North to Alaska-2010 travel blog

Madison River

Trumpeter Swan

Elk

Steaming Geyser

Runoff from geyser

Geyser running into river

River with geysers

Geyser Pool

More geysers

Big Daddy Bison

More geysers

Old Faithful

Original entrance to Yellowstone

Old Faithful

Mama and baby bison

Grizzly Bear

Yellowstone River at bottom of Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

Lower Falls, Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

Yellowstone River

Cascading Falls

Lodge

Coyote

Interesting Sky

Mammoth Geyser Area

Mammoth Geyser Area

Mammoth Geyser Area


Moving on to Yellowstone National Park. The trip from Glacier to Yellowstone was a long haul, about 400 miles but even though there is very little interstate highway available the state highways were pretty good and we encountered very little traffic. It was a pretty drive through ranching country, lots of hills and pastures, also a lot of lakes. It was cloudy at first, but cleared up as we drove south to Yellowstone. We had reservations at an RV Park right in West Yellowstone but when we had to change our plans we had to move to a different park 6 miles outside of town. West Yellowstone is a small town situated right outside of the West Entrance to Yellowstone National Park. It consists mostly of hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops. Yellowstone was the first National Park and was established in 1872. Yellowstone has so many beautiful things to see, each one so different from the others and that doesn’t even include all the wildlife you can view. Yellowstone Norris Geyser Basin is considered the hottest hot spot on the earth. As you drive through there are plumes of steam rising all around, everywhere you look steam is rising and blowing in the wind as well as the smell of sulfur from the geysers. Most of the geysers do not erupt like Old Faithful, but they are still bubbling and spewing boiling hot water out over the sides. The colors vary from geyser to geyser from deep blues, to greens, to orange, gold and mixtures in between – it really is an amazing site. We saw Old Faithful erupt on 2 different days and it was amazing both times. Hundreds of people gather to watch the eruption. It was named Old Faithful because they are able to accurately predict when it will erupt to within 10 minutes either way. As you are driving through the park you see buffalo and elk laying in the grassy fields or walking near one of the many clear streams that run through the park. In the Mammoth Springs area the elk are right in the middle of the town area, just lying on the lawns. We saw one grizzly bear out in a field, luckily not too close. There is an area in Yellowstone called Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. It is a 20 mile long canyon that is 1,200 feet deep with a spectacular view of the Yellowstone River falling 309 feet to the floor of the canyon. There is a viewpoint called Artist Point where the views are jaw dropping, so beautiful you don’t want to leave because every time clouds pass over the view changes – the camera cannot do it justice. Yellowstone Lake is the highest and largest lake in North America, 14 by 20 miles. The day we were there it was very windy and it looked like an ocean, with whitecaps and waves hitting the shoreline. We spent three entire days driving through and stopping to look at all the sites – we were extremely lucky because it was clear and sunny all three days. It started out cold in the mornings, about 27 degrees, but rose to the low 70’s in the afternoons. We took a lunch and drinks with us everyday and ate at a different beautiful spot each day. It was just so beautiful it was hard to leave the park everyday. We are so lucky to have all these spectacular National Parks and I encourage everyone to visit as many as they can – each one has its own beauty to show you. Especially if you are 62 or older you can get a Senior Pass for a one time $10 fee that allows you to enter any National Park or National Monument for FREE! What a deal! We were glad that we made an effort to see as much as possible on the first 3 days because on the 4th day it started out nice, but quickly deteriorated. It became very windy and either dusty or smoky – we are not really sure, but the visibility went down to practically nothing. The morning we left Yellowstone, it was really cold. When we turned on the water in the RV at first nothing happened, then some slushy water came out before we got a good stream - much colder and our water source may have frozen - time to leave!



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