After my voyage through the Pacific Northwest, I decided to head East toward the most famous national park in the world. Most of Yellowstone National Park lies within the state of Wyoming, although it does branch off into parts of Montana and Idaho. It was not only the first national park in the United States but is widely recognized as the first official national park in the world. In addition to beautiful places I am going to highlight, Yellowstone is home to the largest high-altitude lake in North America, the largest supervolcano in North America, and one of the world’s largest petrified forests.
Artist’s Point provides one of the best views in the entire park. Looking down into what is referred to as the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, you can see a breathtaking combination of rushing rivers, flowing waterfalls, dark green forestry, and of course, the canyon itself, which stretches 24 miles long and slightly less than a mile wide. From Artist’s Point, you are looking straight down the path of the canyon toward the Lower Falls, a 308-foot tall waterfall, which is more than twice as tall as Niagara Falls. Depending on the season, you can witness the Yellowstone River rushing from the base of the Lower Falls directly toward you, creating quite the spectacle.
Of course, Yellowstone is one of the best places to witness an abundance of wildlife in North America, and Hayden Valley is the premiere location to animal watch in the park. Here, you can see a variety of wildlife species such as grizzly bears, bison, elk, wolves, coyotes, ducks, geese, and bald eagles. Personally, I was able to witness a small herd of bison grazing and even saw a grizzly in the distance.
One of my favorite places in the entire park was Mount Washburn. It is one of the most popular hiking destinations, which is saying something since there are more than 900 miles of hiking trails in Yellowstone. With a peak elevation of 10,243 feet, I was able to enjoy beautiful, panoramic views of the park that stretched about 20 to 50 miles, depending on weather and visibility.