Rainbow-colored hot springs, gurgling geysers and bubbling mud pools – it’s no wonder no one believed the early explorers' tales of Yellowstone National Park.

Yellowstone National Park is just as extraordinary for explorers today. Full of alien landscapes and otherworldly sights, you might even feel like you’re on a different planet. Our local guides will help you discover the many weird and wonderful sights of Yellowstone, from the vivid colors of Grand Prismatic Spring and pristine lakes to erupting geysers and cascading canyons. Wildlife lovers are also in for a treat. Catch a glimpse of buffalo, elk, grizzly bears and wolves – if you’re lucky you might even get stuck in a bison traffic jam! Get ready to experience a national park like no other.

Our Yellowstone National Park tours

6 Days From 2765

A 6-day discovery of Wyoming’s highlights, with plenty of wildlife-spotting and vista...

6 Days From 2210

Take the family on a 6-day adventure in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks....

Tailor-Made trips

Take two or more on an exclusive trip and tailor your itinerary

Top things to see in Yellowstone National Park

Old Faithful geyser erupting in Yellowstone National Park

Watch Old Faithful erupt

Who said you need to be in a big city to see a water show? There are over 10,000 thermal features in Yellowstone, but Old Faithful is the superstar. Watch safely from the sidelines as this mighty cone geyser erupts and shoots 14,000 litres of hot water into the air. Old Faithful can be unpredictable but it usually erupts about 20 times per day – don’t worry, our guides will take you there just in time. Make sure you listen out for the powerful roar as it erupts. It’s also worth checking out the gurgling plughole sounds of other geysers nearby.

The colorful Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park

See the rainbow colors of Grand Prismatic Spring

We bet you never thought you’d be hypnotised by bacteria (stay with us on this one). Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone NP is full of heat-loving microbes that give it the electric colours of blue, green, yellow, orange and red. It might not look like it from the surface, but it’s bigger than a soccer field and deeper than a 10-story building. Get up close and stare into the abyss by taking the boardwalk, or hike to the overlook for an impressive bird's eye view.

The Yellowstone River running through the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

Hike the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone might not be as dramatic as the Grand Canyon in Arizona, but it's just as impressive and easily one of the most beautiful places in the park. Take one of the many hiking trails and watch the river flow into the Upper and Lower Falls before plunging into the canyon. It’s also a sweet spot to wind down and watch the sunset.

A bull elk standing in Boiling River near people who are bathing

Enjoy a natural hot tub in Boiling River

Take a relaxing dip after a big day of hiking in this natural hot tub. Unlike most thermal hot springs in Yellowstone which are forbidden to swim in, this designated bathing area is where the hot spring water mixes with the cold mountain water of Gardener River, making it comfortable enough to soak in. Some areas of the river are hotter than others and the fun part is moving around to find your sweet spot. When you’re done soaking, enjoy a picnic with a view of Mt. Everts in the background.  

The upper and lower terraces of Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park

Explore Mammoth Hot Springs

The Mammoth Hot Springs are made up of 50 pools that are spread over two terraces – they look a bit like tiers of cake dripping with icing. Explore the unique sights and smells that make this place feel a little extraterrestrial including travertine and limestone formations, bubbling mud pools and the strange smell of sulfur (be warned, it can be quite strong). 

A herd of bison grazing in Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park

Spot wildlife in Lamar Valley

Did you know Yellowstone is the only place in the US where bison have lived continuously since prehistoric times? Lamer Valley is one of the best places to see herds of bison, deer and elk. If you’re lucky, you might see grizzly bears, black bears and wolves. Driving through Lamar Valley is an experience in itself with spectacular views of the park. You can also meet a real-life wolf tracker who'll share the secrets of these mysterious animals.  

Yellowstone National Park tour reviews

Yellowstone National Park FAQs

Most of Yellowstone is located in northwestern Wyoming, but some areas of the park also spread across southern Montana and eastern Idaho. 

You can get to Yellowstone by flying into one of the nearby airports, driving or taking a bus:  

  • Flying: The closest airports are Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (north entrance), Yellowstone Regional Airport (east entrance), and Jackson Hole Airport (south entrance). It’s also possible to fly into other nearby airports such as Chicago, Salt Lake City, Utah, or Denver where you can then rent a car.

  • Driving: Yellowstone has five entrance points. It takes about 4.5 hours to drive from Salt Lake City, 1.5 hours from Idaho Falls, 1.5 hours from Jackon, and 1.5 hours from Bozeman.  

  • Bus: It’s possible to catch a bus from Bozeman, MT to West Yellowstone all year. You can also go directly from Idaho to West Yellowstone via bus during the summer months.

  • Train: There is no direct train into Yellowstone. The nearest train stations are in southeast Idaho, Salt Lake City, Utah and Northern Montana.  

You will need a car as there is no public transport. Most roads are closed to vehicles during the winter months due to heavy snowfall, except the road to Mammoth Hot Springs. There are five entrance points that loop around the park’s main landmarks and it can take hours to drive between them. Always check road and park conditions before you set off. 

The best time of year to visit Yellowstone is spring through to early fall as the weather is mild and perfect for hiking. There are also fewer road closures. There is limited access to the park during winter due to weather conditions, but the cooler months can be a great time to see wildlife in the Lamar Valley.

Read more about the weather in Yellowstone

You’ll be doing lots of walking so bring comfy clothes, hiking boots or sneakers, and thick socks that prevent blisters. The weather can change quickly so pack a warm fleece or jacket, waterproof layers, a sun hat, a warm hat, and gloves. Also make sure to bring sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellent, a daypack, water bottle, basic medications and plenty of snacks to refuel throughout the day. Last but not least, don’t forget your camera! 

Read more about what to pack for Yellowstone

Yellowstone is a wildlife lover’s paradise with an abundance of small animals and large predators. Some of the animals you might get to see include:

  • Bison  

  • Elk  

  • Moose  

  • Deer (mule deer, pronghorn deer, white-tailed deer)  

  • Bighorn sheep  

  • Mountain goats   

  • Black bears  

  • Grizzly bears   

  • Canada lynx  

  • Coyote  

  • Wolves   

  • River otters 

Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. The National Park Service is assessing Yellowstone and removing barriers to accessibility. They have a free app that has up-to-date information for park facilities and trails and accessibility features for your device. However, we’re always happy to talk to travelers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries. 

Learn more about Accessible Travel with Intrepid

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