- Associated Press - Saturday, June 14, 2014

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) - A summer drive into Yellowstone National Park often includes a journey around the grand loop with a stop at Old Faithful. Listed as a “must see” on a variety of top-10 lists for the park, visitors travel from all over the world to watch this geyser erupt.

Although most Yellowstone visitors would agree that Old Faithful is indeed a spectacular sight, those who have been off the beaten path know that there are a multitude of sites to see and experience in the park located mostly in Wyoming but also extending into Montana and Idaho.

The Chronicle visited with YNP spokesman Al Nash to create a list of 10 things to do in the park this summer.

1. Visit the Bechler Region

Located in the southwest corner of the park, the Bechler Region is one that Nash said many people have not explored.

Jessica Schroeder takes in the view as the Bechler River plunges more than 100 feet at Colonnade Falls in the southwest corner of Yellowstone National Park in this Aug. 2001 file photo. (AP Photo/The Daily Chronicle, Chris Kerr)
Jessica Schroeder takes in the view as the Bechler River plunges more ... more >

“The reason it is less visited and less explored is it is not connected to the park’s grand loop road system,” Nash said. “People are familiar with the figure eight in the middle of the park and the access roads to get there.”

Nash said this region of the park is known for its waterfalls and is a popular place for longer hikes and horseback trips.

“There are actually cave falls down there,” Nash said. “Our ranger station there is a historic soldier station from the time when the Army ran Yellowstone.”

Nash said the only entrance to this area is through Ashton, Idaho.

2. Explore the Museum of the National Park Ranger

If you’ve ever seen a log structure from the road as you approach Norris Junction, you have seen the Museum of the National Park Ranger.

“It’s a wonderful, small museum that talks about the evolution and the various duties that park rangers perform,” Nash said. “It gives you a bit of flavor over how the park ranger profession has developed.”

Volunteers, who are all retired former senior members of the National Park Service, staff the museum.

“That wonderful, unassuming person you may be chatting with could have been a park superintendent or a chief ranger,” he said. “You end up with someone helping you explore the place who has a really deep background and great experience with the National Park Service.”

There is no cost to tour the museum and it is accessible through the Norris campground.

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