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How to Spend 3 Days in Yellowstone National Park

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How to Spend 3 Days in Yellowstone National Park
With three days to spend, you can enjoy all that Yellowstone National Park has to offer. Tour the park's natural sights, including lakes, rivers, and hydrothermal features, and dine on locally sourced cuisine in the park's historic lodges. Here's what you need to know to enjoy three days in Yellowstone.

Day 1: Park Sightseeing
On your first day in Yellowstone National Park, discover the park's must-see attractions on a guided tour. Whether you opt for a private or group tour, expect to visit Mammoth Hot Springs, the colorful mud pots in the Lower Geyser Basin, and the soaring waterfalls of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Along the way, use your binoculars to spot local wildlife, such as elk and bison. If you're lucky, you might even sight a pack of wolves when exploring Lamar Valley, in the Northern Range of the park. End your first day back at your hotel—most tours include hassle-free hotel drop-off—or book a 2-day excursion to stay overnight in the park. 

Day 2: Outdoor Adventure
After a day taking in the park's top sights, spend your second day enjoying an adventure on the water. Thrill seekers can head out on the Yellowstone River for a guided whitewater-rafting adventure, while adventurous travelers shouldn't miss an overnight rafting expedition complete with stargazing free of light pollution. Those who like a slower pace might opt for a daylong kayak excursion on Yellowstone Lake, taking in the rugged landscape and spotting wildlife along the shore. Winter visitors can opt for a thrilling snowmobile adventure, traversing miles of snow-covered forest and seeing top park sights with fewer people than in peak summer months. 

Day 3: Panoramic Views and Historic Dining
Finish your time in the park with a day hiking up Mount Washburn, taking in views of the snow-capped mountains and expansive valleys from the lookout at the top. This popular day-hike destination is the perfect place to start your day—or enjoy a postlunch excursion. Alternatively, head to the Tower area of the park for a hike among the petrified forests. After a day of hiking, refuel with a meal at one of the park's historic lodges. The Old Faithful Inn Dining Room is a standout for its exposed wood and stately stone fireplace, while Lake Yellowstone Hotel, on the north side of the lake, is the perfect place for white-tablecloth dining and regional ingredients, such as Montana lamb and local Wagyu beef.
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Yellowstone National Park Tours & Activities (8)
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Yellowstone Old Faithful Full-Day Snowmobile Tour from Jackson HoleDay Trips

Yellowstone Old Faithful Full-Day Snowmobile Tour from Jackson Hole

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Experience winter in Yellowstone National Park on a full-day snowmobile tour from Jackson Hole. You'll cover about 90 miles (145km) on your round-trip journey by snowmobile, and have the chance to see the Old Faithful geyser and other geothermal wonders, native wildlife of Wyoming, vast tracts of snow-covered forest, and landmarks like Moose Falls, West Thumb geyser basin, and Fountain Paint Pots. Includes hot breakfast, lunch, snowmobiling gear and guide, and hotel pickup and drop-off from Jackson Hole and Teton Village.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$280.00 
From  
$280.00 
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Scenic Float on the Yellowstone RiverTubing

Scenic Float on the Yellowstone River

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Succumb to the serenity of the Yellowstone River during a scenic 2-hour float on an inflated raft. With a professional guide, meander 6 miles past stunning scenery and incredible wildlife while listening to informative commentary. Bring a waterproof camera in order to capture photographs of Osprey birds and the magnificent Gallatin Mountains as you cruise down the beautiful river. This excursion is perfect for families with young children, and for those who prefer a more relaxed alternative to white water rafting.
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  • 2 hours
From  
$50.00 
From  
$50.00 
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  • 2 hours

2-Day Yellowstone National Park from Jackson with Upper and Lower LoopNature and Wildlife

2-Day Yellowstone National Park from Jackson with Upper and Lower Loop

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Discover the wildlife, geysers, and history of Yellowstone National Park on a 2-day tour that includes overnight accommodation at a hot springs resort, subject to availability. Two day gives you ample time to explore both the Upper and Lower Loop of Yellowstone, meaning you can explore at a more relaxed pace than traditional full-day tours. Watch the Old Faithful Geyser in action; go on short hikes, and look for animals like bison, bear, and wolves. Includes one night of accommodation, lunch, guide, transportation, and hotel pickup and drop-off from Jackson, Wyoming.
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  • 2 days
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$717.95 
From  
$717.95 
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  • 2 days
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Yellowstone Lower Loop Guided Tour from Cody, WyomingDay Trips

Yellowstone Lower Loop Guided Tour from Cody, Wyoming

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With the guidance of a professional photographer and naturalist, you'll be able to get the most out of your visit to Yellowstone National Park. This 12-hour tour takes you to some of the best wildlife viewing areas, as well as Old Faithful and the Upper Geyser Basin with a small group of just 7 people. Snacks, breakfast, and round-trip transportation from Cody, Wyoming hotels are included.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$287.21 
From  
$287.21 
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Kayak Day Paddle on Yellowstone LakeKayaking

Kayak Day Paddle on Yellowstone Lake

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Explore the rocky shores and tranquil waters of Yellowstone Lake on a 6-hour kayak tour with a professional guide. Climb into either a single or double kayak and then set out to discover the beauty of Yellowstone Lake at a relaxed pace. Scour the rugged shores for native wildlife like elk, moose and bison; watch otters frolic in the warm waters of the lake; appease your appetite with a delicious picnic lunch; and paddle beside the West Thumb Geyser Basin to see incredible geothermic features. No previous kayaking experience is necessary for this enjoyable excursion.
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  • 6 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$220.78 
From  
$220.78 
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  • 6 hours
  • Taking safety measures

2 Hour Rafting on the Yellowstone RiverRafting

2 Hour Rafting on the Yellowstone River

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Appease your appetite for adventure on a 2-hour rafting adventure of the Yellowstone River from Gardiner. Experience the exhilaration of rafting on the frenetic rapids of the Yellowstone River while admiring the spectacular scenery of Yellowstone National Park. Allow a professional guide to direct you to paddle hard and fast over thrilling rapids and, when you reach calmer sections of the water, stop for a refreshing swim in the Yellowstone River.  
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  • 2 hours
From  
$50.00 
From  
$50.00 
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  • 2 hours

Full Day Rafting on the Yellowstone RiverRafting

Full Day Rafting on the Yellowstone River

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Experience the exhilaration of rafting on the Yellowstone River on a half-day rafting trip from Gardiner. Under the guidance of an expert instructor, paddle on rapids classified as Class II and III and admire the beautiful scenery of the Gallatin National Forest. Discover the rugged beauty of Yankee Jim Canyon and revitalize with a delicious picnic lunch midway through your adventure. Allow a professional photographer to capture photos of your unforgettable day and opt to purchase the mementos when your tour concludes.
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  • 5 hours
From  
$99.00 
From  
$99.00 
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  • 5 hours

Overnight Raft Trip on the Yellowstone RiverOvernight Tours

Overnight Raft Trip on the Yellowstone River

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Get a comprehensive experience of the Yellowstone River during a scenic overnight raft trip. With a guide, float past stunning scenery, starting with a calm stretch of river and a picnic lunch before hitting some whitewater action. Afterward, arrive at your campsite for dinner, stargazing, and roasted marshmallows.
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  • 1 day
From  
$320.00 
From  
$320.00 
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  • 1 day