Can’t believe it’s already Yellowstone Day Three! It is always exciting to see Bison. Today there is Bison in the fields and even one that wandered along the road. That was a treat in itself to see a Bison so close and not trying to view one while driving by. Traffic is at a stand still until a Park Ranger came to make sure there weren’t any people foolish enough to get out of their cars and scratch these ears!
Yesterday we walked along the trails of the Grand Prismatic Spring and Turquoise Pool. Because this is one of the most spectacular sites to visit we took a different route to view it. Today we took a hike on a hill above the basin that gives us a fantastic view of the colors. Our granddaughter was so excited about this, as this is what she talked about most of the trip. The colors were just incredible and you could see more of the spring because it was warmer outside which created less steam coming up from the hot water.
The spring run-off is in full swing in Yellowstone, and the rapids and falls on the Firehole River are breathtaking. We took several breaks along the river to take in the sights. According to the staff, this year has more rain than normal, so every river we either drove by or stopped at was overflowing and moving swiftly.
A must-see for our daughter was to see a moose, and today is her lucky day. Up close we could see a Mama Moose and her baby. On the way back to Henry’s Lake from Yellowstone we spotted the two of them and had just enough space to pull over to watch them. Oh what a joy it was to see and everyone was very excited because we could get some good moose pictures to remember our Yellowstone visit.
Another full day at Yellowstone,! We are ready to kick back and re-join Jeff back at our base camp at Henry’s Lake State Park across the border in Idaho. Jeff was not able to make today’s trip because he is recovering from falling off the ladder while trying to wash the RV’s front window in May.
It is only 114 miles from Paradise Valley (Livingston Montana) to Henry’s Lake State Park at Island Park, Idaho. We picked this park because it is only 15 minutes or so from the West Yellowstone entrance. Web reviews were good but it was hard to find many pictures to show the lay-out. We were very pleased with the park.
Off of highway 20 just past Island Park is the road leading to the state park. Go up and over a knoll, then you see the park and Henry’s Lake along with a small range of spectacular mountains to the west. Reservations are required, so we had our spot picked out already. The facilities look brand new with a really nice bath house. Our site was equipped with water and electric, including 50 amp power, however we lost one leg of our 50 amps during a wild lightning storm the 2nd night, so dropped down to 30 amps. We had parked closer to the electrical box to give our kids room to set up their tent on the asphalt pad where Lola was parked, so we elected to just keep 30 amp power and have the park staff repair the electrical equipment after we left.
The bath house has regular toilets and there are additional “pit” toilets scattered around the park. This park has the newer pit toilets that have cement floors and the staff must use something like Happy Camper enzyme treatment because as long as the previous occupant has put the lid down there is very little smell ;-).
There is lots of room between camping spots, with mowed grass and wild flowers in between. The staff is friendly and everything is well maintained.
After checking the Idaho State parks websites and a few blogs it looked like it was okay to fly the drone. I took it up to get pictures of Mt. Two Top to the east and Black Mountain and Bald Peak to the north. A few days later while I was doing some maintenance on the drone a ranger stopped by to let me know that drones could no longer be flown in Idaho state parks. He was very nice about it, and if I had wanted to get some more pictures it would have been easy to drive off the park land to fly.
If you are looking for a campground near Yellowstone that also has boating and ATV access, check out Henry’s Lake State park. We were sure glad we did!
Yellowstone Day -1
Museum of the Rockies
After spending a couple of days in Thermopolis and going to the Dinosaur Dig what could be better than stopping in Bozeman to go to the Museum of the Rockies (MOR). It has been a lot of fun traveling with our daughter and her family.
At the MOR the main exhibits are more dinosaurs and there are also exhibits on Native Americans, early pioneers and a traveling show about guitars. The third floor is a hands on area for kids to check out how a volcano is created and the surrounding area. There are several different shows in the Planetarium that are a must to see. The MOR is a great experience for young and old and is in a wonderful facility.
We left the dogs in Lola during our visit to the museum, and while the rest of the family went shopping in the museum store I went out to check on the dogs.
It had been raining while we were in the museum and because we left the windows open in Lola the inside was a little damp. Once we all got together again the girls decided to go shopping. Can’t resist a Costco and there is one in Bozeman.
Our son in law and I stayed in Lola with the kids and dogs. While we were waiting for the girls to return a tremendous lighting and rain storm went through Bozemen. Lola was rocking and the streets had temporary flooding.
By the time everyone was together again at the MOR the rains had stopped however that didn’t stop traffic from being congested. We decided to go back the way we came in from I90 to MOR. Much easier drive.
The Drive To Henry’s Lake State Park Idaho
The drive from Bozeman to Henry’s Lake Idaho is a very picturesque drive with mountain streams and cliffs around each corner. I enjoyed driving especially since there are very few grades to deal with, and the ones we do have are gradual.
Traffic starts to increase as we drove along the Gallatin Gateway in Montana getting closer to Yellowstone National Park. We had become spoiled driving around the eastern side of Yellowstone through Wyoming and central Montana and seeing more antelope than cars!
We finally pulled into Henry’s Lake State Park at 6 p.m. ready to set up camp and have dinner.