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Outdoor Vacations: Yellowstone National Park

Get a glimpse of grizzly bears, wolves, and other wild beasts at America's most famous national park.

Learning Benefits

Why go?
Besides being one of America's most famous national parks, Yellowstone National Park is easily one of the most scenic spots on the planet. From the Lamar Valley to Yellowstone Falls, its nearly 3,500 square miles of wilderness are home to grizzly bears, coyotes, wolves, and herds of free-ranging bison, elk, and bighorn sheep. If your family likes to hike and enjoy the great outdoors, you've hit pay dirt. For more information about Yellowstone, click here.

While you're there
Sign up for a one- or two-hour backcountry horseback trip; look for bears, wolves, bison, and elk on an evening wildlife excursion in the Lamar Valley; hike along the more than 1,100 miles of trails in the park; and don't miss seeing Old Faithful, Yellowstone's hallmark thermal geyser that erupts once every 45 to 90 minutes.

If you go during the winter, visit the nearby National Elk Refuge to take a horse-drawn sleigh ride among an elk herd numbering in the thousands.

Where to stay
Built within walking distance of the famous geyser, the 1904 Old Faithful Inn is a rustic, kid-centric log hotel with an 85-foot-high stone fireplace in the lobby; room rates start around $174 a night. Another option: the newly renovated Lake Yellowstone Hotel, the oldest lodging in the park; room rates start around $149. For information on Yellowstone lodging, click here.
* All hotel prices are approximate.

Insider tip
Bring the kids' swimsuits and take in the spectacular mountain vistas while soaking in Yellowstone's Boiling River, a thermal hot spring that used to be a secret spot known only to park rangers.

Download activity sheet

If you like this destination, and are interested in a variety of other travel spots, feel free to visit the following websites:

You will find travel information for a number of agencies including Bureau of Land Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Army Corps, U.S. Fish & Wildlife, National Park Service, and Bureau of Reclamation.

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