This is our most popular tour and has a greater emphasis on the park's geology and Yellowstone's amazing thermal features including time spent in the “Upper Geyser Basin” home to the world's greatest concentration of geysers including Old Faithful. During this tour, we visit Sylvan Lake, Yellowstone Lake, Hayden Valley, Mud Volcano, Sulfur Cauldron, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Upper and Lower Falls, Gibbon Falls, Fountain Paint Pots, Grand Prismatic Hot Spring, Emerald Pool, Old Faithful and much more Wildlife viewing can also be excellent on this loop as we travel through the beautiful Hayden Valley.
Locations Visited on the Lower Loop Tour:
After enterring the East Gate of Yellowstone National Park we’ll travel over the stunning beauty of Sylvan Pass at an elevation of 8530″. This is a rocky alpine environment surrounded by rugged ten thousand foot peaks peaks of the Absaroka Mountains
This beautiful alpine Lake often makes for a dramatic early morning image with rugged Notch Peak reflected in the lakes mirror smooth surface.
Lake Butte Overlook
We'll take in a fabulous view of Yellowstone Lake from an elevation of 8248′ nearly 700′ above the lake. From here we can see the extent of the Caldera and marvel at the size of the park. We often find dusky grouse and occasionally grizzly bears, mule deer, elk and other wildlife at this inspirational location.
A serene valley where Pelican Creek flows into Lake Yellowstone. This area is known for its wildlife. We’ll often see elk, grizzly bears abundant waterfowl sandhill cranes and of course pelicans.
Here the Yellowstone River exits Yellowstone Lake and free flows 674 miles before emptying into the Missouri River in North Dakota. It's a great place to watch the cutthroat trout in the clear waters of the Yellowstone River from the bridge. We often see white pelicans, osprey, waterfowl, river otters and other wildlife at this location.
We’ll drive through the beautiful Hayden Valley with wildlife stops when necessary. This is prime viewing area for grizzly bears, wolves, bison, elk and other wildlife.
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
We stop at a number of viewing areas of both the Upper and Lower Falls. This 24-mile-long canyon is up to 1200″ deep. We can also see wildlife in the area including nesting osprey.
Norris Geyser Basin
The hottest geyser basin in the park and is the location of the world’s tallest geyser Steamboat Geyser.
Going south we pass Gibbon Falls a photogenic 84′ waterfall on the Gibbon River
Fountain Paint Pots & Firehole Lake Drive
Erupting geysers, beautiful hot springs, fascinating mud pots are all in abundance here.
Midway Geyser Basin
Home of famous and world's largest hot spring “Grand Prismatic”.
Old Faithful Area
The Upper Geyser Basin has the world’s largest concentration of geysers and thermal features including Old Faithful. We occasionally get to observe other large geysers erupting such as Lion, Beehive and Grand Geysers while we are there. You will have a chance to visit the famous Old Faithful Inn and wonder at its amazing architecture.
We’ll visit Kepler Cascades, travel over the continental divide at 8262′ Craig Pass and get a view of the remote Shoshone Lake
A unique and picturesque lakeside thermal area, home to the famous fishing cone.
We’ll travel along the entire western side of Yellowstone Lake searching for wildlife along the way.