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Things To Do In Yellowstone National Park

by Ameen Kamadia

Yellowstone is the worlds first national park and one of the largest in the contiguous United States. Sprawling across volcanic plateaus in the northwest corner of Wyoming, Yellowstone contains more than 2 million acres of steaming geysers, crystalline lakes, thundering waterfalls, and panoramic vistas.

Home to a remarkable diversity of mammals, birds and fish, it is one of the worlds foremost sanctuaries. Here every season brings special wonders and each of the parks five regions offers you its own experience.

For convenience purposes, Xanterra divides the park into different regions, or countries. Mammoth Country has fascinating thermal are and is home to elk, bison, and has an abundance of hot springs that have formed travertine terraces.

Geyser Country is home to Old Faithful, the worlds most famous geyser as well as other geysers and fumaroles, mud pots, and hot springs.

Lake Country is the domain of the native cutthroat trout, osprey, bald eagles, moose, bison, and bear which wander the coast of cold Yellowstone Lake.

Canyon Country features the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Hayden Valley and Lowe falls which is almost twice as high as Niagara Falls. This are houses elk, bison, and bear.

Roosevelt Country revisits the Old West, where visitors can see a stage coach forge a stream, deer, bison, or wolves in Lamar Valley.

Xanterra is the company that runs just about everything in the park. If you want to stay at one of the hotels, lodges, or cabins in the park you have to go through them. They also handle all the restaurants, general stores, and all other commercial activity in the park.

We took a Xanterra tour called Yellowstone in a Day. And the tour was well worth it. Not only was the guide very knowledgeable but the tour covered all the highlights on the park. Amazingly it also gave us enough time as each stop to fully see every stop.

The best place to stay when you go to Yellowstone, unless you are camping, is in Gardiner at the North Entrance of the park. You can get picked up for you tour here and it is the most convenient entrance and exit of the park.

We elected to stay in the park one night at the Yellowstone Hotel. While it was nice staying in the park, the hotel is very old and needs a lot of updating. We could actually hear every footstep of the people above us. Needless to say we did not sleep well.

When you leave the park, if you can, you should take the Northeast exit and go over Bear Pass. This road takes you to the main highway but after you go though the mountains and through some very, very beautiful scenery. Taking this road in the winter is not advisable.

The park is open all year round, but in the winter many roads might be closed due to snow.

If you want to see bison/buffalo this is the park to do it. We actually got luck and saw them hanging around the road. At night as we were driving to the hotel, they decided to start crossing the road right in front of us. We had to wait several minutes as they crossed. These huge animals are really scary to see so close up. But it was an awesome adventure.
Old Faithful is also a sight to see. It blows its top every 90 minutes or so. You can check at the visitor center when the next eruption will be. It is kind of like the fountains at Bellagio in Las Vegas but without the music, lights, and the water only goes in one direction.

The Hot Springs are really beautiful to see. And it is amazing to see the animals living in such climates. If you get real lucky you might see a bear or two.

Most of the park is inaccessible to cars since it is mostly forest and mountains.

Everyone in the family will get a kick out of this park.

About the author: Mrs. Kamadia is currently traveling the country while working as a travel nurse. Most of her expenses are paid for and she only works 3 days a week. To learn how visit her travel nursing website.

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