Okay, so hold on to your butts everyone (Jurassic Park reference…) this one is going to be a doozy. I had to break up my Yellowstone Pictures into four galleries, so be patient while your computer loads them. The four galleries represent the four main days that I was in Yellowstone National Park. So this park, it’s absolutely massive. According to Wikipedia, it is 3,468.5 square miles, which I do not doubt for a second. It’s just huge.
So keep on scrolling past the galleries to see more galleries and more text. This will most likely be my longest blog post yet.
Part 1 of 4
So, lets start with day 1, August 13th, 2016, day 18 on my trip. Okay, so that morning I left Grand Teton National park; I had to drive through Grand Teton National Park and also drive through the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway in order to reach Yellowstone’s South Entrance. Once I was in the park I drove straight to the nearest campground, Lewis Lake Campground, and nabbed a spot, one of the last ones. This is where I stayed all four nights that I was in Yellowstone. So after I got the spot, I drove around, visiting Lewis River, Lewis Falls, then I turned around at the 1988 fire informational spot and went to West Thumb Geyser Basin, which was my first Geyser experience in Yellowstone. After that I went into Grant Village and saw the pier.
Part 2 of 4
so Day 2 in Yellowstone, August 14th, 2016, my Day 19 on my trip. I woke up at Lewis Lake, then drove towards Old Faithful, making a few stops along the way, including Isa Lake and Kepler Falls. I also did the 5 mile hike (round trip) to Lone Star Geyser. So, Lone Star Geyser is not very predictable; they say it goes off about every 3 hours, but it’s really not very consistent, so a park ranger told me. Yet, amazingly, I was only at the geyser for about 15 minutes before it started going off. This was my first major geyser eruption, and it was a special one indeed.
After I left Lone Star, I went into Old Faithful. I got into the parking lot just after the geyser went off, so I waited for like an hour to watch it go off again, since I thought well, I’m here and it’s so darn famous. While I was waiting, I listened in on a park ranger talking about the geyser, then I met and talked to a girl about my age named Annie from Virginia, and we conversed until the geyser went off. After it went off, I continued on through the Old Faithful Geyser basin, and saw so, so many geysers, pools, mudpots. Overall, throughout the entire duration of the Yellowstone Chapter, I saw probably over 100 geysers, pools, and springs. It’s just an insanely volcanic place, as it truly is a giant volcano. It’s so amazing and beautiful, but absolutely terrifying. Anyway, so it started to kinda rain on me while I was nearing the end of the loop, and at Morning Glory pool it was cool to watch the raindrops fall into the very hot spring.
After I left Old Faithful Geyser Basin, I drove a little further to another geyser basin, then I headed back to camp. It was a long day of seeing geysers.
Part 3 of 4
Day 3 in Yellowstone, August 15th, 2016, my Day 20 on my trip. So I began my adventuring at Biscuit Geyser Basin. I didn’t post too many pictures of the geyser basin here, there were more impressive ones elsewhere. But around Biscuit Geyser basin is where I did the Mystic Falls hike/walk, it was a pretty waterfall. I say hike/walk, because on my way back to my car I ended up talking to an older woman who worked at Old Faithful Lodge, and we started our conversation on the difference between walking and hiking, which I have thought about a few times myself.
After I left Biscuit Geyser Basin, I passed by a few other geyser basins that were just bursting with cars and people, and went on a one-way drive that took me to even more geysers, which is where Black Warrior Lake and White Dome Geyser was. I then drove through Madison and up into Norris, where I went to the Virginia Cascades (not pictured, didn’t really get a good viewpoint of it, but I had seen so many waterfalls at that point it was okay) and then I went to the Norris Geyser Basin, which is where the Porcelain Springs and Steamboat Geyser were. On the walk around the boardwalk, Steamboat Geyser side, is where I got to really see the effects of the fire nearby. It was only about 3:00 PM, but the light looked like the sun was setting. Through the clouds and haze, the sun looked red, and the smoke against the already wasteland appearance of the geyser basin looked like it was the apocalypse. It was very cool, in its own way. I overheard a park ranger say that the fire was under control, so it was nothing to worry about. After Norris, I made my way back to my campsite, which was about an hour and a half drive. Along the way I stopped into Firehole Canyon and saw that waterfall.
Part 4 of 4
Day 4 in Yellowstone, August 16th, 2016, my Day 21 on my trip. When I woke up, there was some ash on my car from the fire I had seen the night before I believe. It wasn’t very much, but enough to take note of. As I was eating breakfast (my standard banana and yerba mate tea), there was still some ash falling.
But I began my day driving along Yellowstone Lake, which is a massive lake, the largest high altitude lake in North America. Just like Yellowstone National Park, Yellowstone Lake is unimaginably large. After driving alongside the lake, A bit north of the lake, traffic came to a stop, as there were a large amount of bison near the road, like well over 100 bison I think. I wasn’t one of the tourists that stopped to take pictures, but I was able to take pictures while traffic was at a stand-still, so that was cool I guess.
I headed north to The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. This canyon was really, really impressive, but just oh so very different than The Black Canyon of the Gunnison, in quite a few different ways. The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is wider in its width than the Black Canyon, and it is just made of entirely different rock. Black Canyon was very much black, hence the name, but The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone was very yellow. It was cool to be able to see both of them. Yet while I was admiring its beauty and glory… I just got so overwhelmed by the number of people, I really couldn’t linger. So, so many people. So that was at the Artists point, after Artists Point I did the Uncle Tom’s Trail, which was the very precarious set of metal stairs going down to see the Lower Falls, but oh man that was a gorgeous view. But, I couldn’t linger, too many people.
After visiting the south rim, I drove to the north rim, which is once again something that is very different than Black Canyon… you can’t just go from rim to rim that easily with the Black Canyon, you have to drive like two hours to get to the other side, completely leaving the boundaries of the national park in the process. Anyway, the views from along the north rim were also very awesome.
After leaving the canyon, I drove north to Tower-Roosevelt, stopping at the Calcite Springs and the Petrified Tree. My last stop was Wraith Falls, where I turned around and drove back to my campsite, which took almost exactly 2 hours. I feel as if most of my time in the park was spent driving… and it probably was. It is a massive, massive place, with too many people, which, honestly, is probably just the time of year I chose to visit in. But all in all, very great experience. Yellowstone is truly a special place.