Experiencing Yellowstone

It’s customary to think of a visit to Yellowstone in terms of seeing the main attractions –- Old Faithful, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and Lower Falls, Yellowstone Lake, Mammoth Hot Springs. On a first trip with limited time, perhaps such a quick visit is all that’s possible. However, in the tradition of a true insider we’d like to encourage you not to just visit the Yellowstone area, but experience it. What’s the difference? Here’s an example: It’s the difference between standing in a half mile long semi-circle with thousands of people watching a geyser erupt almost a quarter of a mile away (Old Faithful), and feeling the cooled steam of an erupting geyser that’s less than thirty feet away (Echinus Geyser in Norris Geyser Basin). Experiencing is being up close, where you can see, feel, hear, and even smell the elements of nature. (Of course, this does not apply to bears and most other animals.) Experiencing also means doing things that put you in touch with the natural surroundings -– walking, hiking, boating, fishing. Finally, learning is a big part of experiencing Yellowstone. Not only will you experience new things, but you can learn a great deal about the stark interplay of volcanic activity, the climate and landscape of Yellowstone, and the living things that inhabit it.

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