Lamar Valley picture1 of 3
Lamar Valley2 of 3
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Price & Hours

Free
24/7 daily

Details

Natural Wonders, Sightseeing, Free Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.3scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 2.5Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Located between Yellowstone's Northeast Entrance and Mammoth Hot Springs in the Tower-Roosevelt Area, Lamar Valley is a wildlife haven. In fact, this valley is often referred to as "America's Serengeti" because it has an abundance of animals. Bison are most commonly spotted here, but you may also catch a glimpse of grizzly bears, pronghorns, bald eagles and wolves. The remnants of a former hot spring are also situated in the eastern part of the valley.

Previous visitors said passing through Lamar Valley is a must. You'll have ample opportunities to see bison. Some may even cross Beartooth Highway (Lamar Valley's main thoroughfare, which also goes by Northeast Entrance Road) at times, so stay alert when driving. If you're looking for a scenic spot to stop for a bite to eat, some travelers suggest packing a picnic lunch to enjoy during your drive. Just remember to never feed or get too close to the valley's animals. The National Park Service recommends staying at least 100 yards away from wolves and bears and 25 or more yards away from other creatures like bison and elk.

Lamar Valley can only be reached by car from May 25 to Oct. 10, when Beartooth Highway is open. You're welcome to visit at any time during this period. There are no attraction admissions, but all park visitors must purchase a seven-day pass before entering the park. Other than a few restrooms and campgrounds, no facilities are available, so consider buying snacks and drinks at the Cooke City Visitor's Center (outside the park's Northeast Entrance) or the Albright Visitor Center (by Mammoth Hot Springs) before visiting. To learn more, check out NPS' Tower-Roosevelt Area page.

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Type
Time to Spend
#1 Old Faithful

The world's most renowned geyser is a must-see for every Yellowstone visitor. Although it isn't the largest geyser in the world, Old Faithful's eruptions are definitely awe-inspiring, averaging around 130 feet high. Like its name suggests, you can count on Old Faithful erupting approximately every hour and a half (the nearby visitors center can provide you with a more accurate schedule). There are several ways to see Old Faithful's power: You can join the hordes of tourists who gather around the perimeter or find a less hectic spot in the nearby Old Faithful Inn's dining room. More adventurous travelers can enjoy the mile-long hike out to Observation Point for a bird's-eye view of the Upper Geyser Basin.

Recent visitors enjoyed seeing Old Faithful, although some felt it wasn't as impressive as other Yellowstone geysers. Many, however, said this geyser is worth checking out. Despite it's fairly predictable schedule, Old Faithful's eruptions occasionally occur sooner than expected, so consider arriving early.

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