Can you believe we’ve reached the letter Y in our “See the World” series? I’m so excited about this week’s destination because it’s one that’s been on our radar for a long time. If you missed last week’s destination, we visited Xi’an, China and Westport, Ireland the week before. If you missed any of the other destinations this year, you can find them here. This week I’m thrilled to welcome Bryanna and Craig from Crazy Family Adventure sharing their tips on the best family friendly things to do in Yellowstone!
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What to Do in Yellowstone with Kids
Yellowstone National Park is an amazing place to visit with your family and is an adventure filled with nature, activities, and unbelievable scenery. We have been multiple times and spent weeks exploring the park. Below is our list of the top 5 things to do as a family when you visit Yellowstone.
1 – Lone Star Geyser
Yes you should see Old Faithful when you are here but our favorite Geyser is Lone Star. The reason being you can get up close and personal with it. Plus there are a LOT less people there compared to Old Faithful.
To get here you are going to have to take a 2 mile hike or bike ride. But I promise it is worth it. Once you arrive you may have to wait up to 3 hours (the geyser goes off about every 3 hours). Never fear. If you bring a picnic lunch and a few chairs or a blanket you can sit by a crystal clear stream and just enjoy being out in the majestic beauty of Yellowstone while you wait for the geyser to go off.
Once it goes off it will erupt for about 30 minutes – so it puts on a good show! There are no barriers around the geyser so make sure to keep a close eye on the kids.
2 – Boiling River
Don’t forget to pack your swimsuits and swim shoes for Yellowstone! If you do you will be able to experience the uniqueness of the Boiling River. The River is a combination of the cold water from Gardner River combining with a hot spring.
If you hang out in the right place the water is a nice warm temperature. Perfect for just hanging out – think natural hot tub. Then if you get closer to the hot spring waters it is HOT and away from the hot springs it is cold!
Be aware the water has a fast current. But there are usually rocks lined up showing you where to stay. Needless to say you will want to hold your kids hands as you make your way into the boiling river.
3 – Lodge Porch
The first two I’ve shared are pretty physical activities – but I guarantee it is worth it for your family to do both. The 3rd one is having a drink at the lodge by the Lake Hotel. It isn’t in the Lake Hotel it is down the road. It has an awesome wooden porch with rocking chairs on it.
You can go inside and grab a few drinks then sit in a rocking chair on the porch and watch the reverse sunset on the mountains behind Yellowstone Lake. It really is a magical place and we have seen bison there multiple times. Sometimes you just want to sit down and relax!
4 – Go on A Hike
I am telling you it is worth it to go on a hike in Yellowstone. The park is usually super busy but if you just go on a hike a mile off of the main road you can sometimes be the only person there! It is crazy the difference compared to the craziness of places like Old Faithful.
If you want a challenging and rewarding hike we recommend Mount Washburn. It is a 6 mile round trip hike up to the top of a mountain but it is amazing. At the top there is a storm lookout shelter that you are able to go into and get unreal views of Yellowstone all around you.
We did this hike when our kids were 7, 5, 5 and 3 so I know it is possible!
If you are looking for a little more low key hike check out Storm Point Hike. It is a shorter hike with less of an incline. You walk through an old growth forest and also get an amazing view of the lake from the Storm Point lookout.
Yes it will be busy but you should still go. It is unbelievable the colors that Mother Earth can produce. It seriously looks like someone threw a bunch of buckets of paint out. Then the heat from the steam is so overpowering. Again amazing that this is a natural occurring thing!
There is a walk way through the Grand Prismatic but you will want to hold your kids hands and make sure no one is wearing hats (they will most likely blow off).
Above all else when you are visiting Yellowstone be sure to follow the Park Ranger recommendations of staying 50 – 100 yards away from all animals. They are wild and you don’t want to touch them or get close to them. For your safety and theirs.
A trip to Yellowstone will be unforgettable for everyone in your family! If you have any questions about camping in Yellowstone check out our post about camping.
Bryanna and Craig along with their 4 kids, and 2 dogs sold everything, bought an RV and have been traveling full-time around the US since May 2014. If they aren’t out climbing mountains, hiking to a waterfall or playing at the beach they are most likely at the local donut shop trying to find the best donuts in the US! They write about things to do with kids at the destinations they visit, full time family travel and working from the road at Crazy Family Adventure.