Yellowstone National Park is one of the most visited parks in the United States, a 3,500 square mile wilderness spot filled with scenic canyons, rivers, forests, hot springs, and of course geysers, the most famous being Old Faithful.
There are hundreds of native animals species within the park, plus hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, yet surprisingly some spots are still highly unknown!
Here are some quick Yellowstone National Park facts and hidden gems for curious travelers!
Quick Yellowstone Facts:
- Though mostly in Wyoming, parts of the park are also in Montana and Idaho
- Yellowstone is the oldest National Park in the U.S (1872)
- There are over 2 million acres of land here
- The park sees over 3 million guests from around the world each year
Yellowstone Hidden Gems:
- Point Sublime - If you head out on the South Rim Trail you will find some of the most beautiful and peaceful views of the Yellowstone River at Point Sublime. This spot is just past the other popular ‘hidden’ gem, Artist Point. This is truly one of the best places in the whole park to take in sweeping views of rustic auburn cliffs and falls!
- Artist Point - They call it Artist Point for a reason, this lesser known spot providing picture perfect views of the Lower Falls, some argue the absolute best in the entire park! To get to Artist Point just follow Tunnel View Trail, you’ll hit it at about one mile up.
- Lone Star Geyser - Of course you know all about Old Faithful, but perhaps you don’t know much about the equally impressive, much less crowded resident geyser, the Lone Star Geyser. Just 2 miles off the main road, a fairly easy hike through open spaces, you will find this geyser that goes through minor emissions every 20 minutes and major ones about every ⅖ hours.
- Heart Lake - This aptly named Yellowstone lake requires an overnight hike, moderate to difficult for most hikers, that spans a total of 20 miles round trip. To get here you will pass the dormant Rustic Geyser, as well as several chances to spot grizzly bears and other local wildlife. Just be sure to check to see if the trail is open the whole way before you set out, it’s known to be closed due to high bear traffic or activity.
- Thorofare Trail - This trail is known to be the most remote thru-hike in the lower 48, a trail 30 miles from any roads that really allows you to experience the remote wild of Yellowstone. This is a popular hidden gem for backcountry hikers and campers, and the sights to see along the way are seriously spectacular.
- Shoshone Lake - Shoshone Lake is the biggest ‘backcountry’ lake in the entire park, the massive water source located about 5.8 miles away from the roads and within the gorgeous wildlife-filled forest and meadows of the park. You’re highly likely to spot a moose or two around this lake!
- Lamar Valley - Located snugly in the northeast corner of the park you will find Lamar Valley, a truly amazing landscape that gets even better during dawn and dusk. The early bird really does get the worm here, with sweeping morning views filled with plenty of local wildlife (mostly bison).
- Specimen Ridge - On the south side of Lamar Valley you will find a scenic ridge filled with volcanic debris (stream deposits from the mid-Eocene era), upright petrified tree trunks, and ample deposits of amethyst and opal. This is our choice for most unique Yellowstone hidden gems.
- Terraced Falls - Down in the southwest corner of the park you will find Terraced Falls, a spot 3.8 miles down an easy, but hidden, path along the gorgeous Cascade River and Falls Creek.