20 Fun and Unique Things to Do in Yellowstone | 2024 (with Photos)

Ata Ahmadi

Ata Ahmadi - Travel Writer

Last Updated: March 25, 2024

Hey there! I'm Ata, a passionate traveler who loves sharing exciting experiences and hidden gems in various destinations. Join me on a journey to discover the most thrilling activities in Yellowstone National Park!

Fun and Unique Things to Do in Yellowstone

One of the most famous national parks in history, Yellowstone National Park is a magnificent destination with something for everyone.

While many visitors to the national park come to see the famous geysers, there are plenty of other hidden gems to discover in the park. From horseback riding to wildlife watching, Yellowstone offers a diverse range of activities that will delight people of all ages.

Mammoth Hot Springs to get warm, Upper Geyser Basin area for the famous geyser, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and many more are up for exploring. So, let's explore Yellowstone!

In this article, the Travel-Lingual team will explore 20 fun and unique things to do in Yellowstone National Park table content, beyond the well-known attractions. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore the wonders of Yellowstone.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Top Choice Hotel

Old Faithful Inn

Our Top Choice Restaurant

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

Best Time to Visit

Late spring to early fall for mild weather.

Average Temperature

The average temperature in Yellowstone National Park varies.

Transportation Options

Shuttles, private vehicles, cycling, hiking, and guided tours.

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

In Yellowstone National Park, delve into the mesmerizing beauty of the geothermal wonders, from the iconic Old Faithful geyser to the vibrant Grand Prismatic Spring.

Witness the explosive power of Old Faithful as it erupts into the sky, and explore the kaleidoscopic hot springs and bubbling mud pots that dot the park's volcanic terrain. Delve into the park's rich history and Native American heritage at the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center and the Museum of the National Park Ranger.

What You'll Need to Bring

  1. Camera
  2. Hiking Boots
  3. Binoculars

What Not to Miss

  1. Old Faithful Geyser
  2. Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
  3. Lamar Valley wildlife
  4. Mammoth Hot Springs

5 Yellowstone Lake

What to Avoid

  1. Crowded tourist spots
  2. Feeding wildlife
  3. Leaving trash behind

1. Visit Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

To enjoy the wonders of Yellowstone National Park, first, you'll have to get there. The national park is located in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, covering over 2.2 million acres of wilderness. Without a doubt, it is one of the most iconic national parks in the world.

There are five entrance gates to Yellowstone National Park, each offering a unique gateway to the park and to things to do in Yellowstone as well. 

The North Entrance in Gardiner, Montana, is the only entrance open year-round, while the South Entrance in Jackson, Wyoming, is the most popular. From both, you can easily reach Mammoth Hot Springs.

Other entrances to Yellowstone National Park include the Northeast Entrance in Cooke City, Montana, the East Entrance in Cody, Wyoming, and the West Entrance in West Yellowstone, Montana. 

The West Entrance offers proximity to the Wolf Discovery Center. For the best reference, consult the Yellowstone National Park map.

If you decide to explore Yellowstone National Park, you can easily access the park by car, RV, or plane from major cities in the region to the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport. 

The national park also features a visitor center and national park service teams, as all the other American national parks do.

2. Enjoy the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

If you're looking for a stunning natural wonder to explore in Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone should be on your list of things to do in Yellowstone.

Carved by the Yellowstone River, this awe-inspiring canyon features yellow, pink, and white rock formations that beautifully contrast with the blue waters of the river.

Although it's not as well-known as some of Yellowstone's other attractions, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone is definitely worth a visit. Right next to it, there is a Canyon Village. The Canyon Village is a perfect spot for a romantic sunset.

Be sure to check out the Upper Falls and Lower Falls from the North Rim for the most breathtaking views. With plenty of hiking trails and picnic areas nearby, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and its Canyon Village is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts and one of the things to do in Yellowstone National Park.

3. Warm up at Mammoth Hot Springs

Mammoth Hot Springs

If you're looking for a unique way to warm up on a chilly day, Mammoth Hot Springs is the perfect destination within Yellowstone National Park, one of the best national parks in the world.

The Mammoth Hot Springs feature a series of terraces made of minerals and colorful bacteria that create an otherworldly landscape.

Walk along the boardwalks to get a closer look at the Mammoth Hot Springs, which range in temperature from 120 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The area is easily accessible from the North Entrance, but be wary of the crowd during the peak season.

The area around Mammoth Hot Springs is also home to a variety of wild animals, including elk, bison, and even black and grizzly bears, so keep your eyes peeled and bring your bear spray while exploring this fascinating geothermal wonderland of geyser basins.

Without a doubt, you should visit Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park and the whole Mammoth Springs Area if coming to Yellowstone through the North Entrance.

4. Admire the Yellowstone Lake

Yellowstone Lake

One of the most beautiful sights in Yellowstone National Park is the stunning Yellowstone Lake.

With a surface area of over 130 square miles, Yellowstone Lake is the largest body of water in the park and one of the largest high-elevation lakes in North America.

Admire Yellowstone Lake's pristine blue waters and scenic mountain views from various viewpoints, including the West Thumb Geyser Basin, Lake Village, and Fishing Bridge. On top of that, you can rent a boat from Yellowstone National Park Lodges.

Yellowstone Lake is also a popular destination for fishing, boating, and kayaking during the summer months, making it an excellent spot for outdoor enthusiasts. Nearby, you can head to the Upper Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park

All of this makes Yellowstone Lake one of the things to do in Yellowstone National Park.

5. Be mesmerized at the Grand Prismatic Hot Spring

Grand Prismatic Hot Spring

For a truly mesmerizing experience of colorful hot springs, head to the Grand Prismatic Hot Spring within Yellowstone National Park.

Grand Prismatic Spring is the largest hot spring in the United States and the third largest in the world, known for its vibrant colors and massive size. On top of that, it has a majestic Grand Prismatic Spring Overlook.

The stunning blue, green, yellow, orange, and red hues are created by unique bacteria that thrive in the hot water of the Grand Prismatic Spring at Yellowstone National Park.

At Grand Prismatic Spring, walk along the boardwalk that loops around the spring, providing breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape from the largest hot spring in the United States.

The Grand Prismatic Spring and its Grand Prismatic Spring Overlook is an extremely interesting attraction for anyone if they decide to visit Yellowstone National Park, and its beauty is sure to leave you in awe.

6. Explore Midway Geyser Basin

Midway Geyser Basin

One of the most fascinating places to explore in Yellowstone National Park is the Midway Geyser Basin.

The area of Midway Geyser Basin features two of the largest hot springs in the world, as well as several other geothermal features, such as steam vents and bubbling mud pots.

The vibrant colors and unique formations of the geothermal features are a distinct property of the Midway Geyser Basin.

The basin is located between the Lower Geyser Basin and the Upper Geyser Basin, two other notable destinations within Yellowstone National Park.

Once there in Midway Geyser Basin, explore all three areas in a single-day trip, making it a great option for those looking to maximize their time in the park.

7. Take a tour along Grand Loop Road

Grand Loop Road

For a scenic drive through Yellowstone National Park, take a tour along the Grand Loop Road.

This 142-mile loop takes you through some of the park's most iconic landmarks and scenic vistas, including Upper Geyser Basin, Upper Falls, Geyser Hill, Yellowstone Lake, the Mammoth Hot Springs, and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.

Along the way, you'll have the opportunity to stop at various overlooks and trailheads, as well as visit a visitor center or a museum.

The Grand Loop Road is the perfect way to explore the park at your own pace and take in all of its natural beauty.

8. Visit Upper Geyser Basin

Upper Geyser Basin

One of the most popular destinations in Yellowstone National Park is the Upper Geyser Basin in West Yellowstone, which features some of the park's most impressive geothermal features.

The area of Upper Geyser Basin is home to the iconic Old Faithful geyser, which erupts approximately every 90 minutes, as well as several other geysers such as Grotto Geyser and Castle Geyser, hot springs, and fumaroles.

You can explore this area and nearby Geyser Hill by foot on a network of boardwalks, which provide a safe and accessible way to view the geothermal features up close.

The Upper Geyser Basin is also home to several historic structures, including the Old Faithful Inn. Nearby, you can find Steamboat Geyser in Norris Geyser Basin, Lamar Valley, and Mammoth Hot Springs.

9. Be amazed at Morning Glory Pool

Morning Glory Pool

Another fascinating destination in Yellowstone National Park is the Morning Glory Pool, located in the Upper Geyser Basin.

The Morning Glory Pool is named after its stunning blue and green colors, which resemble those of a morning glory flower.

However, over the years, the pool's colors have faded due to visitors throwing coins and other objects into it, which has blocked the pool's vents and altered its temperature.

Nevertheless, the Morning Glory Pool remains a mesmerizing sight to behold, and visitors can still appreciate its natural beauty from the safety of the boardwalk that surrounds it.

The Morning Glory Pool is located just a short walk from the Old Faithful geyser, making it a convenient stop for anyone visiting the Upper Geyser Basin. As such, it is one of the Yellowstone National Park things to do.

10. Watch the wildlife at Hayden Valley

Hayden Valley

If you're a wildlife-watching enthusiast, a visit to Hayden Valley in Yellowstone National Park is a must.

This valley is home to an abundance of wildlife, including herds of bison, elk, and pronghorn, as well as coyotes, wolves, and grizzly bears. So, be sure to bring some bear spray!

Watch the wildlife from the safety of their car or from one of the valley's numerous pullouts, which provide panoramic views of the valley and its inhabitants.

Hayden Valley is also a popular spot for birdwatching, with over 300 species of birds recorded in the area.

Whether you're a seasoned wildlife watcher or just looking for a scenic drive, Hayden Valley is a must-visit destination in Yellowstone National Park.

11. Wait for the Old Faithful Geyser at Old Faithful Geyser Basin

Old Faithful Geyser Basin

No trip to Yellowstone National Park would be complete without witnessing the Old Faithful erupt.

The Old Faithful Geyser Basin, located in the park's Upper Geyser Basin in West Yellowstone, is the perfect place to do just that.

Stroll along the boardwalks that wind through the basin, which is home to over 500 geysers and hot springs. Of course, the star of the show is Old Faithful, which erupts every 90 minutes or so, shooting a stream of water up to 180 feet in the air.

You can wait to see the Old Faithful erupt in the nearby Old Faithful Inn or from one of the basin's many viewing areas.

12. Pick refreshments at Old Faithful Inn

Old Faithful Inn

After watching the Old Faithful geyser erupt, why not grab a bite to eat or a refreshing drink at the nearby Old Faithful Inn, a national historic landmark?

This iconic lodge called Old Faithful Inn is located in the Upper Geyser Basin in West Yellowstone and features stunning rustic architecture, including a massive stone fireplace and a towering lobby.

The Old Faithful Inn's dining room offers a range of options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including classic American fare and regional specialties.

Enjoy a drink at the Old Faithful Inn's famous Bear Pit Lounge, which features live music and a cozy atmosphere at Yellowstone National Park, Upper Geyser Basin.

13. Admire the height of Norris Geyser

Norris Geyser Basin

One of the tallest geysers in the world, the Norris Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park is the number one destination for those who want to witness the power of nature up close.

Steam and hot water shoot up to 300 feet in the air from the geysers in the Norris Geyser Basin, making it a truly awe-inspiring sight.

Moreover, you are welcome to explore the Norris Geyser Basin's boardwalks and trails to get a closer look at the Steamboat geyser and other geysers. Norris Geyser Basin also includes other thermal features, including hot springs and mud pots.

The Norris Geyser Basin is a popular spot in the park, and visitors should be sure to plan their visit accordingly to avoid crowds and lack of parking space during the peak season months of July and August.

14. Take a look at West Thumb Geyser Basin

West Thumb Geyser Basin

The West Thumb Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park is a smaller, but no less impressive, thermal area located along the shores of Yellowstone Lake and the nearby Abyss Pool.

Come here to witness a variety of thermal features, including hot springs and geysers, set against the backdrop of the picturesque lake in the area of the West Thumb Geyser Basin.

The most famous feature in the West Thumb Geyser Basin is the Fishing Cone, a hot spring that was once used by anglers to cook their catch. Another one of the things to do in Yellowstone is to the Abyss Pool nearby.

The West Thumb Geyser Basin is a great spot for a stroll along the boardwalks that wind through the area, and people can take in stunning views of the lake, the hot springs, and the surrounding mountains.

15. Enjoy nature on one of the Mount Washburn hiking trails

Mount Washburn

Yellowstone National Park is renowned for its beautiful hiking trails, and Mount Washburn is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the park.

The mountain offers several hiking trails of varying difficulty levels, with some trails starting from the Dunraven Pass and others from the Chittenden Road.

The trails take visitors through stunning scenery, including subalpine forests and open meadows, and offer panoramic views of the national park, Yellowstone River, and surrounding mountains.

Hikers may also have the chance to spot wildlife, such as bison and elk, along the trails. For wilder animals, hikers and nature lovers should head to Wolf Discovery Center which is relatively nearby.

16. Stroll to the Mud Volcano

Mud Volcano

The Mud Volcano area is a unique thermal area with hot springs in Yellowstone National Park that offers visitors the opportunity to see bubbling mud pots and steaming vents up close.

The area is located near Hayden Valley and can be accessed via the park's Grand Loop Road.

If you wish you can take a stroll on the boardwalks that wind through the thermal features, including the famous Mud Volcano, Dragon's Mouth Spring, and the Churning Caldron hot springs.

The Mud Volcano area also offers beautiful views of the surrounding landscape, including the Absaroka Mountains and Yellowstone Lake, especially along the Grand Loop Road.

17. Discover the relaxation of Boiling River Hot Springs

Boiling River Hot Springs

One of the unique features of Yellowstone National Park is the Boiling River, where hot springs mix with the Gardner River to create a warm swimming area.

The Boiling River is a natural hot tub located near the park's north entrance and can be accessed via a short hike from the parking area.

Relax in the warm waters of the river, which remain at a comfortable temperature year-round.

However, visitors should be aware of the strong currents in the river and should always exercise caution while swimming.

The Boiling River is a popular spot for visitors looking to relax and enjoy the park's natural beauty and hot springs uniquely.

18. Go along the Fountain Paint Pot Trail

Fountain Paint Pot Trail

The Fountain Paint Pot Trail is another notable destination in Yellowstone National Park.

This trail is located in the Lower Geyser Basin and offers everyone the opportunity to see some of the park's most unique thermal features up close.

Along the trail, visitors can see the Fountain Paint Pot, a hot spring that bubbles and gurgles with mud and steam, and the Red Spouter, a geyser that erupts with red-colored water.

The trail is relatively easy, making it accessible to visitors of all ages and fitness levels. Additionally, the trail offers beautiful views of the surrounding landscape, including the nearby Firehole River and Yellowstone River.

19. Stay breathless at the Tower Fall

Tower Fall

One of the most breathtaking sights in Yellowstone National Park is the Tower Fall and its Tower Fall overlook.

This 132-foot waterfall is the world's tallest active geyser, located in the northeastern region of the national park, and can be accessed via a short hike from the Tower Fall parking area.

The Tower Fall cascades over the edge of a cliff and plunges into a pool below, surrounded by lush green forests.

The area around Tower Fall is also home to a variety of wildlife, including bighorn sheep, bears, and elk, making it a popular destination for nature lovers.

20. Relax at Lamar Valley

Lamar Valley

For those looking for a more laid-back experience in Yellowstone National Park, a visit to Lamar Valley is the first location that comes to mind especially if coming through the Northeast Entrance.

This picturesque valley is located in the northeastern region of the park and offers visitors stunning views of the surrounding mountains and grasslands.

Lamar Valley in the west Yellowstone is also home to a diverse range of wildlife, including bison, wolves, and bears.

Take a leisurely drive through the Lamar Valley, stopping at various pullouts to take in the scenery and wildlife. The area is also a popular spot for hiking, fishing, and picnicking.

With its peaceful atmosphere and natural beauty, Lamar Valley near the Northeast Entrance is the perfect place to unwind and relax after a busy day of exploring the park. Nearby, you can head to the Mammoth Hot Springs, the most northern area of Yellowstone National Park.

Q&A SECTION: Things to do in Yellowstone

Let's take a look at some frequently asked questions about Yellowstone National Park

How many days should you spend in Yellowstone National Park?

While there is no specific amount of time that is best to spend in Yellowstone National Park, most visitors stay for at least three to five days to fully experience the diverse range of attractions including the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone Lake, Steamboat Geyser, Old Faithful Inn in Upper Geyser Basin and Lamar Valley.

What are 3 attractions you would see when visiting Yellowstone National Park?

When visiting Yellowstone National Park, three attractions that I would see are the Grand Prismatic Spring, Castle Geyser and Grotto Geyser in the Upper Geyser Basins, and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. These iconic features represent the park's unique geological and natural wonders that visitors travel from all over the world to see and finally visit Yellowstone.

What should I do first in Yellowstone National Park?

One of the first things you should do in Yellowstone National Park is to visit the Canyon of Yellowstone. This breathtaking attraction is one of the park's most popular and offers visitors stunning views of the canyon, waterfalls, and the Yellowstone River. Additionally, it's a great starting point for exploring the park's many other attractions, including Castle Geyser, Norris Geyser Basin, and Mammoth hot springs.

Summing up: Fun and Unique Things to Do in Yellowstone

Neighboring the Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park is home to countless wonders that are waiting to be discovered and as such one of the most visited national parks in the USA.

Some of the most notable attractions in the park include the breathtaking Canyon of Yellowstone, the impressive Grand Prismatic Spring, the mesmerizing Morning Glory Pool, and the iconic Old Faithful Geyser.

Explore the park's many geothermal features at the Midway and Upper Geyser Basins and take in the stunning views of Yellowstone Lake, Yellowstone River, and Hayden Valley. 

For those who enjoy hiking, Mount Washburn and the Fountain Paint Pot Trail offer some of the best trails in the park. If you are into a good view, you should see Upper Falls and the Upper Geyser Basin.

With all that said, you should go and visit this place of natural wonder that the United States has to offer for an unforgettable experience.