Yellowstone Park, Wyoming

Notes by piero scaruffi | See Travel resources |Pictures
Yellowstone Established in 1872 and located in Wyoming (also a bit in Montana and Idaho), Yellowstone was the USA's first national park.

Wildlife includes: bears, wolves, buffalos, elk.

Natural wonders include: geysers, waterfalls (notably Union Falls) and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.

A big fire in 1988 destroyed about one third of Yellowstone's forests.

Yellowstone is usually divided in five "countries":

  • Mammoth Country: thermal area (elk, buffalos)
  • Geyser Country: Old Faithful geyser, Fountain Paint Pot, Fairy Falls
  • Lake Country: Yellowstone Lake (eagles, moose, buffalos, bear)
  • Canyon Country: Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Mt Washburn, Hayden Valley (elk, buffalos, bear)
  • Roosevelt Country: Pebble Creek (especially Upper Pebble Creek from Warm Creek), Slough Creek, Tower Fall (deer, buffalos, wolves)

The Grand Teton is just south of Yellowstone.

Day hikes in Yellowstone

  • GEYSER. Old Faithful, south of Fairy Falls (0 km): thermals
  • GEYSER. Fairy Falls, near western entrance (11 km): waterfalls
  • GEYSER. Fountain Paint Pot, near western entrance (0 km): thermals
  • GEYSER. Union Falls, near southern entrance (23 km): waterfalls
  • MAMMOTH. Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces, north of Norris (0 km): thermals
  • MAMMOTH. Artists Paint Pots, south of Norris (1.5 km): thermals
  • ROOSEVELT. Tower Falls (1.5 km): waterfalls
  • ROOSEVELT. Slough Creek (7 km): views
  • ROOSEVELT. Pebble Creek from Warm Creek to Pebble Creek campground (20 km one-way) via Baronette Peak
  • CANYON. Mt Washburn (10 km): views (probably the best view in Yellowstone)
  • LAKE. Elephant Back, near Lake Village (7 km): views
  • LAKE. Mt Sheridan, south of Grant Village (10 km): views

Hikes in Grand Teton

  • Cascade Canyon loop (32 km): from String Lake to the Cascade Canyon Trail (15 kms) to Lake Solitude to the Paintbrush Divide, returning via Holly Lake on the Paintbrush Canyon Trail (16 kms).

Cascade Canyon Loop:
  • String Lake trailhead
  • Jenny Lake junction 51'
  • South Fork junction 2h4'
  • Second bridge 2h25'
  • Lake Solitude 3h15'
  • 20 minute break 3h35'
  • Ridge 4h35'
  • Pass 4h55'
  • Holly Lake 5h35'
  • Leich Outlet junction 7h51'
  • North shore of String Lake 8h4'
  • Jenny Lake junction 8h19'
  • String Lake trailhead 8h23'

Union Falls:
  • Grassy Lake dam
  • Crossing Ford Creek 25'
  • Proposition Creek 2h
  • Mountain Ash Creek junction 2h 20'
  • Creek crossing and ranger station 2h 50'
  • Union Falls 3h 6'
  • Bach to the dam 6h19'
Note: dirt road from hwy 89 to the Grassy Lake dam (the dirt road starts from the visitor center just before the southern Yellowstone entrance)
2007 trip


From Salt Lake City to Grand Teton via the scenic and slow hwy 89 takes about 5.5 hours. From Yellowstone's western entrance to Salt Lake City takes about 5 hours of fast highway 20 and very fast freeway 15.

Yellowstone is fairly well organized. There are fast roads that connect all sides of the park and the speed limit is reasonable. It is fairly easy to see all the main attractions in a weekend.

Tom Carter's "Day Hiking Yellowstone" is a recommended book for those who have limited time to hike around.


There are many campgrounds. Most are managed on a "first-come first-served" basis. A few of them have hundreds of campsites. We had no problem finding a campsite at the last minute even on a saturday night of an august weekend (very high season). (The campgrounds that accept reservations are concentration camps that are best avoided).

From the Bay Area to Yellowstone it takes about 12 hours of driving non-stop via Sacramento, Reno, Great Basin Highway.

Map of Yellowstone's main attractions:

Airports near Yellowstone:

Most people visit Yellowstone during the summer months. These are also the rainiest months.