A trip to Yellowstone has been a rich part of the American experience for five generations now. Though it's remote, we come—more than 3,000,000 strong—year after year. When we arrive, we gasp at the incomparable combination of natural beauty, rugged wilderness, majestic peaks, and abundant wildlife. Geysers, mud pots, fumaroles, and hot springs make this magma-filled pressure cooker of a park unlike any place else on Earth. If you're not here for the geysers, chances are that you've come to spot some of the teeming wildlife, from grazing bison to cruising trumpeter swans.
- Hot spots Thinner-than-normal crust depth and a huge magma chamber beneath the park explain Yellowstone's abundant geysers, steaming pools, hissing fumaroles, and bubbling mud pots.
- Bison They're just one of many species that roam freely here. Seemingly docile, the bison make your heart race if you catch them stampeding across Lamar Valley.
- Hiking Yellowstone has more than 1,000 miles of trails, along which you can summit a 10,000-foot peak, follow a trout-filled creek, or descend into the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.
- Yellowstone Lake Here you can fish, boat, kayak, stargaze, and bird-watch on black obsidian beaches—just don't stray too far into the frigid water.
- Canyon The Yellowstone River runs through the park, creating a deep yellow-tinged canyon with two impressive waterfalls.