Photograph the Milky Way over Yellowstone Lake

Yellowstone Lake, West Thumb

Capture the Galactic Core  and Milky Way at this dark sky in Yellowstone NP. 

Yellowstone Lake is huge and it would take a few hours to drive around the entire lake. But traveling around the lake, there are many pullouts available to park your car and walk down to the lake just a couple of feet from the car. Make sure that you are looking for an interesting foreground and somewhere to get a reflection out of the exposure. In order to find the Galactic Core, you must be there in the summer months May through September. I use as app called Photo Pills to locate its location by pointing my phone to the sky until it shows up but feel free to use whatever makes the most sense to you.

When it is as dark as Yellowstone, the Milky Way and Core is usually visible with the naked eye. Set up the shot along the lake side and take your first shot, you will never be disappointed with the results. If you get a faint green tint in your photo, it is remnants of distant Aurora Borealis' from the north drifting south in the dark sky. Take a lot of photos and remember to experiment with settings...this is the place to make magic happen.

Pack List

  • Tripod
  • Camera
  • Wide angle lens
  • Shutter cable
  • Head lamp
  • Food
  • Drinks
  • Jacket
  • Chair
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Activities Chillin, Photography
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Summer


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Love the captures

Hope to try that. Heading over in a couple weeks.

Great Opportunity for Photography

Great views of the Milky Way and low light pollution for your shots.

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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