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Hayden Valley, Yellowstone National Park

4.7
#2 of 29 in Wildlife Areas in Wyoming
Wildlife Area Nature / Park
Enter a wildlife paradise at Hayden Valley, an ancient lake bed and the world's largest stomping grounds of free-roaming bison. Take one of the two trails, observe, and be patient. Herds of buffalo, elks, coyotes, and the occasional grizzly bear frequent the area to graze, drink, and feed. The valley abounds with rivers, creeks, and ponds, but fishing is off-limits so just enjoy the views of the waterfowl, including ducks, geese, and pelicans. A number of roadside turn-offs offer sweeping views of the valley. Stick to the path when hiking, since off-trail exploration on foot is forbidden. Use our Yellowstone National Park tourist route planner to add Hayden Valley and other attractions to your Yellowstone National Park vacation plans.
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Where to stay in Yellowstone National Park

As one of the U.S.'s most popular national parks, Yellowstone provides plenty of options for sleeping within its boundaries. Choose from lodges, inns, cabins, hotels, motels, and campgrounds throughout the park. Most of the structured accommodations lie in the park's most-visited areas, such as Mammoth Hot Springs, Tower Falls, Old Faithful Geyser, and Yellowstone Lake. Staying on the northern side of the lake puts you right in the heart of the park, making it relatively convenient to visit other areas. Resorts, lodges, and guest ranches line the road just outside the park's east entrance, and a cluster of motels and hotels fills the town of West Yellowstone near the west entrance. You can also opt for lodges and inns to the north in Gardiner, Montana, or find nearly every type of accommodation to the south in Jackson, Wyoming. Staying outside the park is fine if you plan to drive through in a day and catch the highlights, but you'll want to spend at least one night inside the park if you plan to explore it more thoroughly.
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  • I could spend all day in this area. We were fortunate to see a bear and two wolves here. We stayed at Canyon Lodge and we were able to stay until dusk and safely drive back to our cabin.  more »
  • Traveled through the Hayden Valley on the circle tour of Yellowstone. This Valley is beautiful! On this visit, there was snow on the mountains around the valley, the beautiful Yellowstone river runnin...  more »
  • Beautiful rolling valley. We have seen a lot of bisons in small groups of two or three. A lot of spots along the road to stop and watch the wide life without stopping the tragic.  more »