By Anna Gentry
I have visited Yellowstone National Park three times in three separate decades. Yellowstone’s sights and wonders are never monotonous, always leaving me awe-struck and longing for more. Highlighted below are six sights that are guaranteed to keep you returning to Yellowstone decade after decade.
- Norris Geyser Basin – This miraculous geothermal area was formed around 100,000 B.C. It is America’s oldest continuously active geothermal area and is the hottest geyser basin within all of Yellowstone. I know I may be a science and history geek, but just knowing I have visited a natural wonder that has not ceased to disappoint, producing geothermal activity for thousands of years just blows me away. Quite simply, there is no other place on earth quite this fantastic.
- Boiling River – The Boiling River flows into the Gardiner River, where hot and cold-water mix into pools along the river’s edge. This is one of the very few places within the park’s boundaries where it is safe to swim. I remember the first time I saw this river. The roaring boil of aquamarine waters that merge with the cool river to create nature’s ideal hot tub is enchanting, especially considering the backdrop attracts wild antelope, elk and bighorn sheep. This is the height of nature.
- Old Faithful – I have participated in the stadium-style seating at Old Faithful twice. The last time, I took the trek to Observation Point. The views are stunning, the crowds are obsolete and there is no other place I will ever view Old Faithful again. The panoramic views of the entire geyser basin are peace, tranquil and just as nature intended this area for viewing – in complete peaceful silence. While Old Faithful is commercialized, it is still a necessary must see.
- Grand Prismatic Spring – If there is ever a picture that captures 1,000 words, it is a photo of Grand Prismatic Spring. As a child, I would lie for hours and look at nature and history books. Grand Prismatic Spring had a way of drawing me in to its clear aquamarine waters, deep crevices and brilliant rainbow tones. My imagination would soar and I would try to connect all the dots, thinking a puzzle would emerge. Seeing this spring in person is simply visiting a work of art. The captivating colors blend and the deep caverns are hypnotic. The clear pools of water pull you in, as your body feels both elated and drawn into a meditative trance.
- The Lamar Valley – I love animals so visiting Lamar Valley has always been high on my list. Every visit is different. Sometimes I have only seen abundant herds of bison, while other times I have captured pictures of bighorn sheep tucked high in the mountains. Full of wildlife, this is also bear country, so keep your eyes open.
- The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone – A remarkable sight, this colorful canyon is well worth the 2-1/2 mile hike that affords spectacular views of waterfalls that plunge deep into the canyon’s river.
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