What To Do In Yellowstone If You Only Have One Day

Ask 10 people what their favorite thing to do in Yellowstone National Park is and you'll get 10 different answers.

At 3,468 square miles, Yellowstone is massive and that's why it appeals to everyone from near and far. Hidden amongst the lakes, mountains, rivers, canyons, geysers, and other geological wonders of Yelllowstone is a lifetime of adventure.

Few people venture off the beaten path in Yellowstone, which is totally fine. It's tough for people to dedicate their lives to exploring the vast and wild landscape of Yellowstone. While some people may spend a week hiking, biking, boating, fishing, and sightseeing in the Park, others may only have a short amount of time. It's not impossible to see lots of jaw-dropping things in Yellowstone in one day, but you're going to have to be efficient.

17 Fun Facts About Yellowstone National Park

If you want to explore Yellowstone in one day, you're going to have to do your research, make a plan, and stick to a tight itinerary. Plan on an early start, a scenic drive, and an action packed day. Bring snacks, water, bear spray, a good pair of walking shoes, and a full tank of gas. You'll likely spend most of the day driving on Yellowstone's 142-mile Grand Loop with pitstops to see the marvels of the Park.

As you know, it's hard to narrow down the list of things to do in Yellowstone in one day. Since everyone will be interested in slightly different things, use the following list as a starting point to plan your very own YNP adventure. Feel free to add or subtract where you see fit.

  1. Grand Prismatic
    Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park | Pixabay Image
    Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park | Pixabay Image

  2. Old Faithful
    Old Faithful | Visit Big Sky
    Old Faithful | Visit Big Sky

  3. Yellowstone Lake
    Yellowstone Lake, Yellowstone National Park | Pixabay Image
    Yellowstone Lake, Yellowstone National Park | Pixabay Image

  4. Hayden Valley
    Hayden Valley, Yellowstone National Park | Pixabay Image
    Hayden Valley, Yellowstone National Park | Pixabay Image

  5. Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
    Grand Canyon of The Yellowstone | Photo Credit: Glennis Idrenland
    Grand Canyon of The Yellowstone | Photo Credit: Glennis Idrenland
  6. Tower Falls
    Tower Falls, Yellowstone National Park | Pixabay Image
    Tower Falls, Yellowstone National Park | Pixabay Image

  7. Lamar Valley
    Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park | Pixabay Image
    Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park | Pixabay Image

  8. Mammoth Hot Springs
    Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park | Pixabay Image
    Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park | Pixabay Image

  9. Norris Geyser Basin

This itinerary starts and ends at Yellowstone's West Entrance near West Yellowstone, Montana. That's just a short drive from our favorite part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem: Big Sky. We highly recommend using Big Sky as your base camp for adventure into Yellowstone and the surrounding area. Learn more about Big Sky, Montana at VisitBigSkyMT.com.

Yellowstone National Park | Photo Credit: Lone Mountain Ranch
Yellowstone National Park | Photo Credit: Lone Mountain Ranch

How To Get From Big Sky To West Yellowstone

Perhaps the best thing about exploring Yellowstone in one day is that you'll want to come back for more. After a very full day of seeing Yellowstone's wildlife, waterfalls, lakes, and geological wonders, you'll quickly realize that there are endless things to do in Yellowstone National Park. It's the world's best playground for outdoor enthusiasts.

Just be warned that exploring Yellowstone in one day will usually lead to future trips to this natural wonderland. See you soon!

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About the Author

Derek Lennon