Yellowstone Lake

Yellowstone Lake is one of the largest high-altitude lakes in North America. It is centered over the Yellowstone Caldera, the largest active volcanic system in North America. The lake’s beauty, combined with the area’s abundant wildlife, makes it a popular destination for sightseers and anglers alike.


The Lake was formed approximately 600,000 years ago by a massive volcanic eruption. The lake is believed to have been discovered by John Colter, a member of the Lewis & Clark Expedition, in the early 19th century. Since then, the lake has played a significant role in the exploration and conservation history of the Yellowstone National Park.

How to Get There

Yellowstone Lake is located in the southeast section of Yellowstone National Park. The closest airport is Yellowstone Airport, about 53 miles away. The best way to reach the lake is by car, using the park’s well-maintained road system. Bus tours and private companies also provide transportation to the lake from major nearby towns.

List of Attractions

  • Yellowstone Lake Overlook
  • West Thumb Geyser Basin
  • Yellowstone Lake Boat Tours
  • Fishing at Yellowstone Lake
  • Yellowstone Lake Picnic Area

Ticket Information

Entrance to Yellowstone National Park, which includes Yellowstone Lake, requires a fee. A 7-day pass is $35 for private, non-commercial vehicles. Annual passes for Yellowstone National Park are also available for $70. Various discounts are available for seniors, military members, and students. Fees are subject to change, so it’s best to check the official website for the most up-to-date information.

List of Tips for Visiting

  • Be aware of the high altitude and adjust activities accordingly.
  • Pack warmly, even in summer – temperatures can drop suddenly.
  • Fishing requires a permit – make sure to get one if you plan on angling.
  • Wildlife is abundant, so keep a safe distance and never feed animals.
  • The lake is large, so plan your visit accordingly to see all the attractions.

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