been snowfall and it made the most beautiful pictures since it was combined with all of the colors of the canyon. Whether it’s your first visit to Yellowstone, or you visit regularly, everyone loves a summer day in the park. Here’s how to get the most out of yours. The best way to experience all the different facets of the canyon’s charm is to pick a trail and go for a hike. There are many trails along both canyon rims, from short jaunts to all-day treks. Here are a few of our favorites: Brink of the Lower Falls Trail (moderate): Descend 600 feet on a steep trail to get an up-close and personal view of the Lower Falls in all its thundering power. 0.7 miles, round-trip Seven Mile Hole Trail (strenuous): You’ll want to commit a whole day to this trail – the only one that leads to the canyon bottom.10.2 miles, round-trip Point Sublime Trail (easy): After visiting the Artist Point overlook, follow the South Rim Trail beyond Artist Point to this less-traveled path, which meanders along the canyon rim to the aptly named Point Sublime. 1.3 miles from Artist Point to Point Sublime View the Canyon and Falls While some views of the canyon and falls are only accessible by trail, you can still get to the following overlooks by car and a short walk from the parking lots on paved, accessible walkways. From North Rim Drive: View the Lower Falls from Lookout Point, Red Rock Point, Grand View, and Inspiration Point. Both waterfalls are visible from Brink of the Lower Falls. From South Rim Drive: See the Upper Falls from two viewpoints at Uncle Tom’s Point. View the Lower Falls at Artist Point. Several of the canyon overlooks and trails, which were originally built in the 1930s, are being rehabilitated with support from Yellowstone Forever. Over the years, they have been hammered by unforgiving weather, compromised by soil erosion, and damaged by increased visitation. In recent years, these conditions have prompted some temporary or long-term closures.

4. Artist Point

South Rim Road, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190
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5.0 based on 1,292 reviews

Artist Point

Reviewed By Tommy599 - Two Rivers, United States

We crossed Chittenden bridge across the Yellowstone river; stopping first at Uncle Toms to view the smaller upper Falls, then on to Artist Point to view the MAGNIFICENT lower falls and the unbelievable colors of the canyon. It is IMPOSSIBLE to describe the majesty of this waterfall and canyon colors, so we will not even try,

5. Lamar Valley

Yellowstone National Park, WY +1 307-344-7381 http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/basicinfo.htm
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5.0 based on 2,998 reviews

Lamar Valley

Reviewed By FancyFree55 - Florida, United States

This route is an amazing drive into the park, with large herds of buffalo grazing in vast fields on both sides of the northeast entrance road. It seemed that our visit coincided with birthing season, when lots of calves were just joining families. They're an unusual orange-brown color, compared with the very dark fur of their parents.' Tourists parked all over the sides of the highway to stop for close-up photos these incredible animals. When I say close-up, I mean with a good zoom. Park signage warns you not to get nearer than 75 yards because the animals are very fast and, if they feel like their babies are threatened, they will charge. We were very fortunate to also spot a small herd of pronghorn elk grazing not far from the road and got some great pix. The drive itself is beautiful, with mountains off in the distance, and a river winding through vast green along and around the roadway.

6. Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park, WY +1 307-344-7381 http://www.nps.gov/yell/
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5.0 based on 1,551 reviews

Yellowstone National Park

Reviewed By payelchakravorti - Melbourne, Australia

Yellowstone National Park should be in anyone’s bucket list who loves the bond between nature & wildlife.Dramatic landscape,Alpine Forest, Gushing Geyser,Fuming Hot Spring, Volcanic Caldera, Bubbling Basin,Colourful pool,Scenic Lake,Hiking trail what all what not. This topography is the perfect choice for photography & a traveler's stop.The whole area is atop of a volcano & the vesicles give a rough & porous texture on the earth’s outer crust.It exactly looks like a painful blister on earth’s skin. I was taken aback to see snow fudge & thermal spring dwelling together without losing their own identity.It’s magic, bounty of nature.Get out of the car & explore this beautiful piece of the planet by walk. Time plays a major role, if someone wants to enjoy the hot spring flow.It's once in a lifetime experience & want to go back again after some years.

7. Grand Prismatic Spring

Midway Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, WY +1 307-344-7381 http://www.nps.gov/features/yell/ofvec/exhibits/treasures/thermals/hotspring/grandprismatic.htm
Excellent
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4.5 based on 3,056 reviews

Grand Prismatic Spring

Brightly-colored hot spring, the result of algae that live in the water.

Reviewed By WanderingWithUsTwo - Phoenix, United States

One of the most popular and colorful is obviously the Grand Prismatic Spring. There are many others throughout the park and they even offer a small theater presentation about hot springs and geysers if you want to learn more. If you visit and want to see an aerial view you should stop by the nearby parking lot which has a trail that takes you to see the spring from above via the Fairy Falls trail. This gives you some better perspective of the entire spring and the surrounding areas. We hope to be back for several days next time and camp at one of the many campgrounds they have along the rivers! - @wanderingwithustwo

8. Mammoth Hot Springs

Grand Loop Road, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190
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4.5 based on 2,124 reviews

Mammoth Hot Springs

Beautiful limestone formations make this hot spring unique.

Reviewed By JerryR10 - Salt Lake City, United States

My wife, our son (17), and I have been in Yellowstone once before and were happy to come back. The Park is vast so we hadn't been to the Mammoth Hot Springs area on our first visit. We stayed nearby in Gardiner, MT, just outside the Park. Mammoth Hot Springs is beautiful, both for the larger-scale geology and the fine details that you see as new travertine terraces form, boling water flows, films and tendrils of extremophile bacteria grows, and so on. The hot springs change over time based on what's happening with the water below, so you see a mix of areas that are flowing and growing and areas that are dormant and decaying. We walked the full loop along boardwalks and the road, to see every vantage point. We did this first on Sunday morning, when it was quite busy, and again on Wednesday morning before breakfast when we had it almost to ourselves. Wonderful.

9. Yellowstone Lake

Grand Loop Road Between Fishing Bridge and Grant Village, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190 +1 307-344-7381 https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/nature/yellowstone-lake.htm
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4.5 based on 1,767 reviews

Yellowstone Lake

Yellowstone National Park's largest lake.

Reviewed By NatParkHikerJess - Peoria, United States

The best views of the lake we found were driving behind Lake Hotel to a parking area there. It's right on the shore of the lake with a little viewing deck as well. To escape crowds and get a more solitary lake experience, I highly rec driving out past Fishing Bridge to the Storm Point hike, which takes you along the shore of the lake and out to a secluded beach. Both are gorgeous places to enjoy this large alpine lake.

10. Lone Star Geyser

Center Loop Road, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190 +1 307-344-7381 https://www.nps.gov/thingstodo/yell-trail-lone-star-geyser.htm
Excellent
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4.5 based on 130 reviews

Lone Star Geyser

Famous geyser in Yellowstone National Park.

Reviewed By lillians594

I loved the steam phase, it was really cool! Also, it never stopped, or, at least that's what it seemed like.

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