10 May 2023
Planning a visit to Yellowstone National Park usually includes a stop to Old Faithful, Lower Falls or Yellowstone Lake. These iconic features of the Park shouldn’t be missed, but there is so much more to Yellowstone and nearby Grand Teton National Park that is a bit more off the beaten path!
Here are a few of our favorite (and somewhat lesser-known) places to visit in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks:
Yellowstone National Park
While Yellowstone is known for its geysers, there are plenty of amazing water features throughout the Park.
Just a short distance inside the south entrance to Yellowstone National Park is Moose Falls, a small but beautiful 30 ft waterfall. The pedestrian walkway along the shore of the Yellowstone River gets you up close to the roar of the LeHardy Rapids.
For a day hiking trip, make your destination the Natural Bridge Trail, but if it’s early summer, check in a the Fishing Bridge Visiting Center as the trail may be closed due to the natural presence of feeding bears. For another day hike, check out Hellroraing Trail or Mystic Falls.
Why not take a scenic drive and stop for a picnic at Gull Point Drive, or view Virginia Cascades? There's much to see and explore in this wonderful park.
Planning a day on the Lower Loop?
Here are our recommended stops for Lower Loop:
- Moose Falls
- Lewis Falls
- West Thumb’s Geyser Pools and lakeside views, then head east
- Lake Hotel - Stop by and view their beautiful lobby
- Mud Volcano - Stop here to see the Dragon’s Mouth Caldron and head to Hayden Valley for wildlife viewing, including bison, wolves and grizzly
- Waterfall/canyon area to Artist Point (take the short hike past it
- Brink of the Falls and take the Rim Drive
- Head west and do the Virginia Cascade drive and picnic
- Spend time at Norris Geyser Basin
- Head South, then do Firehole Canyon Drive
- Go to Fairy Falls parking area and hike up to the Grand Prismatic Spring overlook
- Next stop Biscuit Geyser Basin - at the back hike to Mystic falls
- Black Sand Geyser basin is short and sweet is a favorite of ours
- Head to Old Faithful - stop in the Inn first to check geyser times and watch or walk the area
- Other Geyser eruptions to see there are: Grotto Geyser, Castle Geyser, Beehive Geyser, Daisy Geyser ,Riverside Geyser, Morning Glory Pool
Planning a day all around the park?
Be sure to visit:
- Hayden Valley
- Keep your eyes out for wildlife (Elk and Bison)
Grand Teton National Park
Off of highway 191, just 20 minutes north of Jackson, look for the Blacktail Pond Overlook. This area is a scenic overlook with a chance to spot to spy osprey, eagles and moose.
For a moderately challenging hiking trail experience, head for the backside of Phelps Lake Beach & Death Canyon. The views here are stunning, overlooking a lake encircled by large lodgepole pines.
Wetlands and marshes are found in the low lying areas around the Snake River and provide vital plant and animal habitat. Schwabacher Landing provides a perfect open area to possibly see some wildlife and at the very least enjoy the open landscape.
Just as you leave Grand Teton National Park, you’ll enter into Bridger-Teton National Park. Take the time to find the Gros Ventre Drive and Slide Lake, both with amazing views.
So explore all the best kept secrets of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park and...it’s ok to tell others so they can enjoy these places too!