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Reader Participation Day: What Brings You To Yellowstone, Wildlife Or Water Works?


Does a successful Yellowstone vacation revolve around spotting wildlife, or counting geysers? NPS photo.

When you sit down to plan your vacation to Yellowstone National Park, do you think first of where best you can view wildlife, or strategize how best to visit all of the park's geothermal areas?

Does a successful visit depend on spotting the big five -- grizzlies, wolves, bison, elk, and moose -- or are you more interesting in seeing eruptions of Old Faithful, Riverside, Castle, and Steamboat, the Holy Grail of Yellowstone's geysers?


Our decisions are based solely on hiking, photography spots and maybe off-roading [but not a requirement].

AND - do I have a Passport stamp for that park?

Wildlife! For me, always, always the wildlife. Unless it's the, definitely the wildlife!

Wildlife over waterworks, but hiking and landscape photo opps trump them all. Besides, you might get them all in a great photo.

Mostly the scenery, the waterfalls, the geysers.  But we'll be on the lookout for wildlife.

My first trip was about the water works....the next 3 trips focused completely on the wildlife.  Seeing 4 out of the big 5 one sunny snow covered day....priceless!!!

I went to Yellowstone because it was a place where I could take my elderly parents and my toddler nephew to see some *guaranteed* spectacles, both geological and biological (and we never had to choose between the two). And like many of the more developed National Parks, the most spectacular sights were also very accessible, with easy trails and plenty of benches.

When I travel by myself, I prefer a lot more seclusion. But when taking my family (or anyone with more limited mobility), I look for accessibility.

I love to look at the landscapes, but have the camera ready for wildlife.

The wildlife, always the wildlife.  Spring for the new babies - elk and bison, fall for the bugling elk.  Always a new experience, and sometimes not at all what's expected.  Last fall we spent three days anticipating bugling elk, but only came across one.  Disappointing, but that's nature.    Yellowstone is only 3 hours away from where I live, so it's a place we visit often.

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