A 5-Year Olds Guide to Yellowstone

by on March 7th, 2015
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I knew my 5-year-old daughter Heather would love visiting Yellowstone National Park, as she loves animals and rocks and trees and nature. From the minute she saw a buffalo outside of the car window she was hooked into the wonder that is Yellowstone.

We decided to head towards Old Faithful first, stopping on our way to see different mud pots and hot springs. Heather was fascinated with the mud pots, and didn’t complain too much about the smell of sulfur.

At the Old Faithful Visitors Center we signed Heather up for the Junior Ranger program, thinking it would be a good way to keep her interested in visiting the different parts of the park. It worked. She was very excited about seeing the different things listed on her paper, and was so excited when she received her Junior Ranger badge from a real park ranger that she had to give him a hug.

Heather loves meeting new people, and people come from all over the world to visit Yellowstone. She really enjoyed talking to Rene, a Canadian photographer who was taking pictures of Old Faithful. He showed her how his camera worked, and she posed for some pictures.

Heather was also fascinated by the amount of animal poop around the park. We ended up buying her a book on animal scat and tracks so she could learn to identify it. By the end of the week she was an expert at spotting bison scat and elk scat. We found grizzly claw marks on trees, and were lucky enough to see two baby grizzly bears with their mommy.

Her favorite parts of the park were the Paint Pots, Mammoth Hot Springs, Old Faithful, and the Mud Volcano Cauldron. She did not really enjoy the Yellowstone Falls, and to be honest as a mommy I didn’t care for them much either. She was surprisingly good with the port-a-potties, although we were quite thankful when we found places that did have flushing toilets.

Everyone should visit Yellowstone at least two times; once as a child, and again as an adult, with a child.

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