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Reader Participation Day: What Brings You To Yellowstone, Wildlife Or Water Works?


Does a successful Yellowstone vacation revolve around spotting wildlife, or counting geysers? NPS photo.

When you sit down to plan your vacation to Yellowstone National Park, do you think first of where best you can view wildlife, or strategize how best to visit all of the park's geothermal areas?

Does a successful visit depend on spotting the big five -- grizzlies, wolves, bison, elk, and moose -- or are you more interesting in seeing eruptions of Old Faithful, Riverside, Castle, and Steamboat, the Holy Grail of Yellowstone's geysers?


Wildlife, well I have that in my backyard so to speak. A lot of the same species are in Colorado, so that is really not a draw to me. The geothermal features are the things that I like to see. The scenery, esp Yellowstone Falls are breath taking. I think that they are better than Niagara Falls to be honest. I love the old fort buildings at the north entrance.
I also like to chat with the foreign Visitors, it gives me a different perspective on the way that we look at what we have in our country compared to where they are from. It also has some of the best fishing.

Waterworks, definitely.  When I take a friend with me (I usually travel solo, but I have introduced two good friends to the park) we will take a day and go critter hunting, but the rest of the time and the whole time I'm on my own, I'm wandering around geyser basins waiting for things to go off. 

Don't get me wrong, I love critters, but if it weren't for the geysers the park wouldn't exist in the first place. 

And there's just something so exuberantly joyous about a geyser.

The scenery although the waterworks are nice.

On our 5th day of visiting the park today.  I think we came for a bit of both.  We have been watching closely for wildlife while jumping between various basins, waterfalls, and lakes.  Even got to get a July snowball fight in.

The wildlife, always the wildlife.  Spring for the new babies - elk and bison, fall for the bugling elk.  Always a new experience, and sometimes not at all what's expected.  Last fall we spent three days anticipating bugling elk, but only came across one.  Disappointing, but that's nature.    Yellowstone is only 3 hours away from where I live, so it's a place we visit often.

I love to look at the landscapes, but have the camera ready for wildlife.

I went to Yellowstone because it was a place where I could take my elderly parents and my toddler nephew to see some *guaranteed* spectacles, both geological and biological (and we never had to choose between the two). And like many of the more developed National Parks, the most spectacular sights were also very accessible, with easy trails and plenty of benches.

When I travel by myself, I prefer a lot more seclusion. But when taking my family (or anyone with more limited mobility), I look for accessibility.

My first trip was about the water works....the next 3 trips focused completely on the wildlife.  Seeing 4 out of the big 5 one sunny snow covered day....priceless!!!

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