Old Faithful geyser. Start with the park’s iconic geyser, which spouts on average once every 91 minutes, shooting as much as 8,400 gallons of boiling water as much as 184 feet into the air. But don’t ignore the other stars of Upper Geyser Basin: trails lead you to Beehive and Grand geysers and up the hill to Observation Point. (See Best Yellowstone hikes.)
Old Faithful Inn. Enormous Old Faithful Inn was built in 1904 and is as much a landmark as the geyser it’s named for. Join a tour of the hotel, or grab a snack from the Bear Paw deli and sit and gape at the multi-storied log lobby with its imposing stone fireplace.
Norris Geyser Basin. Norris geyser basin has some terrific examples of its namesake, notably Steamboat Geyser, tallest in the world, and also the interesting Norris Geyser Basin Museum.
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Artist Thomas Moran’s paintings of this canyon, with its Upper and Lower Yellowstone Falls, helped make Yellowstone a national park. One look and you understand why. The canyon is one of the great sights in the world, and the only bad thing about it is how hard it is to tear yourself away. Short trails lead to observation stations at Inspiration Point and Lookout Point.
Hayden Valley. Hayden Valley is one of the best places in the park to see wildlife―bison, elk, coyote, grizzly bear―especially early in the morning and again toward dusk.