PEN Travel Guide: Yellowstone National Park

Aarohi Kuthari

Thanksgiving Break is coming up soon. Here’s where you should go:

If you are unsure about where to go for Thanksgiving or other breaks, you should definitely go to Yellowstone National Park.

1. Where is Yellowstone?

Yellowstone is located in three states. It is mainly located in Wyoming but also Montana and Idaho.

U.S. National Park Service, restoration/cleanup by Matt Holly

2. Geysers and Hot Springs

Get ready for geysers that shoot high in the air, crusty, hot springs in wild colors, and bubbling pots of mud in this geological wonder. Yellowstone has several geysers, Old Faithful being the most popular geyser. Geysers are hot springs with constrictions in their plumbing, usually near the surface, that prevent water from circulating freely to the surface where heat would escape. My family and I got to watch Old Faithful erupt, and it was an amazing experience. Old Faithful can reach up to heights of 184 feet! Some hot springs are restricted to go swimming in, as they are way too hot. A very famous one that my family and I had the chance of seeing is the Grand Prismatic Spring. The Grand Prismatic Spring has several different colors. Some hot springs can reach up to a temperature of 143°F. 60% of the world’s geysers and hot springs are inside Yellowstone National Park!


Old Faithful 

Frank Kovalchek

Grand Prismatic Spring

3. Wildlife

If you are an animal lover, then this place is definitely for you. Yellowstone is swarming with bison that weigh up to 2,000 or more pounds! When my family was driving in the breathtaking Lamar Valley, which is where there is lots of wildlife, we experienced a once in a lifetime thriller. There were about 10 bison in the middle of the road, so obviously we had to stop, but when our car stopped, the bison started walking right next to our car. The only thing that was separating me from the bison was the window, and I was extremely scared. But after the bison cleared up, and we continued driving, I realized how much fun I had. Bison are not the only animals that are in Yellowstone. There are bears, moose, elk, otters, badgers, and so many more.

Alex Teufel

4. Where you should stay in Yellowstone

I would definitely recommend staying in a cabin, inn, or lodge in Yellowstone. It makes you feel like you are actually in the woods, but obviously, more protected and luxurious. So do not worry, a bear will not come into your room while you are sleeping at night. This was a great and different experience, because instead of staying in your every vacation hotel, we got to stay in a lodge. The lodges were very rustic and had lots of wood and logs.


Old Faithful Inn / NPS Photo

Yellowstone Falls

The Yellowstone Falls can be seen from several different views. The Yellowstone Falls consists of two major waterfalls and is like the “Niagara Falls of Yellowstone.”

Bernard Spragg. NZ
My family and I at the Yellowstone Falls

These are just a few of the spots where my family and I went, but there are several other extraordinary places that will take your breath away in this one and only National Park.