- By kevin
- On Apr 23, 2018
- North America
- Travel Tips
Where to visit in Yellowstone in Spring? Book your Yellowstone tours from Seattle on the Globerouter.com website with great deals. Yellowstone National Park's roughly 3,500 square miles seep slightly across state borders into Montana and Idaho, but its major attractions are contained in the northwest corner of Wyoming.
Sitting in the heart of Yellowstone's West Thumb area is Yellowstone Lake, the park's largest body of water and the largest freshwater lake above 7,000 feet in North America. First visited by Lewis and Clark's scout, John Colter, in the early 1800s, Yellowstone Lake has since become a popular destination among anglers and boaters. During the winter, many animals (think: bison and grizzly bears) trek to the more shallow areas of the lake's southern shores, where the water doesn't freeze due to the geothermic activity that takes place beneath the surface. But most of the lake freezes over by early December and can stay that way until early June.
For panoramic views, travelers suggest driving around this lake. When the weather is warmer, many say a picnic lunch by the water's edge can't be beat. And if you're interested in bedding down in the area, several recommend staying at Lake Yellowstone Hotel & Cabins, which overlooks the lake and is a National Historic Landmark. Tours of the hotel are also offered via Xanterra Parks & Resorts and Buffalo Bus Touring Company.
Yellowstone Lake is easily accessible from both the park's East and West entrances. In the surrounding West Thumb and Grant Village areas, you'll find a visitors center and an information station, where restrooms, gift shops and park exhibits and talks are available. Facility hours vary, but the lake is free to visit 24 hours a day between May 11 and Nov. 6 (when roads to the region are open).
Grand Prismatic Spring
The Midway Geyser Basin's Grand Prismatic Spring is the largest hot spring in the United States, approximately 370 feet in size and around 121 feet deep. But its rainbow waters are what really make it fascinating: While the center of the pool's cerulean hue is pretty characteristic, the deep reds, bright yellows and fiery oranges encircling the edges are not. These colors are caused by pigmented thermophilic bacteria that thrive on the rich minerals produced by the geothermic activity. The color of the bacteria is determined by the temperature of the water – the center is too hot to support life – which is then reflected when light hits the organisms.
This natural wonder is one of the park's most photographed sights, so expect crowds when you visit. You may find fewer visitors if you arrive early, but fog is common until late in the morning on cooler days, so travelers recommend arriving around 10 a.m. No matter when you go, visitors say the attraction's Fairy Falls overlook will provide you with the best views.
Grand Prismatic Spring sits 2 miles southwest of the Lower Geyser Basin and 7 miles north of Old Faithful. Other nearby attractions include the Excelsior Geyser and the Turquoise Pool. Restrooms, a gift shop and multiple parking lots can be found at this attraction, but food and beverage concessions are not available.
The spring is free to visit 24 hours a day between April 20 and Nov. 6 (when roads to the attraction are open). But to access the park, you must buy a seven-day park pass.