Experience Yellowstone National Park
Welcome to Yellowstone National Park, the first national park and the world's largest! Located in three states Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, this amazingly diverse landscape plays host to some of the most unique geological features (including thermal geysers and springs) and hosts an abundance of North American wildlife. The park is favored by so many for its dedication to preserving the natural history and beauty of the Western United States.
Guests to Yellowstone Nation Park can often expect to see North American Bison, Grizzly Bears, Wolves, Moose, Mountain Goats, Elk, Deer, and a vast array of other wildlife. Large and small game animals can be found throughout the park on craggy peaks, near alpine lakes, the deep canyons, and across the expansive forest. Yellowstone Nation Park preserves over 2 million acres of land that includes 300 geysers, 290 waterfalls, the largest high-elevation lake in North America, and the largest petrified forest in the world. As massive as the park is, it's impossible to take in everything in just one visit. We recommend guests research and plan ahead of their visit, creating a shortlist of "must-see Yellowstone attractions" and always leave room for some unexpected adventures.
Yellowstone National Park is a magical place to experience whether it's for the first time or the hundredth time. No matter how you plan your trip to Yellowstone, each visit will be unique. The park is an extremely dynamic environment with ever-changing weather, animal behavior, and geothermal activity. Plus local events, tours, exhibits, and educational opportunities also change regularly offering different guest experiences with every visit. Bring a friend or the whole family to see the sights and sounds of Yellowstone. Hike, bike, fish, horseback ride, tour, observe, photograph, the possibilities are endless, but the experience of Yellowstone is memorable for everyone!
Big Sky to West Yellowstone
Yellowstone National Park can get busy, especially during the warmer summer months. Instead of staying amongst the crowds inside the park with high prices for limited privacy and amenities, we recommend staying closer to Big Sky, Montana where there is more space, fewer crowds, and much more comfortable options for a Yellowstone vacation rental. Only a short drive away from the West Yellowstone entrance, it is an ideal day trip for guests to travel from Big Sky to West Yellowstone in order to enjoy the park. In less than an hour, you can be at the West entrance, with access to some of Yellowstone's most popular attractions and still close to our exceptional Big Sky vacation rentals near Yellowstone National Park.
What to Do in Yellowstone
With more than 900 miles of hiking trails, you are sure to find something that fits your hiking style. From hikes that go to the top of gorgeous mountain peaks, to backcountry adventures with amazing waterfalls or just an easy stroll on a boardwalk trail there are enjoyable Yellowstone hiking experiences for everyone. For a full list of trails and details check out Yellowstone National Parks Hike a Trail page.
Bike Yellowstone National Park, and see things from a different point of view. Nothing is quite the same as experiencing the sites and sounds of Yellowstone by bike. Mountain bike to Lone Star Geyser, where hot water and steam shoot 45 feet high. Consider a ride on an old abandoned railroad bed located near the north entrance for a step back in time. No matter where you go in the park it's a beautiful bike ride through the pristine wilderness. Check out Yellowstone's Bike In The Park page for more information.
Discover 139 miles of shoreline at the largest high-elevation lake in North America, Yellowstone Lake. You can canoe, kayak, paddleboard, or take a boat tour around the lake. Although Yellowstone Lake is a popular attraction, there are multiple other areas around the park that offer water sports and activities. Try out the Boiling River as it’s one of the few places within Yellowstone to swim. Experience world-class fishing by joining other anglers in the remote wilderness in their search for native Cutthroat Trout. Cast a fly line out in the Firehole River as you try your luck at landing a trophy fish. Or consider the many miles of other prime rivers and streams which are open to various types of fishing including artificial lures. Make sure to check the Yellowstone National Park Fishing Regulations before heading out. Do you like waterfalls? Seek out some of the hundreds of waterfalls that Yellowstone boasts, or visit Lewis Lake which is surrounded by spectacular views of the 10308-foot Mount Sheridan, tranquil inlets, and an amazing spot for bird watching. There are lots of options for Yellowstone water sports and activities, but be sure to check current regulations here before placing any watercraft or fishing line in any of the lakes, ponds, or rivers.
Yellowstone boasts over 10,000 thermal features throughout the park, including geysers, hot springs, steam pools, bubbling mud pots, & hissing fumaroles. All a magnificent display of nature's marvels and raw power. The Old Faithful geyser is not the biggest, but it is the most famous and is predictable as it erupts every 35 to 120 min. According to NPS.org "about 90 percent of eruption predictions are accurate within a window of plus or minus 10 minutes". This amazing geyser is located next to the Old Faithful Inn, a Yellowstone Landmark. Norris Geyser Basin is the hottest geyser basin in the park and home to the geyser Steamboat, the world’s tallest active geyser. It is not so easy to predict eruptions here as there have been periods of dormancy that have lasted up to 9 years in between eruptions. The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, another one of Yellowstone’s attractions, was and still is being carved out by the Yellowstone River, interrupted by tumbling waterfalls and framed by the flame-red rock in the canyon.
Take a scenic drive through Yellowstone to explore the park and all of its various landscapes. The 142-mile long Grand Loop Road curves through the park with boardwalks and hiking trails to Yellowstone’s top attractions and features. The breathtaking Beartooth Highway is the most dramatic route into Yellowstone through the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. Meander along the wild and scenic Chief Joseph Scenic Highway or twist through rugged canyons of alpine splendor on the Buffalo Bill Scenic Byway. The Gallatin Valley Route snakes through the valleys alongside the Gallatin River and the Paradise Valley Route follows the path of the winding Yellowstone River.
Yellowstone is a great place to view all different types of wildlife, from large to small, apex predators to gentle giants. A popular place to observe Yellowstone wildlife is in the scenic Lamar Valley, a wide expansive valley with a perfect natural habitat for many of the park's most sought-after creatures. Notoriously one of the best places in Yellowstone National Park to watch bears, wolves, elk, and bison, guests can often see large herds grazing or even predators stalking. Don’t forget that Yellowstone is also home to a wide array of birds for bird watching. As Yellowstone Aves (Classification on birds) records document nearly 300 species of birds to date, that include raptors, songbirds, shorebirds, and waterfowl. Approximately 150 species nest in the park while the others are migratory. Although there is an endless number of stunning animals throughout Yellowstone National Park, PLEASE REMEMBER to give animals and other living creatures their space and to never feed any wildlife.
Yellowstone became the first National Park in the World on March 1, 1872. Signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant the Yellowstone National Park Protection Act protected more than 2 million acres of mountains, geysers, and amazing landscape for future generations to come. Though that is not when the first people started to arrive at the Yellowstone area as there is evidence dating back to more than 11,000 years, as shown by archeological sites, trails, and oral histories. There are over 900 historic buildings some dating back to 1891. Lake Yellowstone Hotel is the oldest building in the park set on the lakeside. Visit Mammoth Hot Springs Historic District or the Heritage and Research Center, home to the parks museum collection or stop by a paleontological site and hunt for rocks and dinosaur fossils.
Most people travel to Yellowstone during the warmer summer months, but the park technically (although it is not open to car traffic in most places) does not shut down during the cold winter months. Winter is actually an amazing time to visit Yellowstone. Discover its impressive winter beauty, see the snow glitter high on the peaks and deep into the forest valleys, or watch geysers expel their hot water high into the air then surround visitors in thick fog from the steam. If you decide to visit Yellowstone in the winter we highly encourage you to consider a Winter Tour via one of several popular means: a snow coach, snowmobile, cross country skis, or even a snowshoeing excursion.
Step into the heart of the Wild West. Yellowstone offers real Western adventures for anyone who yearns for a more authentic cowboy (or cowgirl) experience. Ride horses, take a stagecoach tour, see a rodeo, watch a gunfight, have an old west cookout, or visit a traditional powwow at an Indian Reservation. Yellowstone offers multiple ways to learn and engage with its wild west heritage each fun and adventurous in its own way. Have your own wild west adventure in Yellowstone National Park and go home with great stories and a new perspective on some of the history that makes this country what it is.
Start Planning Your Yellowstone Vacation!
A Yellowstone vacation is one you will never forget, as Yellowstone National Park is a world of its own, and uniquely different from every other place on earth. No matter what initially brings you to the area, be it wildlife watching, famous geysers, American history, local events, outdoor activities, or scenic tours, we know you will leave with memories that last a lifetime. To help you start planning your Yellowstone vacation, we recommend the additional details on our Yellowstone tours & area guide page or contact us directly for local insights and great lodging options. Planning a vacation to Yellowstone can be easy and fun with a little help from our longtime local staff!
Big Sky Vacation Rentals Near Yellowstone National Park
Wilson Peak Properties wants to welcome you and yours to the world's first National Park, an amazing American destination filled with wonders and adventure. Do you want the best of everything when you plan your Yellowstone vacation? Consider our Big Sky vacation rentals near Yellowstone National Park for a truly elevated lodging experience unlike any you'll find inside the park itself. We offer exceptional vacation rental homes, that are diligently maintained, uniquely appointed, and all within a short drive to the West Yellowstone park entrance. Although our homes are within Big Sky, they are still a popular alternative to other Yellowstone lodging accommodations. Guests who stay with us often comment how they prefer the amenities and services within Big Sky, and yet the easy access for day trips to Yellowstone. Find the perfect vacation rental near West Yellowstone for your specific needs and preferences, or contact us at Wilson Peak Properties for insider information and assistance with your vacation rental planning. For more information, check out our Big Sky Guide with loads of details about things to do, restaurants, & services in Big Sky, Montana.