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Yellowstone Lake free

Grand Loop Road | Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190 | Official website
Yellowstone Lake Photo info
Nagel Photography/Shutterstock
  • Type: Hiking, Natural Wonders, Recreation, Sightseeing
  • Time to Spend: Half Day to Full Day
Overall Rating: 4.5 (4.7)
Value: 5.0 (5.0)
Facilities: 5.0 (5.0)
Atmosphere: 4.5 (4.5)
About these ratings

Sitting in the heart of Yellowstone National Park is Yellowstone Lake, the park's largest body of water and the largest freshwater lake above 7,000 feet in North America. First visited by Lewis and Clark's scout, John Colter, in the early 1800s, Yellowstone Lake has since become a popular destination among anglers and boaters. Take advantage of your time at Yellowstone Lake to come face to face with some of the park's animal residents, including bison, bald eagles and grizzly bears. During the winter, many animals trek to the more shallow areas of the lake's southern shores, which don't freeze due to the West Thumb's geothermic activity beneath the surface. However, most of the lake freezes over by early December and can stay that way until early June.

Yellowstone Lake is easily accessible from both the park's East and West entrances. The lake is flanked by two villages — Grant Village and Lake Village — which feature visitor centers and eateries.

Consult the National Park Service's Grant Village & West Thumb Areas page for maps of specific points of interest, a listing of ranger-led programs and operating hours.

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