As our flight began to descend into the airport in Montana, I felt a wave of butterflies fill my stomach. I couldn’t believe I was finally on my way to Yellowstone National Park! Yellowstone was a place I’d dreamed of exploring for many years, but international travel always seemed to beckon me whenever I found myself with a bit of precious time off work.

Deciding to make Montana a priority, I convinced my significant other to extend his birthday weekend into a five-day camping trip in early June. Planning as much as I would for a long trip overseas, I scoured the Internet for photos and started making a game plan and itinerary. My anticipation grew with each search, but nothing could prepare me for the feeling of awe as I stepped off of the plane into the cozy airport in Bozeman.

Coming from Southern California, I was ready for furry UGG boot weather with my winter jacket in tow, but instead we were greeted by sunshine and temperatures in the high 60s. To this day, nearly four years later, I can still remember the fresh smell of nature and the puffy clouds that dotted the enormous cobalt sky. As we passed through Bozeman in our rental car, I wished for more time to stop and explore, but camping and geysers awaited us in Yellowstone.

Besides a handful of glorious hikes we took during our time in the park, the moment I fell head over heels in love with Montana was during our first visit to a thermal geyser. I had never experienced these fascinating cracks in the earth before, but after my time in Montana, I’m sure it won’t be my last.

I was surprised to learn that Yellowstone actually contains a majority of the world’s geysers. Each spring we visited had its own unique charm, which, naturally, made me want to see them all. Artist Paint Pots lured me in with its colorful bubbles amidst a tall forest cover, while Grand Geyser kept our attention for more than an hour with the anticipation of eruption. Heart Geyser was another favorite for its deep blue hues, which contrasted beautifully against the surrounding orange and yellow sand.

Our five days in Montana felt like a fairytale and were over far too quickly. When asked what my favorite national park is, I never fail to mention Yellowstone. With geysers, hot springs, rivers, and huge waterfalls, it really has something for everyone to fall in love with.