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What To Look For When Hiking In Yellowstone Park

a brown bear walking across a grass covered field

If you’re planning to go hiking in Yellowstone Park, you may already have your itinerary set. As with many visitors, we expect that you’ve included a visit to Old Faithful. Seeing a few elk and bison probably ranks high on your list too.

But there are other epic moments awaiting you inside this scenic wilderness — ones that are lesser known yet just as thrilling. A few of them are only found in this 34,000-plus square acres that help to make up one of the last temperate eco-systems on Earth.

Endemic Plant Species

Endemic plants are ones that are restricted to a certain area of the world, and Yellowstone boasts three. If you spot any one of these while hiking in Yellowstone, feel privileged. These plants grow nowhere else on the entire planet.

  • Yellowstone Sand Verbena — Found along the banks of Yellowstone Lake
  • Ross’s Bentgrass — Found near the geyser basins of the Firehole River
  • Yellowstone Sulphur Wild Buckwheat — Found in the Firehole River Drainage Area
  • Find photos and descriptions of these three rare plants on the National Park Service website, and familiarize yourself with their appearance so you have a chance at spotting them during your Scenic Safaris’ hike.

Native American Influence

Long before exploration brought tourists to this area, Yellowstone was inhabited by the Cheyenne, Kiowa, Bannock, Shoshone, Nez Perce, Blackfoot and Crow nations. Back then, the mighty Yellowstone River was often called the Yellow Rock Water for the yellow-colored rocks found here. If you look closely, you’ll still see reminders of those First People from so long ago.

Many of the roads in Yellowstone were formed by ancient animal trails that were made more pronounced by the Native Americans who hunted them. And while you’ll want to keep your distance should you see an actual grizzly bear while hiking in Yellowstone, it’s interesting to note that America’s First People considered them great healers, guardians and grandfathers.

Remember to look for these hidden treasures while hiking in Yellowstone with your Scenic Safaris’ guide. It will make your experience that much more magical. Contact us to book your tour today.