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Find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about Yellowstone National Park
Notes: Yellowstone is such a large and diverse park, touring (even by vehicle) will take some time, and it should not be rushed if you want to get the full impact of this wonderfully unique area. The primary road within the park is the Grand Loop Road, a 142-mile loop that forms a giant figure '8' within the park. Each area of the park varies greatly from the next, and you would be doing yourself a disservice if you did not take time to experience and enjoy them all. The first stop that most visitors to the park make is the Geyser Basin area, home to the Old Faithful Geyser and several other famous features, you will certainly want to allow yourself plenty of time in this area to watch Old Faithful erupt, and to tour both the Old Faithful Inn and the Old Faithful Lodge. Both of these magnificent hotels are national historic landmarks and you will want to take the time to visit them both while you are in the area. The geyser basin area also includes the Old Faithful Visitors Center and several gift shops that you will want to spend some time exploring. There are many other geothermal features throughout this area as well with trails and boardwalks leading around and through them so you will want to plan plenty of time for off-road exploration in this area of the park. Further north you will find Mammoth Hot Springs area where you will fine the stunning terrace formations that make up the Mammoth Hot Springs. Not far from the Mammoth Hot Springs feature is the small tourist village that shares the name. The Mammoth Hot Springs village carries a lot of history in it's own right. Fort Yellowstone which is located at Mammoth Hot Springs was the administrative headquarters of the US military between 1886 and 1918. While the area is not under military control today, it is a National Historic Landmark, and features a remarkable collection of old stone buildings and residential complexes. Other features of the Mammoth area include the Gardner River and the Gardner River Canyon and the Boiling River where you can bathe in the warm pools where a large hot spring mixes with the cool waters of the Gardner River to form bathing pools that are just the right temperature for a relaxing soak. If you want to enjoy all the fun features of this area and possibly take a relaxing soak in the bathing pools, you should plan at least half a day to a day in the Mammoth Hot Springs area. While in the Roosevelt area of the park you should take time to visit the Petrified Tree, (a free standing 'petrified trunk' of an ancient Redwood tree), as well as the Specimen Ridge where you can find other petrified examples of an ancient forest that used to dominate the area. The 132-foot Tower Fall is also a very popular highlight of the area. The Canyon region of the park is where you will find the infamous and beautiful Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, as well as the Yellowstone Falls. If you are not on a tight time budget consider a boating or fishing trip on Yellowstone Lake. This lake is huge, covering 136 square miles with a maximum depth of nearly 400 feet! Boats can be rented for touring and recreation on the lake, and there are interpretive boat tours offered as well. While in the Yellowstone Lake area, you should take time to visit the Lake Yellowstone Hotel as well. This beautiful historic old hotel was originally built in 1891 and largely expanded in 1903. The hotel is a multi-story structure with 296 guestrooms and and many historic features.
There are many activity guides and outfitters in the area and you can choose from a large variety of activities to enhance your time in and around the park. Some of the possible options include horseback rides, boating, fishing, interpretive hikes and tours, whitewater rafting, chuckwagon dinners, bicycling, stagecoach rides, bus tours and more. During the winter the park Yellowstone area is popular for snowmobiling, snow-coach tours, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and more.
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Cellular service is very limited in Yellowstone National Park, especially in the summer months when the towers get overwhelmed by all the visitors to the park. At the Albright Visitor Center in Mammoth Hot Springs, free WiFi is available. Most lodges offer WiFi to registered guests.
Pets are not allowed in thermal areas, in the backcountry, on trails, or boardwalks. Pets may only be in developed areas and must remain within 100 feet (30.5 meters) of roads, and parking areas. You can not leave your pet unattended or tied up to an object. Pets must be on a leash no longer than six feet (1.8 meters) at all times. Owners must clean up after their pets.
Due to the freezing temperatures swimming in the lakes and rivers is not recommended and is very dangerous plus soaking in the thermal features is illegal. North of Mammoth Hot Springs there is an area called Boiling River that allows soaking in the Gardner River near the outflow, no soaking is allowed in the feature itself. Soaking is allowed during daylight hours and at your own risk.
Yes, you can find electric vehicle charging stations throughout the park at these locations:
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