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Want to visit Yellowstone National Park, but only have a day or two to see as much as possible? Check out how we spent two days in Yellowstone.
Yellowstone National Park is massive, packed with animals and extraordinary views, and we had an exciting two days there!
Two Days in Yellowstone: Plan Ahead!
Start your trip by finding a place to stay in or near Yellowstone National Park.
We stayed at a KOA in West Yellowstone.
Then, plan out at least part of what you’d like to see in the park. You can always change your plans later, but it’s a large park, and having a plan will help you see more things!
Don’t try to do everything in one visit.
We did NOT make it through the entire park in two days. We skipped Yellowstone lake entirely, and we didn’t get to do much hiking.
BUT– we got the highlights, did one short hike each day, and left happy and tired.
Here’s how we spent our two days in Yellowstone!
Planning your next trip? Check out my favorite camping and hiking gear.
Day 1: Upper Grand Loop Road
We woke up early, ate breakfast at the campground (because I love campground cooking!), and drove into Yellowstone.
Actually, we woke up even earlier than we meant to because it was FREEZING at night.
24 degrees Fahrenheit in LATE JUNE.
Be prepared for cold nights.
As we drove, I peered out the car window watching eagerly for buffalo, bears, moose– ANYTHING.
But I would have to wait a few hours before I saw some wildlife!
We started our day at the Artist Paintpots. They were gorgeous, a little smelly, and did in fact remind me of paint spilled on a pallet.
Love the National Parks? Check out these posts too: Badlands National Park in One Day, Hiking White Sands National Monument, Backpacking in Yosemite, and Hiking Arches National Park.
Next, we drove to the Porcelain Geyser Basin— one of my favorite spots in the park.
This geyser basin was both strange and gorgeous all at once.
After lunch, we drove to Mammoth Hot Springs.
The hot springs weren’t flowing strongly, but they were still pretty incredible.
We saw lots of lost hats stuck in the hot springs– hold onto your hats in this windy spot!
Finally, we drove to the Canyon Village area, and headed towards the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.
Not to be confused, of course, with THE Grand Canyon.
First, we went to what I thought would be my favorite spot– Artist Point.
Artist Point is an overlook with picturesque views of the canyon and waterfall– but unfortunately hundreds of other people also thought it would be the best spot in the park.
All right at the same time that we went.
Want to visit other hiking spots near Yellowstone? Check out these 20 Best Hikes in Grand Teton National Park from Red Around the World
This extra-pretty spot was a little too crowded for me, and we ended up taking an unexpected (and far less crowded) hike down into the canyon on Brink of the Lower Falls Trail.
This somewhat strenuous hike led to what was ultimately my favorite part of the park— a view of the Lower Falls from down inside the canyon.
Tip: If you want to go even farther into the canyon, you can hike down Uncle Tom’s Trail.
Towards the end of the first of our two days in Yellowstone– I spotted a mama black bear with her two cubs.
It was adorable.
And since we were safely inside our car, I had fun watching them and snapping photos.
And finally, as we drove out of the park that evening– I finally saw a herd of buffalo.
Insert all the heart-eye emojis you want here.
Day 2: Lower Grand Loop Road
On day two, we headed to the lower loop road in Yellowstone.
We started at Grand Prismatic Spring, which was a pretty impressive way to start the day.
Next, we moved on to Old Faithful– the most famous geyser in the park.
And maybe the most famous geyser in the world?
Funny story– I vividly remember waiting impatiently for Old Faithful to erupt when I was four years old. Four year-old-me was NOT impressed, and was fairly put out that the geyser was late.
So I wasn’t sure if I’d be impressed by Old Faithful this time.
I was completely, 100% impressed.
Next, we hiked up Observation Point Trail, and watched Old Faithful from above as it erupted again.
We finished the day by checking out as many more hot springs and geysers as we could, including the exceptionally pretty Morning Glory pool.
And towards the end of our two days in Yellowstone, I finally got to see some buffalo up close (from the car).
Have you been to Yellowstone? What was your favorite part?
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