My family visited Yellowstone National Park a few years ago, and my kids still talk about what an amazing trip it was. It has been at the top of my list of places I want to visit again soon! We did Yellowstone National Park in 3 days (we arrived the night before, spent 3 days exploring, and left the next morning). I want to share what we did, so you can hopefully use the itinerary to plan your vacation.
There are so many amazing things to see there, and in our 3-day
Don’t miss these at Yellowstone National Park
Stop at the Old Faithful Visitor Center and get Ice Cream. That is something that my kids remember from years ago when we went and it is so fun to get your ice cream and then go watch the Old Faithful Geyser go off.
We had our kids do the Junior Park Ranger program – it is $3 for each kid to get a book (and a prize if they complete the book), but it was a lot of fun to watch them fill them out and learn more about what we were looking at while we were there.
We did spend some time fishing. Since we stayed at Fishing Bridge RV Park, we really didn’t have far to go to find great fishing. My kids had a lot of fun doing this and just enjoying where we were.
We arrived in the evening since we had such a long drive. We setup camp, enjoyed a delicious meal and turned in early so we could get away early the next morning. We headed out each day about 7 am and got back at like 8 pm.
We packed a big picnic lunch for each day and took a LOT of snacks. We also kept a couple of cases of water bottles in the back so we could make sure we stayed plenty hydrated. There are several places to stop and refill water bottles along the way if you want to do that too.
Yellowstone National Park in 3 days
DAY 1 –
- Pumice Point and Yellowstone Lake
- West Thumb Geyser Basin
- Continental Divide
- Old Faithful
- (had lunch while waiting for Old Faithful to go off)
- Black Sand Basin
- Biscuit Basin
DAY 2 –
- Hayden Valley is a great place to spot wildlife. Bison and Wolves are just a couple of the things we saw here
- Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone North Rim Drive
- Grand View stop
- Lookout Point stop
- Inspiration Point stop
- South Rim Drive
- Artist Point
- Canyon Village Visitor Center
- Tower Fall & Calcite Springs
- (had lunch at the picnic area before walking to Tower Fall, then got ice cream in the gift shop)
- Petrified Tree
- Hike to Wraith Falls (1-mile roundtrip, easy)
- Stopped for a potty break at Lava Creek picnic area – and had fun playing in the river
- Undine Falls
- Mammoth Hot Springs
- Obsidian Cliff viewpoint
- Twin Lakes
- Roaring Mountain
- When you get back to camp you could take in a Ranger program or go star gazing.
DAY 3 –
- Mud Volcano and the Sulphur Cauldron
- Norris Geyser Basin
- Steamboat Geyser
- Artists Paintpot
- Gibbon Falls
- (stopped for lunch at Gibbon Falls Picnic Ground)
- Tuff Cliff (viewpoint)
- Terrace Spring walk
- (Take the Firehole Canyon Road)
- Firehole Falls
- (If you have time, stop and go swimming in the Firehole River swimming area)
- Cascades of the Fireholes
- Firehole River
- (along here we saw a lot of Buffalo in a field)
- Fountain Paint Pot Trail
- Grand Prismatic Spring
The next morning the kids got their Junior Ranger Badges before we headed home. The trip was truly amazing!
Here is a map of the park so you can get an idea of what direction to go.
Take time to enjoy the wildlife. We were there the first week of August and we saw Elk, Bison, Wolves, Deer and a bunch of smaller critters. Hayden Valley is a great place to view the Bison and Wolves. Elk were seen by the Black Sand Basin and by Mammoth Hot Springs as well as by Madison.
There are so many more hikes, but these are just a few that we chose because they were easier and because of time constraints. I will be sharing information and pictures about each of these areas over the coming weeks.
Save for later
Let me know if you have any questions! I will try my best to answer them. Pin one (or both) of the images below so you can save them to Pinterest and reference this later.
You can also visit https://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm to learn more about Yellowstone National Park and everything it has to offer!