The stunning filming location in Montana offers fresh inspiration to visit this wild part of our country.
Yellowstone National Park Wyoming
Credit: Getty Images

Tonight, the Paramount Network (formerly SpikeTV) debuts its new series, "Yellowstone," which follows cutthroat ranch owner Josh Dutton (Kevin Costner) as he fights to keep his land from incursions by land developers, claims from the land's original inhabitants and a nearby Indian reservation, and even the National Park at the property's edge.

Filmed in Montana, the show captures the beauty of some of the nation’s wildest landscapes. While the series’ violence, corruption, and family drama might not have you packing your bags for Yellowstone, the scenery definitely will — and you won’t be alone.

July is the park’s busiest season, accounting for about 24 percent of the average annual visits. To avoid large crowds, arrive soon after sunrise to experience the popular geyser basins. Then, take a hike. Even if a trail is popular, it’s unlikely that you will have other hikers directly on your tail.

The Mt. Washburn trail is about 6 miles round trip and makes for a perfect day hike. In July, the wildflowers are in abundance and views at the peak (10,243 feet) span 20 to 50 miles. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a few bighorn sheep on your way up.

National Parks Update
Credit: Harf Zimmermann

Or, you can wait out the masses and start planning a fall getaway now. Autumn brings dramatic colors and abundant wildlife-spotting as animals prepare for the winter. Embrace the crisp weather with a day hike (rangers can recommend the best route for your skill level and preferred sights) or a soak in the Boiling River, a natural hot tub near the Wyoming-Montana border.

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