Hayden Valley, Yellowstone National Park

4.8
#2 of 8 in Wildlife in Yellowstone National 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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784 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • August 14, 2017
    My husband and I took a trip to Yellowstone in early June before the park got too crowded. Wolves are my absolute favorite and I was hoping to get a chance to see some. Honestly, I didn't expect too s...  more »
  • August 14, 2017
    Hayden Valley is great, but rather than have rangers directing traffic where the bison cross couldn't there be a couple pull-offs and a sign for the rest to slow down to 5mph for the crossing bison? H...  more »
  • August 13, 2017
    In the Hayden Valley, it is possible to observe animals in untouched nature. Buffalo have right of way and just leave the cars of tourists, deer graze and with luck are also predators such as wolves and bears. In the waters there are many water birds such as the White Pelican, Canada goose and whooper Swan.
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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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