Yellowstone - 3 Day Sample Itinerary

This was at a good pace, if you would like a more leisure pace or additional time for more hikes it can be stretched to 4 - 5 days

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Day 1 - Start your morning bright and early at Old Faithful.  After a hearty breakfast to keep you fueled for the morning, walk to Old Faithful.  Wait and watch as it erupts.  Spend the rest of the morning following the boardwalk around seeing all of the geysers and thermal pools.    Follow boardwalk to the right - Giantess Geyser, Sponge Geyser, Doublet Pool, Aurum Geyser, Beach Spring.  Head North to walk to Liberty Pool, Sawmill Geyser, Spasmodic Geyser, Churning Geyser, Grand Geyser, Turban Geyser, Beauty Pool, Chromatic Spring, Oblong Geyser, Giant Geyser, Grotto Geyser, Chain Lakes, Spiteful Geysers, Morning Glory Pool.  Turn back and head south and then to the right to, Daisy Geyser, Comet Geyser, Splendid Geyser, Punch Bowl Spring, Black sand pool.  Head Back up to right to Round spring. Then south to Orange Spring.  Then come to board walk to Crested Pool and Sawmill Geyser.  Then south to Lion Group, Heart Spring, Beehive Geyser, Plume Geyser, Anemone Geyser.  Stop for lunch at Old Faithful snow lodge geyser grill.  Grab extra snacks and drinks for the car. If still full from breakfast, grab food to picnic later in afternoon (no food stops for a while). Get lots of food just in case you need to eat dinner picnic style if you don’t make it to mammoth hot springs. Get in Car and head toward Madison, stopping on the left at Black Sand Basin.  Park and walk around.  You will see Opalescent Pool, Rainbow Pool, Cliff Geyser, Sunset Lake, Handkerchief Pool, Emerald Pool, Ragged Spring.  Drive North and stop on left at Biscuit Basin and hike to Mystic Falls.  You will see Black Opal Pool, Wall Pool, Sapphire Pool, Jewel Geyser, Shell Geyser, Avoca Spring.  Take Mystic Falls Trail to Mystic Falls.  The falls are located behind Biscuit Basin. After about .5 miles, the trail takes a fork.  The left-hand fork goes directly to Mystic Falls and is about one mile long.  It is an easy hike.  After hike, get Back in the car and drive North to Midway Geyser Basin. Park and cross over Firehole River.  Walk around to see Turquiose Pool, Opal Pool, Grand Prismatic Spring, Excelsior Geyser. Back in the car head North to Firehole Lake Drive. Turn right and follow the road in car to see Fire Hole Spring, Surprise Pool, Great Mountain Geyser, White Dome Geyser, Pink Cone Geyser, Firehole Lake, Steady Geyser. There will be areas to park on the way if we want to get out and see some of them up close.  Cross the street and park at Fountain Paint Pot (Lower Geyser Basin) Take boardwalk to Celestine pool, Silex Spring (Head Right), Fountain Paint Pot, Fumaroles (Head right), Leather pool, Red Sprouter (keep going straight), Twig Geyser, Jet Geyser, Morning Geyser, Fountain Geyser, Clepsdydra Geyser, Spasm Geyser, Jelly Geyser.  Look for Ojo Caliente Spring.  In the car head north to Firehole Canyon Drive (Great Bathrooms here!) Stop to look at Firehole falls.  Head North to Madison.  From Madison Head North to Norris.  Continue North to Gibbon Falls (walk 700 ft down the paved road to the bottom of the falls).  Back in car head north. Stop at Beryl Springs.  (If time head stop at Artist paint pots ½ mile hike to see it) Stop at Chocolate Pots.  In Norris go to Norris Geyser Basin.  After parking, walk on pathway and head to the left to Emerald Spring, Steamboat Geyser, Cistern Spring, Echinus Geyser, Puff n’stuff geyser, Green Dragon Spring, Porkchop Geyser, Pearl Geyser, Vixen Geyser Palpitator Spring, Monarch Geyser Crater, Minute Geyser.  Then head North to Black Growler Steam Vent, Whale’s mouth, Pinwheel Geyser, Whirling Geyser, Constant Geyser, Porcelain Springs, Congress Pool. Head North from Norris to Mammoth. Stop at Obsidian Cliff (apprx 8 miles north of Norris). As you continue to drive north you will go through the Golden Gate of Yellowstone.  Stop at the Hoodoos. Then drive north. Stop at Rustic Falls. Stop at Upper Terrace Drive.  Drive north to Mammoth Hot Springs.  Spend the Night in Mammoth Hot Springs


Day 2 -  After breakfast, walk from Mammoth Hotel to Opal Terrace cross the road to Liberty Cap, Palette Spring, Cleopatra Terrace, Minerva Terrace, New Blue Spring, Overlook Prospect Spring, New Highland Terrace, Orange Spring Mound, Bath Lake, White Elephant Black Terrace, Angel Terrace. Head north on Boardwalk to Canary Spring, Cupid Spring.  Back into car, head North towards North Entrance. Go into Montana, turn around at Roosevelt Arch.  Drive Back south to 45th parallel – take pic.  Stop at Boiling River. Continue to head South to Mammoth then head East to Roosevelt Junction.  Drive 3 miles East of Mammoth Village to Undine Falls (roadside pullout).  Drive ¼ mile more and park at Lava Creek Picnic Area. Hike a ¼ mile along Lava Creek Trail to view the fall from the north rim of the canyon. If you want another Hike (1 mile round trip) go to the pullout east of Lava Creek Trail. It follows Lupine Creek for 15 minutes to the cascade.  Head back to car, head East to Forces of the Northern Range Self Guiding Trail- Walk the boardwalk (1/2 mile boardwalk trail).  Back in car head East.  Choose one of two options. Stay on this rd. and stop at Hellroaring Creek Trail. Hike to the suspension bridge (about 2miles) . Beautiful Yellowstone river. Or. Go off of main rd and Take the Black tail Plateau Drive (that detours off main rd. It is a 6mile one way rd that will meet up with the main rd again). Lots of animals around this area. Then back in car head East to Petrified Tree.  Arrive at Roosevelt Junction – Stop to eat Lunch!! Roosevelt Lodge Dining Room.  After Lunch, head East from Roosevelt Junction to the Northeast Entrance-Lamar Valley. Drive through – Great wildlife viewing area.  Stop at Soda Butte. Back in car - A little bit after Soda Butte look for Trout Lake ( park on turnout northeast of the rd) (before you get to pebble creek camp)  Hike to trout lake (1.2mile rd trip) Choose- Either continue driving east for views from car or turn around and drive back towards Roosevelt Junction.  Head South from Roosevelt Junction (about a mile) to Calcite Springs Overlook (boardwalk and stairs).  Back in car head south about an mile to Tower Falls (do not take the trail down to the bottom, will be too strenuous for the kids to go back up).  Tower General store – after viewing falls stop at the general store to stock up on water and food items. Back in the car head south Drive to Canyon.  If hungry stop in Canyon for food- There is canyon dining, general store, and a deli. Stock up on water and snacks.  If it is within 1 or 2 hours of  dinner time grab some picnic food and picnic at the South Rim. Back in the car head south 1 mile from Canyon is the North Rim and Lower Falls - Be sure to stop at all the view points, as each one offers a unique vantage point to experience the canyon. Inspiration Point, Grand View and Lookout Point are the easiest view points to access, Red Rock Point and Brink of Lower Falls Trail are a bit more strenuous but definitely worth the short walk. There is a shorter two-way road that you can turn onto from the North Rim Drive that takes you past Glacial Boulder and then down to Inspiration Point. From the North Rim Drive you can access the Brink of the Lower Falls trail. This paved switchback trail takes you down to the brink of the Lower Falls, a spot that will take your breath away, putting into perspective just how massive and awesome this natural wonder really is. The hike back up the trail is somewhat strenuous, with benches along the way to sit and rest for a moment on your way back up to the parking lot. The North Rim Drive also offers much easier viewpoints of the Lower Falls that require only a short walk from your car. Back in car Drive a little south of the North Rim to Brink of the Upper Falls - North Rim and Lower Falls.  There is a short road located between the North and South Rim Drives that takes you to a parking lot where you can get out of the car and walk a short distance to the brink of the 109 foot Upper Falls, which also marks the beginning of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. If you walk a little further down this paved path instead of heading down towards the brink of the falls, you will end up at the Old Chittenden Bridge which was the old roadway used for travelers who came through this area. Back in car drive a little south to South Rim and Upper Falls. The Upper Falls can be seen from a viewpoint only a few hundred feet. Not too far down on the South Rim Drive there is a parking lot where you can get out and walk just a few hundred feet to two viewpoints where you can see the Upper Falls straight on from across the river. Just up the road from the South Rim Drive there is a small trail that takes you down to the brink of the Upper Falls, where the sidewalk brings you relatively close to the water that is flowing rapidly just feet away from where you stand.  Artist Point is at the end of the South Rim drive. A very short paved trail that leads from the parking lot will direct you towards Artist Point. This is a very popular spot for visitors to view the Lower Falls in the distance with the yellowed canyon walls on either side of you and the Yellowstone River flowing rapidly about 1,000 feet down below. Wapiti Lake Trail and Picnic Area. The trailhead for the Wapiti Lake trail is also located on the right hand side at the beginning of the South Rim drive with a small parking lot and picnic area. Back in the car head south towards Lake Yellowstone. About 4 miles from Canyon Hayden Valley, drive through. Lots of animals. Drive South again and stop and park to see Dragon, Mouth Spring, Mud Volcano, Grizzly, Fumarole, Sour Lake, Black Dragons Cauldron, Churning Cauldron, Sizzling Basin, Mud Geyser, Mud Caldron. Back in car drive a few miles south and stop at Le Hardy’s Rapids.  Back in the car and head south. Arrive at Lake Yellowstone Village. Eat dinner at Lake Lodge Cafeteria or Lake Hotel Deli


Day 3 - Enjoy breakfast at Lake Dining Room. Grab Food and water from the Deli for the car so that you don't have to stop to eat somewhere for lunch.  Enjoy a picnic lunch today! Walk around Lake Yellowstone.  **(If you had to skip things yesterday to get to the hotel for timing head back north to the places you missed yesterday then head south)  In the car, drive to Sand Point picnic area,  walking trail 400yds to a lagoon and beach and pumice point.  Back in car head south to West Thumb Geyser Basin.  Park and take boardwalk to the right to Thumb paint pots, Seismograph & Bluebell pools.  Continue to the back trail closest to Lake Yellowstone to Lakeside Spring, Lakeshore Geyser, Fishing Cone, Big Cone, Black Pool, Abyss Pool, Hillside, Geyser.  Then follow the middle boardwalk to Twin Geysers, Fumaroles, Blue Funnel Spring, Ephedra Spring, Perforated Pool, Thumb Geyser, Percolating Spring, Ledge Spring, Collapsing Pool, Surging Spring.  Back in car Head south to Grant Village.  If you didn't get picnic food, stop for Lunch at Grant Village Dining Room.  Back in car head south and stop at Lewis Falls. Hike around to get a better look and closer to the falls.  Back in car head South towards south entrance but shortly before stop at the pullout by the bridge to access Moose Falls.  Back in car head to the entrance of Yellowstone