Must-See Places in Yellowstone National Park for Yellowstone TV Show Fans
Americans are loving the western drama Yellowstone. Starring Kevin Costner, this TV series is stocked full of greed, suspense, fury, and a pinch of passionate romance. John Dutton possesses a deep dedication to preserving his family’s land, the Dutton Ranch, one of the largest cattle ranches in America. The fictional Dutton Ranch is situated near Bozeman, Montana and Yellowstone National Park, making the park and rural Montana a hot spot for fans.
If you’re a Yellowstone fan looking for a fun adventure in a new, breathtaking American destination, think no further about where to book your vacation! You’re headed to Yellowstone National Park. There are phenomenal things to do in this area for outdoor lovers, hunters, whiskey connoisseurs, hikers, and scenic drive enthusiasts. Here are some of the best places to visit in America’s oldest national park!
Top Places to Visit in (and Near) Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone fans will definitely want to check out these places located outside of the park in Montana.
Chief Joseph Ranch a.k.a Dutton Ranch
While the famous fictional Dutton Ranch of Yellowstone is located right next to the famous national park, it was filmed at a real ranch in remote Montana called the Chief Joseph Ranch. Located in Darby, Montana, this historic guest ranch operates as a cabin getaway for guests interested in spending a day viewing frontier life through Duttons’ eyes. This ranch sits on approximately 2,500 acres and holds a unique indigenous history filled with stories of war, homesteading, and cattle ranching.
The tiny, charming town of Darby sits within the beautiful Bitterroot mountains and is a popular place to host national sporting events and competitions. With resorts, local shopping and dining, and stunning natural beauty, your visit to Darby will be well worth traversing out into the middle of these vast, open spaces. Darby is a four and half hour drive from West Yellowstone, so buckle up for a long, gorgeous, peaceful ride. Also, you’re likely to see ample wildlife in this neck of the woods!
The city of Bozeman sits about 80 miles north of the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Known for its outdoor adventure opportunities like fly fishing, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, hunting, and skiing, Bozeman will keep you and your family entertained with exploration opportunities. Surrounded by the beautiful Rockies, you’ll likely catch glimpses of large wildlife like moose, elk, deer, and even grizzly bears!
Yellowstone’s Dutton Ranch is based near Bozeman, Montana, even though it was primarily filmed in Darby, Montana at Chief Joseph Ranch. There were some scenes shot in downtown Bozeman, though, so if you make it to this charming western city, you will spot some familiar places. Downtown Bozeman is home to quite a few great bars and restaurants. Be sure to stop by the Copper Whiskey Bar and Grill or Bozeman Spirits Distillery for a whiskey glass full of wild west whiskey. And check out this Yellowstone whiskey glass to remind you of the memories made while exploring the real-life places of this great American TV show.
Yellowstone National Park
America’s oldest national park is divided into eight sections.
- Mammoth Hot Springs and the North
- Tower-Roosevelt and the Northeast
- Canyon Village
- Fishing Bridge, Lake Village, Bridge Bay and the East
- West Thumb, Grant Village and the South
- Old Faithful
- Madison and West Yellowstone
Here are some of the most stunning features and attractions of this incredible national park.
Old Faithful is the number one attraction at Yellowstone National Park. This cone geyser was the first geyser in the park to receive a name back in 1870 during the Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition. Geysers are vents on Earth’s surface that intermittently discharge a stream of hot water and steam. Yellowstone National Park is full of these unique features, but Old Faithful erupts more frequently than any other big, well-known geyser. This phenomenon is believed to be partially due to no known connection with other nearby thermal features. Visitors can rely on this unique, well-timed feature to erupt every 44 minutes to two hours! Many visitors plan the timing of their arrival to this section of the park based on when Old Faithful will spew hot water. Lasting between a minute and a half and five minutes, Old Faithful’s eruption soars up to 180 feet!
Mammoth Hot Springs
This unique thermal feature looks like an inside-out cave! Mammoth Hot Springs is composed of soft limestone that grew travertine formations relatively quickly compared to other types of rock formations in the area. After a winter at Yellowstone, snowmelt seeps into the area and is warmed by the molten magma chamber underground. This chamber is the remains of a cataclysmic volcanic eruption from 600,000 years ago. The hot water interacts with hot gases and carbon dioxide to form a carbonic acid solution that continues to mold and develop the limestone features of this stunning attraction. You can stroll along the upper and lower terraces near this attraction to spot this gorgeous, colorful Yellowstone oddity.
Grand Prismatic Spring
The Grand Prismatic Spring is the largest hot spring in the United States at 370 feet in diameter with depths of up to 160 feet. Its iconic rainbow color boasts bold rings of orange, yellow, green, and blue that come from the different bacteria species living in the spring. This scalding hot spring reaches temperatures of up to 189 degrees Fahrenheit and is far too hot to sustain most life forms. Check out this beautiful feature during the morning in the summertime to view the brightest colors and beat the midday crowds.
Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
This incredible attraction is a large canyon on the Yellowstone River downstream of Yellowstone Falls, Wyoming. Approximately 24 miles long and up to 1,200 feet deep, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone is home to beautiful hiking trails, grand waterfalls, and dramatic overlooks. The
jaw-dropping views of this attraction can be found in the Canyon Village section of the park.
When the volcanic eruption occurred in Yellowstone over 600,000 years ago, the underground magma chamber formed a giant caldera filled with lava and sediments. After thousands of years of flowing lava, hydrothermal activity softened the rocks. The Yellowstone River, Lower Falls, Upper Falls, and other waterfalls filled the volcanic rock canyon, widening and deepening the canyon that you can see today.
Upper Geyser Basin
Upper Geyser Basin has the highest concentration of geysers in the world. Within one square mile, most of the geysers of this area are packed together and can be viewed along a long boardwalk trail. Some of the most famous geysers along this unique walk are Old Faithful, Beehive Geyser, Giantess Geyser, Grand Geyser, and Castle Geyser. Plus, you’ll spot beautiful hydrothermal rainbow basins of color, like the Morning Glory Pool.
If you love wildlife, this section of Yellowstone National Park poses some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities. Found in the northeastern portion of the park along Lamar River, Lamar Valley is home to gray wolves, bison, elk, deer, coyote, bears, and pronghorn antelope. This beautiful destination is the perfect nature and wildlife sightseeing opportunity amid rolling grassy valleys and far-off mountainous landscapes. Be aware that you’ll probably be driving slowly and peacefully, as animal crossings are frequent!
Enjoy your visit to one of the most beautiful locations in the western United States!