There are a few things that come to everyone’s mind when thinking of Yellowstone… Old Faithful, wildlife, and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. While these things are must-sees in Yellowstone National Park, there are so many ways to experience the park in new and unique ways. Spend a long weekend or an entire week exploring Yellowstone National Park; there are adventures to fill your stay no matter how long it is. Here are our top 5 unique ways to experience Yellowstone National Park.
Take a Dip
Most of the waters in Yellowstone National Park are not for swimming but there are some areas in Yellowstone where you can take a dip. The Boiling River near Mammoth Hot Springs is one of these spots. In this area, thermal waters from the hot springs mix with the Gardner River providing the perfect opportunity to soak with the beautiful backdrop of Yellowstone National Park. Another great place to take a dip in Yellowstone National Park is the Firehole Swim Area. Near West Yellowstone, this swim area is perfect for cooling off on a hot day as the waters are much cooler than those of Boiling River’s. Small inlets provide the perfect setting for swimming while the calm river sections are great for wading.
*Swimming areas are currently closed in Yellowstone National Park to maintain social distancing recommendations.
Have a Picnic
There are over 52 picnic areas in Yellowstone National Park, all offering a unique and beautiful setting for a meal with your family. Grab some snacks to go from the Under Canvas lobby tent and pick up a meal to go from West Yellowstone before heading into the park. Some of our favorite picnic areas in the park are Gibbon Meadows, near Gibbon Falls which is great for seeing elk; Sheepeater Cliffs on the way to Mammoth Hot Springs offers access to the river; and Nez Perce which offers abundant grass and rivers on two sides which makes for great fishing. Picnicking is a great way to relax and enjoy the park with your family. Plan out your adventure and pick the perfect picnic spot along the way.
Bike Through the Park
Not only are there wonderful mountain biking trails in Yellowstone National Park, but bicycles and eBikes are also permitted along all established public roads. This means that instead of driving through Yellowstone National Park’s most scenic areas you can bike through them, which reduces the barriers between you and nature. Imagine biking to Old Faithful (you must park your bike and walk the last bit to the geyser), riding to the Firehole Swim Area for a picnic and a dip in the river, riding to the stunning Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and biking past meadows spotted with Elk, Bison and other wildlife. Biking is one of the best ways to explore Yellowstone National Park as it allows you to see the land in a unique and unaltered way.
Get Your Kids Involved
Yellowstone National Park is extremely family-friendly and offers many ways to get your kids involved and engaged while visiting the park. Kids 4 and over are able to take part in the park’s self-guided Junior Ranger program which gets kids (and parents) involved in the natural features of the park and educates them on their role in preserving these natural areas for future use. You can pick up the Junior Ranger completion pack at any park visitor center and upon completion, they will receive an official Yellowstone Junior Ranger patch. If you have some budding scientists at home, pick up a Young Scientist self-guided booklet at the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center and solve mysteries through investigation both in the visitor center and on the field. Once completed, your budding scientist will receive a Young Scientist patch or key chain. Getting your kids involved in exploration of the National Park and educating them on preservation of our national parks and public lands is the perfect way to have a fun-filled day for the whole family.
Ride the Rapids
Ride the rapids of the Yellowstone River and get your adrenaline rush for the day. Not only will you experience crushing through rolling rapids, but you will also be able to see abundant wildlife, like river otters and bald eagles, on your journey. Cool off on a hot summer day and see Yellowstone National Park from a different perspective with white water rafting.
After a day of adventuring in the park, kick back and relax at Under Canvas Yellowstone, just 10 minutes from the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Our upscale safari-style accommodations offer canvas tents fitted with plush king size beds, ensuite bathrooms with hot, running water and flushing toilets, hive tents perfect for kids, on-site dining and activities like live music, yoga and more. Get the whole family to connect with the wonder of the outdoors without sacrificing the comforts of home.