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How To Do Yellowstone National Park In One Day

Yellowstone National Park is one of the most unique wonders on this earth. We highly suggest spending longer than one day here, but Jake and I were on a time limit, so we spent one day roaming through Yellowstone National Park. And after one day, we felt like we saw most of the amazing attractions of Yellowstone National Park. This one-day itinerary starts from the South Entrance and exits through the North Entrance. Here is the ultimate guide on how to do Yellowstone National Park in one day. 

Morning Glory Pool
Morning Glory Pool


Bison laying on the grass At Yellowstone National Park
Bison At Yellowstone

Also, plan to stop many times along your road trip to see some incredible wildlife that live within this park. There are elk, bison, bear, deer, wolf, etc. Some will be less abundant but you can almost guarantee seeing some deer, elk and bison. 

And if you do plan to stop and grab a picture of the wildlife, find a good spot to pull off the road, so you don’t hold up a line of traffic. Unless, of course the wildlife is in the road!


The Grand Prismatic Boardwalk Loop
The Grand Prismatic Boardwalk Loop

The cool thing about Yellowstone National Park is they built boardwalks above most of the ground because it is dangerous to walk on the thermal grounds. These thermal grounds can be unpredictable, therefore please follow the rules and only walk on the provided boardwalks. 

West Thumb Geyser:

View of West Thumb Geyser with Yellowstone Lake In the background
West Thumb Geyser

First stop on the on how to do Yellowstone National Park in one day, is West Thumb Geyser which lines Yellowstone Lake. There is a short 1 mile walk around to the different geyers. Most of these geysers are aqua blue or white which are very beautiful to see!

One of the more impressive geysers along the walk is Abyss Pool. It is known for it’s depth that extends over 50 feet down. 

These geysers flow into Yellowstone Lake, but because of Yellowstones cold temperatures, the average lake temperature only reaching 45 degrees. 

Old Faithful:

Old Faithful erupting
Old Faithful

Old Faithful is a classic staple of Yellowstone National Park. And if you want to learn how to do Yellowstone National Park in one day, then you won’t want to miss this one. Old Faithful is a predictable geyser and erupts about 20 times a day. 

You will most likely see the crowds that form around this geyser when it is about to go off, but you can check in the visitor center for more accuracy. When the geyser erupts it can reach up to 184 feet in the air which is just mesmerizing. An eruption can last up to 5 minutes. 

Viewing Old Faithful is like natures firework show. It is amazing to see in person!

Upper Geyser Basin Loop:

Jake and Emily at Morning Glory Pool
Jake and Emily at Morning Glory Pool

After you see the famous Old Faithful, there is a nice 4.5 mile loop around to different awesome geysers. It’s a great way to get out, stretch your legs and get a little exercise. 

Blue Geyser on Upper Geyser Basin

At each geyser there will be a white board that will tell you the next time a geyser will erupt. So sometimes you might get lucky and see one go off, or maybe plan to go back and check it out later if you have time!

Yellow Geyser On Upper Geyser Basin

Right before turning back on the loop you will reach Morning Glory Pool (pictured above) which was one of Jake and I’s favorite geysers in Yellowstone National Park. It was just so colorful and you were able to get so close to it! The colors range from an aqua blue, bright green, yellow and orange. 

Sign stating what not to do at Morning Glory Pool

Note: People have thrown unanimous objects into the geyser clogging it up each year which can change its beauty to an ugly greenish-brown color. Park Rangers have to go in and remove thousands of objects each year, which really just shouldn’t happen. So PLEASE don’t throw anything down here and respect this beautiful National Park so others can enjoy it after you! 🙂 

Grand Prismatic Spring:

Photo by Chris Leipelt on Unsplash

This is also another famous stop in Yellowstone National Park. And if you want to know how to do Yellowstone National Park in one day the Grand Prismatic Spring is a must! It’s one of the coolest stops on the one-day itinerary. 

There are two different routes to see The Grand Prismatic Spring. The first being a short 1.6-mile loop of The Excelsior Geyser, Opal Pool, Turquoise Pool, and The Grand Prismatic Spring. Or hiking up to The Grand Prismatic Spring Overlook which is 1.2 miles. You access the overlook via Fairy Falls Trail. 

The Grand Prismatic Boardwalk Loop
Excelsior Geyser
Opal Pool

If you are crunched for time, like we were, then I would suggest hiking up to the overlook to be able to get an epic view of the Grand Prismatic Spring. We did the loop of the 4 different geysers/springs and it was hard to see the amazing colors of some. But both offer stunning views and won’t disappoint. 

Steam coming off The Grand Prismatic Spring
Steam coming off The Grand Prismatic Spring

The Grand Canyon Of Yellowstone:

Artist Point of the grand canyon of yellowstone, view of the river down the colorful canyon
Artist Point

A totally different part of the park is The Grand Canyon Of Yellowstone. The view of the canyon walls are lined with stunning colors and a HUGE waterfall flowing between is something majestic!

Artist Point the other direction from the waterfall
Artist Point

There are many different viewpoints or hikes around the area that will lead you to this beautiful destination. But, because we were crunched for time, we stopped at Artist Point which is one of the shorter hikes. But, I truly do think it is one of the best spots to view this majestic place. And it’s a very short walk, so you really don’t waste any time checking out this awesome destination. 

Other amazing hikes around The Grand Canyon Of Yellowstone are Uncle Tom’s Trail, Seven-Mile Hole Trail, Point Sublime Trail, etc.

Note: At the time of year we went, the Chittenden Road was closed which brings you from The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, through Tower-Roosevelt to Mammoth Hot Springs. We had to backtrack a little bit, but it isn’t too far out of the way. 

Mammoth Hot Springs:

Canary Spring at Mammoth Hot Springs
Canary Spring at Mammoth Hot Springs

By this point of the one day itinerary of Yellowstone National Park, you are probably exhausted. But if you want to know how to do Yellowstone National Park in one day, then push through to this last destination. You can either just view some of the cooler springs, or there is a 3.5 mile scenic walk around to all the different viewpoints. 

An interesting fact about Mammoth Hot Springs is that it is estimated that only 10% of the water is on the surface. Travertine builds up and forms the formations you see today. But, they can change often and vents can clog moving the water to a new spot. 

If you have the energy, then we highly suggest doing the scenic walk. But two of our favorite springs were Canary Spring, and Mound and Jupiter Terraces. So be sure to at least check out these two amazing springs!

Camping Near Yellowstone National Park:

If you have longer than one day, we highly suggest trying to score a campsite inside the park. It will make visiting Yellowstone National Park much more enjoyable. Having a campsite inside the park will allow you to spend more time within the park and relax at each stop to enjoy the beautiful view. 

If you are in a campervan and only interested in FREE camping, there is actually a really easy spot that allows overnight camping right outside the North Entrance of the park. Plug in this spot on Jardine Rd, and you will find  a couple pull offs that are flat where you can catch some zzz’s. This is where we parked when we were headed out of the park and the night we stayed it was very quiet and also has a stunning view. 

Take A Virtual Tour Of Yellowstone With Us

Screenshot of Two Roaming Souls Grand Teton & Yellowstone National Park Youtube Video

Takeaway For How To Do Yellowstone National Park In One Day:

Geyser at Fairy Falls Trail Parking Lot
Geyser at Fairy Falls Trail Parking Lot

This is the perfect itinerary if you want to learn how to do Yellowstone National Park in one day, but it will feel rushed.

We were exhausted after our visit, but so happy we pushed through and did all the stops listed above. Because Yellowstone National Park is one of the coolest National Parks on this earth.

Geysers literally surround this place. And the wildlife you can see along the way is incredible. We hope you enjoy your time at Yellowstone National Park!

And don’t forget to stop at Grand Teton National Park! Check out our post:

Grand Teton National Park 2-day Itinerary

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