Yellowstone National Park, at 2.2 million acres, is a huge, sprawling expanse of wilderness and wonders. If you're making a once-in-a-lifetime visit there, where do you start?
I've been making almost annual treks to the park for 20 years, and it seems there's always some new wonder I'm discovering. Now Alan Leftridge has come out with a book to help us all get the best of Yellowstone. In the book of that title Mr. Leftridge, a former naturalist in Yellowstone, lays out chapter after chapter of "bests," from Best Geysers and Best Mudpots to Best Places to Fish and even Best Things to Do on a Rainy (or Snowy) Day.
Of course, "best of" books also are a good source for debates, as folks will quibble over whether the author's lists truly represent the best of this or that. It's all subjective. That said, the contents of The Best Of Yellowstone National Park will provide you with many starting points for planning your park vacation.
The author points us to Old Faithful, Riverside, and Grotto in the Upper Geyser Basin, Clepsydra in the Lower Geyser Basin, Cliff Geyser in Black Sand Basin, and Great Fountain Geyser along Firehole Lake Drive. (Good choices all, though I'd add Grand Geyser as well.)
Best Names of Natural Features?
This is a great section of the book. While many Yellowstone visitors likely are familiar with Black Dragon's Cauldron and Mud Volcano, how many are aware of White Elephant Back Terrace, Puff 'n Stuff Geyser, Whale's Mouth, or Blue Funnel Spring? (To help you find these, the author lists each in its respective thermal basin.)
Best Roadside Picnic Areas? A natural for touring Yellowstone's Grand Loop Road. No need to head to one fo the park's developed areas for lunch or a snack; turn to this chapter for great suggestions where you can find a picnic table and a view.
The list of "best of" goes on and on, from Best Backpacking trips and Best Fumaroles to Best Waterfalls, Best Boating, Best Places to Fish, and much more.
There's even a section on Best Historic Sites in the park, one on people associated with Yellowstone (such as John Colter, Jim Bridger, and Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar).
In short, a good book to carry with you on your Yellowstone vacation.