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.
Our last two days at Yellowstone! What a fun trip it has been. Our base camp at Henry’s Lake in Idaho was perfect for getting into the West Yellowstone entrance. Henry’s Lake State Park is a great place to also stay and kick back for a few days, however, watching our grandchildren have so much fun visiting Yellowstone and also having activities while at Henry’s Lake was such a great way to make wonderful memories
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is breathtaking! We spent about a half of a day there enjoying the different places surrounding the canyon and looking at the shear volume of water cascading down the Yellowstone falls and continuing as the Yellowstone River. We parked a short bit away from the bridge that crosses near the top of the falls and hiked down to the bridge. It was amazing the beauty of the water going under the bridge and then just dropping off at the edge to become this huge water fall.
The Gibbon River flows east of the Continental Divide. A little off the beaten path is Virginia Cascade along the Gibbon River. This follows a one way road along the river with the water following a gentle slope that almost invites you to kayak down the river, however then suddenly it drops more dramatically and you feel glad you didn’t go with the invite.
The last day visiting Yellowstone, we drove over the Continental Divide of the Americas to Yellowstone Lake. On our way to the lake, we stopped to get some close up pictures of a beautiful moose. They are even more amazing up close and as this big male grazed it gradually move closer to us. Such a highlight of this last day. We also spotted some more bison lounging in the morning sun. We crossed the Continental Divide several times as it wanders around the park, but this trip took us to Isa Lake – unique in that it flows both east and west of the Continental Divide located at Craig Pass. Interestingly the east outflow ends up flowing to the Pacific, and the west outflow flows east to the Missouri River and on to the Gulf of Mexico.
The Mud Volcano in Yellowstone is a type of ‘mudpot‘ or ‘mud volcano‘ a geothermal phenomenon (according to Wikipedia) . This was a great little hike up a side of a hill. We stopped by here to see the mudpots and were surprised by a Bison munching away close to the path near that hill. You could tell he was aware that we were there and basically ignored us as he slowly made his way up the hill and into the forest. Once the bison was gone, we proceeded down the path to see the Dragon’s Mouth. Looking at the opening and hearing the roar of hot air and steam coming out, I can understand where it got it’s name.
Camping at Henry’s Lake State Park was a good find by Christine. It is an easy 15 minute drive to the East Yellowstone entrance. The town of West Yellowstone offers several restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores etc., so we often stopped to pick up a few necessities on the way back out of the park.
Nez Perce Creek
Our first stop is taking pictures of more geysers on the way to Old Faithful – our primary destination for the day. Besides getting some more pictures of a whole field of geysers with a foreground of wildflowers to die for! We also spotted a female elk in another field.
How iconic is Old Faithful for Yellowstone? We arrived at Old Faithful lodge about 15 minutes before the next eruption. There was plenty of room around the geyser to find a spot to take pictures. Our grandkids loved the show. We had promised them that afterwards we would have breakfast at the Old Faithful Inn. The place was packed of course with the after the geyser crowd, but we only waiting about 15 minutes before we got a table. The food was great. You had a choice of selecting from the menu or doing the buffett Afterwards we went up the three flights of stairs to look at all the quaint features of this very large log cabin. Writing desks abound near all of the guest rooms. Those used to be very popular for sitting down and writing to your family and friends of what a great time your having and wish you were here. :) . There is also a deck for those guests to view Old Faithful away from the crowds.
Midway Geyser Basin – Great Prismatic Geyser and Turquoise Pool
After a big breakfast we headed out to Midway Geyser Basin where some intense colored pools are located. Our grand daughter had made the Grand Prismatic Pot her number one must-see of the trip, and she was not disappointed. As we were starting our journey back to Henry’s Lake, we came face-to-face to a bison wondering down the road; so we got some up-close and personal pictures of the great beast.
It is a nice walk around the Midway Geyser Basin even if it was one of the most crowded spots we visited to-date. Lots of colors and reflections make the trip worth while.
White Dome Geyser and back to East Yellowstone for ICE CREAM!
A short drive down Firehole Lake Drive gives us a chance to take pictures of the White Dome Geyser. We caught it on video on the road just before getting there. Good enough! On to Wast Yellowstone for Ice Cream at Eagle’s Store. Yum Huckleberry Ice Cream was everyone’s favorite and then there was the Chocolate Runs Through It, that was in the running as a favorite too.
We made it! Yellowstone Day One. Our youngest daughter and her family have joined us in this trip to Yellowstone National Park. We came in through the west entrance. After driving a few miles we are thrilled to see so much water, green grass everywhere and finally see our first Bison just lounging in the morning rays of the sunshine.
Our next stop is Gibbon Falls – a very popular stop on the grand loop. Even with all the people, it was easy to get some great pictures. There are several places to take pictures of the falls at different angles. With a drop of around 84 feet and lots of water pouring over it with the spring run-off it is an impressive sight.
This offers a great hike over to the different types of springs. We saw mud pots, which bubbled up hot mud (which according to our grandchildren smelled like bacon) and lots of steaming springs. What made this even more special were the views over a valley with lots of wildflowers and to the snow capped mountains on the other side of Yellowstone.
The Norris Basin Tour took the remainder of Day 1 at Yellowstone. There are lots of places to view, with the Steamboat Geyser shooting high in the air. There are also many different colors of springs and flowing streams indicating the different types of bacteria living here. Incredible hiking paths led to opportunities to photograph the immensity of the Yellowstone Caldera.