6 things to see in Yellowstone Park in 1 day

Even if one day is not enough to fully enjoy the wonders of Yellowstone Park, it is possible to see the most important natural attractions.
This is our suggested itinerary inside Yoghi Park entering through the north gate.

1 day in Yellowstone Park – MAP

Parco di yellowstone in un giorno 1
6 things to see in Yellowstone Park in 1 day 9

The first attraction you can visit is the Mammoth Hot Springs

1. Mammoth Hot Springs

It is a large, spectacular, terraced complex with hot springs above a travertine hill that becomes even more impressive in winter when it is covered in snow.

Mammoth springs yellowstone national park
6 things to see in Yellowstone Park in 1 day 10

The Mammoth Hot Springs are one of the most fascinating natural wonders of Yellowstone National Park. This geothermal area is known for its impressive limestone formations and travertine terraces, which have formed over millennia as a result of mineral deposits from thermal waters. The springs are divided into two main areas: Lower Terraces and Upper Terraces.

In the Lower Terraces, you will find attractions such as Liberty Cap, an extinct hot spring almost 12 metres high, which was formed some 2,500 years ago. Another point of interest is Minerva Terrace, famous for its intricate travertine patterns and sparkling pools. Canary Spring, with its bright colours, is another site not to be missed.

Continuing to the Upper Terraces area, one encounters several hot springs and terraces, including New Blue Spring, with its incredibly blue water, and Main Terrace, which offers panoramic views of the entire Mammoth area.

Mammot Spring features

A unique feature of the Mammoth Hot Springs is their constant change. Hot springs and terraces are constantly evolving due to the flow of hot water that brings minerals to the surface. This phenomenon creates an ever-changing and dynamic landscape, making each visit unique.

Another attraction is Historic Fort Yellowstone, located near the springs. This complex of historic buildings dating back to the late 1800s and early 1900s tells the story of the military management of the park.

In addition, the Mammoth Hot Springs offer exceptional opportunities for photography, thanks to their unique colours and natural formations. Well-maintained paths and footbridges allow visitors to explore the area safely, enjoying its natural wonders to the full.

2. Norris Geyser Basin

After leaving the Mammot Hot Springs, heading south, one arrives at the Norris Geyser Basin.
This is the oldest and hottest geyser area in Yellowstone Park, a fascinating expanse of greenery where geysers of various and rare origins can be found, such as the Steamboat geyser, which at 91 metres is the highest in the world.

Norris geyser Basin yellowstone
Norris geyser Basin – Photo credit: hans-jürgen2013 on VisualHunt

The Norris Geyser Basin, located in Yellowstone National Park, is one of the hottest and most dynamic geothermal basins in the world. This basin is notable for its incredible variety of geothermal phenomena, including geysers, hot springs, fumaroles and boiling mud pools. Norris is divided into two main areas:

Porcelain Basin and Back Basin.

Porcelain Basin is known for its lunar landscape, with few plants and a predominantly whitish soil due to its high acidity and mineral concentration. Here, visitors can admire hot springs such as Ledge Spring and Hurricane Vent, a fumarole that emits steam at high pressure.

The Back Basin, on the other hand, is more wooded and offers a quieter environment. Here is one of the most famous geysers in Norris, the Steamboat Geyser, known to be the highest geyser in the world with eruptions that can exceed 90 metres in height. Although major eruptions are rare, minor ones are more frequent and offer a fascinating spectacle.

One of the most interesting features of the Norris Geyser Basin is its seismic and geothermal activity, making it one of the most changeable sites in the park. Changes in temperatures and geyser activity are constant, making each visit a unique experience.

Other attractions not to be missed include Echinus Geyser, known for its regular and accessible eruptions, and Emerald Spring, a spring with an intense emerald green colour. Well-maintained walkways allow visitors to explore the area safely, offering close-up views of these incredible natural phenomena.

3. Upper Geyser Basin

Still heading south, past Madison is the Upper Geyser Basin, one of the most spectacular and famous geothermal areas in the world. Its best-known jewel is Old Faithful, a geyser that erupts with extraordinary regularity every 60-110 minutes, launching jets of hot water up to 56 metres into the air. This geyser is one of the most predictable in the world, making it a must-see attraction.

Besides the Old Faithful geyser, the Upper Geyser Basin hosts the largest concentration of active geysers on the planet. These include the Beehive Geyser, famous for its powerful vertical eruptions, and the Castle Geyser, with its impressive limestone formation resembling a medieval castle.

Old Faithful Yellowstone Park
The old Faithful geyser – Yellowstone national Park

Morning Glory pool

One of the most colourful and photographed attractions is the Morning Glory Pool, a hot spring with turquoise waters surrounded by rings of colourful thermophilic bacteria. This natural pool is reached via a path that offers spectacular views of several small geysers and hot springs along the way.

Morning glory Pool parco di Yellowstone
La piscina Morning glory – Parco di Yellowstone

Don’t forget to visit Geyser Hill, home to several small geysers and hot springs, including the Anemone Geyser and the Lion Geyser. This area is easily accessible and offers a great variety of geothermal phenomena in a relatively compact area.

The route along the Firehole River leads to several other geothermal attractions, including the Riverside Geyser, which erupts directly into the river, creating a fascinating spectacle. With any luck, you may even witness an eruption of the unpredictable Grand Geyser, one of the highest geysers in the world.

Overall, the Upper Geyser Basin offers a unique experience, combining geothermal phenomena, natural beauty and educational opportunities, making it a highlight of any visit to Yellowstone.

4. Yellowstone national Park – Grand Prismatic Springs

Close to the Old Faithful area is the Grand Prismatic Spring, located in the Midway Geyser Basin.
It is one of the park’s most amazing natural wonders and one of the largest and most spectacular hot springs in the world. This spring is famous for its incredible palette of vibrant colours, ranging from deep blue in the centre to shades of green, yellow, orange and red along the edges, colours created by the thermophilic microorganisms that thrive in its warm waters.

Yellowstone Park grand prismatic spring
Yellowstone Park – Grand prismatic spring

With a diameter of about 112 metres and a depth of 37 metres, the Grand Prismatic is the largest hot spring in the United States and the third largest in the world. Its intense central blue is due to the depth of the water, which absorbs all wavelengths of light except blue. The name ‘Grand Prismatic’ refers precisely to this spectacular range of colours, reminiscent of a prism.

Walkways built around the spring allow visitors to explore it up close, offering spectacular close-up views of the spring and its multi-coloured features. During the visit, it is also possible to see other small springs and geysers in the vicinity, each with its own unique geothermal characteristics.

Il Fairy Falls Overlook

Another option to admire the Grand Prismatic Spring is the path leading to the Fairy Falls Overlook. This short hike offers a panoramic view from above the spring, allowing one to fully appreciate the size and vivid colours of the entire formation.

In summary, a visit to Grand Prismatic Spring offers an unforgettable experience, combining the wonder of nature with an educational opportunity to better understand Yellowstone’s unique geothermal phenomena.

5. Hayden Valley

Hayden Valley, located in the heart of Yellowstone National Park, is one of the best areas to observe wildlife in a natural setting. This vast sub-alpine valley is the largest area in the world where bison roam free and is known to be the habitat of a wide variety of mammals, including bison, bears, deer, elk and even wolves.

Yellowstone Park Hayden Valley
Hayden valley Yellowstone national park

The area is located in the centre of Yellowstone national park and is particularly renowned for its frequent bear and moose sightings. The valley offers spectacular landscapes with wide grasslands and views of the surrounding mountains, creating an ideal setting for photographers and nature enthusiasts.
The Hayden Valley is easily accessible and offers a truly unique wildlife viewing experience, making it a must-see for anyone visiting Yellowstone.

6. The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

After a stop at Grant village we head back north to visit the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, one of the most majestic and iconic landscapes in Yellowstone Park.
This extraordinary canyon, some 32 kilometres long and up to 365 metres deep, is known for its spectacular multi-coloured rock walls and powerful waterfalls flowing through it.

The Lower Falls, with a drop of 94 metres, is the highest waterfall in the park and one of the most photographed views. An excellent spot to observe it is the Lookout Point, which offers a direct view of the waterfall and the canyon. Another breathtaking perspective is provided by Artist Point, located on the South Rim, which offers a panoramic view of both the Lower Falls and the canyon.

The Upper Falls, although less high than the Lower Falls, also offers an impressive sight with its 33-metre drop. Near these falls is the Brink of the Lower Falls Trail, a path that leads to the edge of the Lower Falls, allowing visitors to feel the power of the rushing water.

Breathtaking views in Yellowstone Park

For a more peaceful experience, Grand View Point and Inspiration Point offer serene panoramic views of the canyon and the Yellowstone River.

Grand view point Yellowstone national park
Grand view point – Photo credit: diana_robinson on Visualhunt.com

In addition, for those who enjoy walking, the canyon has several hiking trails that allow you to further explore the beauty and grandeur of this natural landscape. Of these, the South Rim Trail and the North Rim Trail offer different perspectives of the canyon and waterfalls.

In summary, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is a must-see place for park visitors, offering a wide range of activities and spectacular views that will remain etched in the memory of every visitor.

For more information visit the Yellowstone Park website

Frequently Asked Questions

In what state is Yellowstone Park located?

Yellowstone Park, one of the most iconic in the United States is located in Wyoming, but also touches the states of Montana and Idaho

How much does it cost to visit Yellowstone Park?

There are different types of tickets to visit Yellowstone Park: daily, weekly and a pass that includes the other American parks.
Prices. 7-day pass for private vehicles, $30 – With Grand Teton entry, $50; 7-day pass for motorbikes and snowmobiles, $25 – With Grand Teton entry, $40; Annual pass, $60.

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