The Oldest National Park Starts Phased Re-Opening This Week. 

Yellowstone’s vast 2.2 million acres holds many opportunities for an active vacation, and there’s plenty of space for isolation.

Located in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, Yellowstone National Park is the first national park, named in 1872, and ideal for active seniors who want to explore the great outdoors. The park is about to be gradually opened up this month. Here’s more information on the re-opening plan.

There’s something surreal about being in Yellowstone. Maybe it’s the millions of years of formation that seem to hold tight to its secrets. When you’re in the park at 8,000 feet of elevation, it evokes a serene sense of calm with lush valleys, jagged buttes, and free-flowing waterfalls.

For seniors who love adventure, the park offers a range of recreational opportunities from hiking, biking and horseback riding to kayaking, white water rafting and fishing. One of the most popular sports is wildlife spotting. When you see a line-up of cars along the highway pulled over to the side, you know there’s something to see. Maybe it’s a herd of bison with their babies, an elk, antelope, or mountain goat. Get your camera out and take some pictures. 

See Old Faithful in All its Glory

When Old Faithful will erupt is predicted on the NPS webcam. Place your bets.

The star of Yellowstone is Old Faithful, erupting on schedule every 35 – 120 minutes and shooting as high as 140 feet in the air. This magnificent geyser in all its splendor lasts between 1 minute, 30 seconds, and five minutes. For those fascinated with statistics, there’s even a clock in the lodge to predict the next eruption. For now, check out the webcam at yellowstone.net/webcams/old-faithful.

With more than 1,000 miles of trails, there’s a hike to challenge you and take you out of your comfort zone. There’s a range of activity for all. Check out the 500-plus geysers in the park with their own schedules, paint pots, calderas, and hydrothermal wonders. Fish enthusiasts will discover the largest population of wild cutthroat trout in North America. Don’t miss the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River with its gorgeous waterfalls that will simply take your breath away.

Lake Yellowstone Hotel: Classic Accommodations with Spectacular Views

Hugging the shores of Yellowstone Lake, the “Lady of the Lake” is a magnificent hotel featuring 158 deluxe rooms, recreating a time of grandeur and elegance. Built in 1891, this historic hotel provides guests with fine dining, a string quartet, and an Inspired by Artist series. The narrow halls, back porch, and Sunroom make you feel like you’re on a cruise ship.

A Range of Accommodations and Dining

Yellowstone offers nine types of lodging from the elegant Lake Yellowstone Hotel to cabins and more rustic lodging for those who prefer something other than a hotel. as a part of the premier Xanterra Travel Collection. Check their website for lodging openings. The Lodges also offer tours and activities guided by Certified Interpretive Guides.

Consider visiting in the shoulder season when crowds are a little thinner. Spring (May – June) welcomes bison and antelope newborns, while bears are out of hibernation. In winter, wolf-watching is popular and the geysers even more spectacular.

Yellowstone will be back this summer.  If you decide to travel, you can get “lost” in its vastness. Talk about getting away from it all.

For group travel and recommendations, check out roadscholar.org, yellowstone vacations.com and www.nps.gov

Yellowstone sits on top a thin part of the earth’s mantel, so hot springs are everywhere, heated by the planet’s core.

Open: South and East entrances in Wyoming, the lower loop of the Grand Loop Road, restrooms, self-service gas stations, trails, and boardwalks in open areas

Closed: Montana entrances, overnight accommodation, full-service dining, commercial tour buses, and ranger programs.

For the most current information, visit www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm.

 

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