Were you aware that it only takes an hour and a half to drive from Rexburg to Yellowstone National Park? Yes, you live less than two hours away from the largest super-volcano in North America.
People from all around the world travel to visit the insane natural phenomenon of Yellowstone. You’d be crazy to be local and not explore this park. Will you join the tourists this summer?
Yellowstone Wildlife: It’s a Natural Zoo
Home to hundreds of different species of birds, fish, mammals, and even some reptiles, Yellowstone will spark your inner-Steve Irwin to adventure. Give a more-than-respectful distance from the more dangerous carnivores and nope-noodles (snakes) and have a great time fathoming wildlife’s treasures.
Bears and Wolves
That old saying of “Everything is bigger in America” rings true when in context with these bears and wolves. On average, Yellowstone grizzlies are 3.3 ft tall at the shoulder, 6.5 feet long, and weigh 600 pounds. The wolves can be 6 feet long and weigh 110 pounds. After spotting them, there’s no question why early European settlers were terrified and in complete awe of these gigantic, meat-eating beauties.
Both wolves and grizzly bears can only be found during the early hours in Lamar Valley and Hayden (eastern side of the park about 3-4 hours from Rexburg). However, if you miss that window, there’s still a chance to see these incredible American predators around the park or up-close at Rexburg’s local nature park Bear World.
Elk, Moose, Bison, and More
It’s a bit easier to spot other animals in Yellowstone like elk, moose, bison, deer, rodents, birds, and a few types of snakes and lizards. Yellowstone is home to the world’s oldest bison herd, thousands of elk, and hundreds of moose.
Remember that a gentle-looking moose or buffalo can be incredibly territorial and can easily do far more damage than an angry bull-cow. Both a moose and a buffalo can weigh around 1500 pounds; just don’t take your chances and do something you’ll regret. But definitely, take your camera and admire their peaceful American beauty from a respectful distance.
Volcanic Geysers, Mud Pots, and More
Geysers and Beyond-Boiling Water Features
Old Faithful is definitely the most famous geyser at the park, but remember there are hundreds of others to look at, listen to, and smell. Summer 2018 may be your chance to see the grand Steamboat geyser erupt, as it’s already erupted five times this year. It’s a spectacularly larger explosion than Old Faithful but is unpredictable. Be sure to stop by the Mammoth Hot Springs, Upper Geyser Basin, the Grand Prismatic Spring, and the Castle Geyser (this feature screams like a train when erupting).
Mud Pots and Paint Pots
These hot springs are something out of the world of Alice and Wonderland. The acidic nature of these hot springs dissolves organic matter and turns it into bubbling pots of mud and clay. They are found in a number of colors and sizes but don’t vary too much in the smell.
A few of the geysers and basins are best seen from remote locations off the road. Hike the Fairy Falls trail to spot the Grand Prismatic Basin (from afar), a waterfall, and a few other geysers. Due to the possibilities of either hiking only the 1.75-mile long loop or the 8-mile loop, no matter who you are with, you can find a use of the trail. There are many other hiking trails available throughout the park, but whichever you choose, remember to stay on it at all times!
Old Faithful Inn
This beautiful lodge has been around since 1904 just a few hundred feet away from the famous geyser, Old Faithful. Its iconic wooden architecture resembles a gigantic cabin castle. With an amazing restaurant in the basement and a legendary ice cream shop, this is a fantastic stop in Yellowstone. Or better yet, plan to stay for a night or two at this luxurious hotel. Keep an eye out for the Headless Bride ghost too, because what’s an iconic hotel without a ghost story?
Stay Safe and Have a Blast
Remember to stay safe while visiting Yellowstone. People and animals die every year by accidentally falling into a basin, geyser, or hot spring. Stay on the sidewalks and marked trails; the volcanic crust separating you from death is thin. Like, thinner than a dry chocolate-chip cookie in some places. Also, don’t feed the bears or wolves and expect to live. Either the bear or park ranger will eat you for breakfast.
Stay safe and have fun and take advantage of the beautiful phenomenon of Yellowstone National Park just an hour and a half north of Rexburg.
Photo Credits: Stephen Ott
Check out some of the other great things to do near Rexburg.