Some 350 miles of paved road wind through the park, crossing the Continental Divide three times and looks much like a figure 8; the upper and the lower grand loops. There are 7 major areas or districts, within Yellowstone National Park where the majority of the major attractions are found. Most will be located on the lower loop.
Below is the listing of the 7 districts, an overview of what you will find in each and a more specific sampling of the attractions in each district.
The Madison district is best known for its fly-fishing, and wildlife.
- Lower Geyser Basin / Fountain Paint Pots
The Lower Geyser Basin is scattered over a fairly large area and features regularly erupting geysers, hot springs, and a fascinating mud pool, which often strikes visitors as something from another world.
- Madison River
The Madison River flows between Madison and West Yellowstone and offers one of the most scenic entrances to the park. Pull off the road for a picnic or to test your luck at fishing.
Old Faithful district is where you will spend most of your time viewing geysers, hot springs, steam vents "fumaroles", and paint pots, views along the Firehole River as well as wildlife.
- Predictable Geysers
The naturalist staff predicts only five major geysers regularly. They are Castle, Grand, Daisy, Riverside, and Old Faithful.
- Old Faithfull Inn
The building is a rustic log and wood-frame structure with gigantic proportions: nearly 700 feet in length and seven stories high.
- Visitor Education Center
One of the most informational centers in the park, you'll enjoy a movie theater, shop, and many interesting exhibits.
- Lower Hamilton Store
Built in 1897; this is the oldest structure in the Old Faithful area still in use.
- Nez Perce Creek Wayside
This exhibit tells the story of the flight of the Nez Perce through Yellowstone in 1877.
- Firehole River
The river derives its name from the steam (which they thought was smoke from fires) witnessed by early trappers to the area.
The Lake District would include Yellowstone Lake as well as hot springs, fumaroles, and possibly bears.
- Yellowstone Lake
This is the largest high-altitude lake in the lower 48 states, and it is breathtaking.
- West Thumb Geyser Basin
This geyser basin features some interesting thermal features, including several, which are in Yellowstone Lake itself. It also offers a good view of the Lake.
- Lake Yellowstone Hotel
The Lake Yellowstone Hotel is Yellowstone's oldest surviving hotel that is still in use. Lake Yellowstone Hotel was first started serving guests in 1891.
Within the Canyon district you will find one of the better high elevation grazing meadows in Yellowstone; Hayden Valley. Large bison herds roam this area. The Canyon district is also known for its famous waterfalls, deep canyon, high elevation mountain pass and sweeping vistas as well as bears, elk and other wildlife.
- The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is one of the more impressive sights found in Yellowstone Park and one of the most popular. It is famous for its colors, shapes, and waterfalls.
The Norris district will include Norris Geyser basin, one of the more dynamic geothermal basins within Yellowstone as well as open meadow scenes with wildlife and views along the Gibbon River.
- Norris Geyser Basin
Norris Geyser Basin is one of Yellowstone's most popular geyser basins; Norris is home to Steamboat (the world's tallest geyser).
Mammoth district is home to Yellowstone Park headquarters and historical buildings as well as wildlife, and the famous travertine terraces.
- Mammoth Hot Springs
Mammoth Hot Springs are the main attraction of the Mammoth District. These features are quite different from thermal areas elsewhere in the park. The thermal activity here has formed terraces, which appear yellow in color and often have herds of elk meandering on them
The Tower / Roosevelt district is best known for its wildlife, waterfall and river scene as well as geologic evidence left behind by past volcanic eruptions. This district is considered to be the lower elevation for Yellowstone, and is spring/winter range for numerous species of wildlife.
- Tower Fall
This is the most popular waterfall in Yellowstone other than the Lower Falls of the Grand Canyon.
- Lamar Valley
One of the most scenic valleys in the park and great for viewing wildlife.
And Wildlife Everywhere
Yellowstone Park is also home to abundant and varied wildlife, unlike anywhere else in America. Nearly all wildlife species that inhabited the park when it was first explored over 100 years ago survive today.