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Park Itineraries

Best 2-Day Yellowstone Vacation Itinerary

See wildlife, geysers and mountains views.

Only have two days? Make the most of your time by visiting some of our favorite spots in the park.


DAY ONE

View Wildlife in the Hayden and Lamar Valleys

These grassy valleys supports huge numbers of bison, grizzly bears, elk, coyotes, wolves, moose and bald eagles. For your best chance of seeing a wolf, get up before sunrise and head to the Lamar Valley in the park’s northeast corner. Use binoculars or a scope at pullouts.

Bison herd in Yellowstone
Bison herd in Yellowstone. Adobe Stock

Stroll the Midway Geyser Basin

Head to Midway Geyser Basin and walk along the boardwalk to see one of the world’s largest, deepest hot springs, Grand Prismatic Spring. It’s larger than a football field at 370 feet across and deeper than a 10-story building at 125 feet.

A lone bison at Yellowstone’s Grand Prismatic
A lone bison at Yellowstone’s Grand Prismatic. Doug Palmer

Watch Old Faithful

Take a seat and watch the world’s most famous geyser. It erupts about 20 times a day. The front desk of the Old Faithful Inn posts eruption times. It’s just minutes from Old Faithful Inn and sits right behind the visitor center.

Aerial view of Old Faithful geyser
Aerial view of Old Faithful geyser. NPS/Jim Peaco

Dine at Old Faithful Inn

A trip to Yellowstone would not be complete without seeing the largest log structure in the world built from 1903-04. It’s a stunning hotel worth visiting if for no other reason than to experience its lobby and check out its architecture.  Old Faithful Inn Dining Room will be open this summer (reservations are required for dinner), as will the Old Faithful Geyser Grill and Old Faithful Inn Bear Paw Deli. At the grill, you can order burgers, chicken sandwiches, salads, beer and wine until 5 p.m. every day.

Old Faithful Inn Dining Room
Old Faithful Inn Dining Room. Shutterstock

If you’re planning for a 2022 vacation, it’s important to know that the Old Faithful Inn dining room offers breakfast and lunch are first- come, first-served, but you need to make dinner reservations in advance. Don’t have reservations? Enjoy a drink and appetizers in the Bear Pit Lounge. For up-to-date information, go to Yellowstone National Park Lodges.


DAY TWO

Cruise Tower Road and Hike Mt. Washburn

South from Roosevelt Lodge, stop at the 132-foot Tower Fall. Then drive up the 8,859 foot Dunraven Pass. At the top, park and hike the 3.1-mile (one way) trail to Mt. Washburn’s 10,243-foot summit. Be sure to start your hike early in the day to avoid being on the exposed trail when frequent summer afternoon thunderstorms roll in.

 

Hikers on the Mount Washburn Trail in Yellowstone. Photo by Grant Ordelheide
Hikers on the Mount Washburn Trail in Yellowstone. Grant Ordelheide

Eat at Roosevelt Lodge

Built in 1920, Roosevelt Lodge, one of the park’s most charming restaurants, has a front porch with rocking chairs to sit upon and have a drink. Inside the authentic log cabin is food for every dietary need. This classic restaurant does not take reservations, so it’s first-come, first served.

Roosevelt Lodge Dining Room. Photo by NPS David Restivo.
Roosevelt Lodge Dining Room. NPS David Restivo

See Mammoth Hot Springs

Walk on a mile-long boardwalk to see the colorful travertine terraces formed by hot springs rising to the surface and depositing dissolved limestone in dramatic patterns. Reach the Upper Terraces via a staircase.

The boardwalk at Yellowstone's Mammoth Hot Springs.
The boardwalk at Yellowstone’s Mammoth Hot Springs. Grant Ordelheide

Dine by the Lake

Feast on wild game, fresh fish or steak in the Lake Yellowstone Hotel’s elegant dining room (reservations required for dinner).  For a more casual experience, head to Lake Lodge Wylie’s Canteen. Check Yellowstone Park Lodges for up-to-date details.

Lake Hotel in Yellowstone
Lake Hotel in Yellowstone. Grant Ordelheide