Cabins Yellowstone Park… man that is my idea of a vacation! Yellowstone National Park draws out the kid in me and being able to head back to a comfy cabin after a day of exploration just makes it a complete experience. Of course many people get a much more rustic image in their minds when I say “cabins Yellowstone Park” than I am talking about. My idea of a Yellowstone National Park cabin might be equal to a great place to live year around as well!
But we all know lodging in Yellowstone National Park is only a very small part of the experience. Below are my five favorite things to do as a family when we go there:
Old Faithful & Upper Geyser Basin
Upper Geyser Basin is the best place in Yellowstone to see geysers erupt. It is home to Old Faithful, the best-known Yellowstone geyser, as well as five out of six predicted geysers in the park. What’s more, Upper Geyser Basin boasts the highest concentration of geysers in the world. There are more than 150 of these hydrothermal features in just one square mile!
There is something about seeing wildlife in its proper place that is beyond written words. In Yellowstone you can feel bison bulls shake the earth as they collide in battle. You can observe gray wolves stalk their prey. Checkout grizzlies playfully bathing in the waters. Yellowstone is inhabited by the same large mammals found there at the end of the Pleistocene era.
Ever heard of a Mud Pot?
There are three places in Yellowstone to see mud in action – Fountain Paint Pots, Artists’ Paint Pots, and Mud Volcano. The mud pots at Fountain Paint Pots are Yellowstone’s most easily reached pools of hot bubbling mud. The mud pots at Artists Paint Pots are the most fun to watch. And while Mud Volcano no longer erupts, this hydrothermal area is the most eerily intriguing spot in Yellowstone National Park. Visit one but think twice before touring all three.
Hikes offered by the park rangers
The Ranger Adventure Hikes offered by the park rangers at Yellowstone are a great way to engage the kids and get beyond the boardwalk. One hike takes intrepid walkers to tranquil beaver ponds that hold the promise of sighting wildlife. While none of the hikes are specifically geared to families, kids are welcome on all excursions. Of note, these hikes aren’t strolls. The shortest is 4 hours long.
Boiling River is an off-map must. This five-star hot tub, one of only two safe (and legal) soaks in Yellowstone, offers a fun break from family touring. Amble the paved ½-mile trail. Watch birds, bison and elk. Soak in a natural spa, a mix of hot (hot spring stream) and cold (Gardner River).
Horseback Rides & Old West Cookouts
Concessionaires within Yellowstone Park offer a variety of Old West experiences within America’s first national park. Take a horseback ride through sagebrush flats. Enjoy a stagecoach adventure on a horse-drawn, covered wagon. Take one or the other to an Old West Cookout and feast on a chuck wagon dinner. And if you are looking for something a bit more bold, sign-up for a back country horseback ride with a permitted stock outfitter.