It wasn’t the original plan but we ended up with one full day to spend in Yellowstone National Park. Not… enough… time. With three days in the area, the plan was two full days inside Yellowstone and the other day to be spent in the Grand Teton National Park. I’ll share why that changed later.
Yellowstone has so much to offer it’s hard to decide where to start. We decided to explore the southern part of the park first. This is where you find the geysers, hot springs and mud pots, beautiful scenic mountains and of course the wildlife. We were not disappointed. Old Faithful (shown above) was a sight to see and we were sure to be there to take in her spectacular show. But what impressed beyond this very famous geyser is how many other geysers there are all around this region of the park. It’s really impressive. Add in the hot springs and mud pots and it’s like another world.
The beautiful scenery in every direction seemed to go on forever. The size of the park is hard to wrap your head around. We spent an entire day there and only got to a small area of the whole. It left us knowing we need to come back here again. Wildlife like this bison was plentiful and coming across them was commonplace where we ventured. Elk too were easy to find and not at all spooked by the visitors’ traffic. In the park, the wildlife has the right of way, always.
Two things we were looking for that we didn’t end up seeing were black bear and moose. These were high on Dawnie’s list of desires for what was her first-ever visit to this park. Not to be, however. We learned later of a few techniques employed by park Rangers over the years to discourage the bear from approaching the human-populated areas. This in a calculated effort to protect the bear as well as the park visitors. It seems their efforts have worked well. Gone are the days of a few decades ago where you would see tourists in their cars with bear peering into the windows or similar situations.
A highlight in terms of spotting wildlife was to see a grizzly in the wild. It was at a great distance but it was fun to watch as this impressive bear roamed a field digging here and there for food. Hard to believe that these large animals are omnivores but could survive without meat if they needed to. Photo note: getting this shot really tested the capabilities of my cameras’ long lens as this bear was roughly a quarter-mile away from our viewing position. This photo is cropped tightly from the center of my original image capture.
Yellowstone, we’ll be back.
P.S. I mentioned we’d planned to spend two days in Yellowstone but in the end, didn’t. If you’re wondering why that is then here’s the scoop. You see we had a revolt of sorts from the boys. I give them credit really that they actually handled it really well.
By this point in the trip, we’ve found our way to at least a dozen National Parks, National Monuments, National/American landmarks or historical sites. There’s been some “kid fun” mixed in but the last week or two has been heavily favoring the parks and such. Couple together with this some really fun looking stuff we’ve been driving by here in West Yellowstone and they made their wishes clear, “Time for some fun!”. So our second Yellowstone day became a “fun” day and well deserved.