Yellowstone National Park Tours
The world’s first National Park, Yellowstone, spans over 2.2 million acres and is full of natural wonders, geothermal phenomena, and diverse, free-roaming wildlife. Yellowstone's Old Faithful geyser is one of a myriad of epic phenomena, along with bubbling mud pots, steaming rainbow hot springs, and the multi-colored terraces of Mammoth Hot Springs. Leave the details to us, and we'll help you find exactly the right Yellowstone vacation that checks off everything you want and stays within your travel budget. You'll wake up right in the park, explore with experienced and knowledgeable Travel Directors, and go beyond the tourist sites with local specialists.
1. Visit Old Faithful: This iconic geyser is one of the most popular attractions in the park and is known for its predictable eruptions.
2. See the Grand Prismatic Spring, the largest hot spring in the United States and one of the most colorful geothermal features in the world.
3. Join a Yellowstone Forever local expert for an educational walk through the park. Yellowstone Forever is the official non-profit partner of Yellowstone National Park, with a mission to protect, preserve and enhance Yellowstone National Park through education and philanthropy. Prepare for informative conversations about the geologic and historical origins of the park, wildlife and management, and their current projects supporting the park. By supporting Yellowstone Forever, this experience contributes to their efforts in wildlife conservation.
4. Go wildlife watching: Yellowstone is home to bison, elk, moose, wolves, grizzly bears, and more.
5. Take a scenic drive through Hayden Valley and keep an eye out for wolves, bears, elk, and hundreds of bison.
6. Explore the Mammoth Hot Springs terraces, one of the major geyser basins in Yellowstone, and see the unique limestone terraces.
7. Enjoy an easy hike along the Beaver Ponds Trail that rambles through sagebrush meadows, trees, and beaver ponds. Look out for wildlife, including various water birds and perhaps a distant bear, elk, mule deer, pronghorn, or moose.
8. Take an easy 1.5-mile hike at Grand Prismatic Overlook for the best view overlooking Grand Prismatic Spring.
9. Head to the Fishing Bridge Visitor Center and Trailside Museum to learn about the many bird species inhabiting the park.
10. Take in grand views and seize an ideal photo opportunity at Artists Point at an elevation of 7,976 feet. You can also see the Yellowstone River from Artist Point, a lookout that provides a stunning view of the "Grand Canyon of Yellowstone."
11. Hike the (easy) 3.9-mile Clear Lake Artist Point Loop Trail for more amazing views of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, plus dramatic falls, tranquil ponds and lakes, rolling meadows, thermal features, and wildlife.
12. Explore the spectacular Upper Geyser Basin and Midway Geyser Basin, home to Castle Geyser, Crested Pool, Sapphire Pool, Grand Prismatic Spring, and the Excelsior Geyser Crater. From rising steam to colorful pools and ponds, take your pick of various hikes ranging from less than a mile to 3.5 miles.
13. Learn the story of Madison Buffalo Jump and how Indigenous Americans used this massive semicircular cliff for 2,000 years as the site for stampeding herds of bison off the edge.
14. Stay in the National Park Lodges, allowing you to experience the park's natural habitat after hours.
15. Visit the Canyon Visitor Education Center to learn about how the Yellowstone supervolcano, with its geysers, hot springs, and geological history, shapes every living organism in the park. The center offers a fascinating range of interactive exhibits, animations, audio-visual productions, and real-time scientific data.
Yellowstone, the First National Park in the USA
History of the USA National Park System
On March 1, 1872, Yellowstone became the first national park, launching the US National Park System. Congress established Yellowstone National Park in the Territories of Wyoming and Montana. Since this preceded statehood for both territories, they were placed under federal management within the Department of the Interior.
In subsequent years, the government protected many more areas, many of which were also on federal land. The system was piecemeal: designations included National Parks, National Monuments, Historic Monuments, Natural Areas, and Historic Areas. The administration was spread among the Department of the Interior, the War Department, and the Forest Service within the Department of Agriculture.
By 1916, the Department of the Interior managed 35 national parks and monuments. That year, President Woodrow Wilson established the National Park Service to protect and administer these and future national parks. The National Park Service works to preserve US National Parks for all people's enjoyment, education, and inspiration.
Visit the soaring lobby and massive fireplace of the Old Faithful Inn, an icon of rustic national park architecture. Old Faithful geyser is only one of many captivating natural phenomena to experience while visiting Yellowstone National Park. Don't miss the bubbling mud pots, steaming rainbow hot springs, steam vents, and multi-colored travertine terraces of Mammoth Hot Springs.