We spent two separate days visiting Yellowstone with L and A. C and I had visited it once before, and I’d already been through it one time before that, but the most geothermally active place on the planet never really gets boring since it is a little different every time you visit it.
The park is huge. And by huge, I mean ENORMOUS. It is over 2.2 million acres and if you’re only taking a couple of days to see it, you will be doing A LOT of driving like we did. The last couple of times I’d been through it, we came in from the north entrance. This time we commuted in through the southern entrance.
Our first day in the park was spent mostly in the southwestern side of it. We visited about a dozen different geyser basins including Old Faithful, lots of waterfalls, and saw countless elk and bison roaming around.
A couple of days later we came back for our second day in the park. This time we drove up the eastern edge, did quite a bit of hiking up and down The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone (descriptions won’t do it justice, wait for the pictures!), stopped at a few more geyser basins, and worked our way all the way up to Mammoth Hot Springs in the north before heading back. The differences in the scenery from one side of the park to the other are very striking. The terrain changes from desolate and volcanic, to alluvial grassland, to mountains and deep gorges without much transition. On to the pictures!
Black Pool (not sure why they call it black…):
Geyser formation on the edge of Yellowstone Lake in the West Thumb Geyser Basin:
Another thermal pool in the West Thumb Geyser Basin:
Cameras at the ready for Old Faithful:
C taking pictures of the runoff from the Excelsior Geyser, next to Grand Prismatic Spring:
C, practicing for a hair modelling commercial at Grand Prismatic Spring:
One of the many elk we saw:
The Sulphur Caldron:
On the way down to the bottom of the lower falls on the Yellowstone River:
The lower falls from the lower observation deck. The climb back up was brutal:
The lower falls from a distance.
Brink of the upper falls:
We were happy to see this guy from the car and not on a trail:
Traffic jam caused by elk:
Mammoth Hot Springs:
Grand Prismatic Springs:
In the Lower Geyser Basin:
One of the many waterfalls (there were so many, you start to lose count):
Just because being serious all the time is boring…
Dragon Mouth Spring (this one was really loud and spewed hot water out of that hole):
A few more shots of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone: