Yellowstone - July 2018
Updated: Jan 7
I have always wanted to tour Yellowstone National Park and in July I was lucky enough to get the chance. I flew back home for my Grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary and then my parents decided to drive me all the way back to Texas. So, on the way we detoured through Yellowstone for a couple days.
Day One - We left Bozeman and headed for the north entrance of Yellowstone. As soon as you pull into Yellowstone the landscape leaves you in awe. We checked out Mammoth Hot Springs first, which is a large area of hot springs on a hill of travertine (a form of limestone deposited by hot springs). We weren't lucky enough to see elk on the springs but we did see some wandering through the little town.
From Mammoth Hot Springs we headed toward Lamar Valley. On our way we saw three bison which we were sooo excited about. We had to stop and take pictures from quite a distance. We definitely didn't know just how many we were about to see at Lamar Valley.
Lamar Valley was by far my favorite spot. I have never seen so many bison in my life. I think I said, "This is amazing!" about a hundred times, but it really was. It was so neat to see them in their natural habitat. Some were relaxing, some were wandering or eating, some were in the water, some were rolling in dirt, some were running and a few had to cross the road and stop traffic.
From Lamar Valley, we headed to see the Lower Yellowstone Falls and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. The Falls had such green water, it almost doesn't look real in photos! The view from the viewpoints definitely reminded me of the Grand Canyon. We didn't stay too long because there was a storm on the way.
We didn't see much in Hayden Valley, which is another popular spot for wildlife. I was only able to take one picture because it was raining so hard. We made another quick stop at Dragon Mouth Spring. Steam came out of the side of a hill and sounded like a dragon. There was also a mud volcano there that spurted mud out of the side of a hill continuously. Dragon Mouth Spring wasn't the nicest smelling place but it was definitely neat to see.
Our last stop for the day was at West Thumb Geyser Basin. It had a ton of geysers right by the lake. Lots of them had bubbles coming up or looked like they were boiling. A couple were the prettiest color blue. From there we headed to our hotel for the night in West Yellowstone.
Day Two - The plan was to get up really early so that maybe we could see some more wildlife and beat some of the people. It was soooo foggy that we didn't see any wildlife and our first stop at Grand Prismatic Spring was super disappointing. All you could see was fog for the most part.
Next stop was Old Faithful where it wasn't foggy at all. We didn't have to wait too long for it to blow and it spurted water for about 2.5 minutes.
We decided since it wasn't far, to head back to Grand Prismatic Spring to see if it had gotten any better. Thankfully it was quite a bit better and we were able to see the amazing colors of the spring. Next time I go I am definitely going to go on the hike to the overlook to see it from above.
After that we headed through Grand Teton park and then headed back towards Texas.
To me, Yellowstone is kind of like the Grand Canyon... pictures just don't do it justice and you have to see it for yourself. A day and a half wasn't long enough to see everything, and we definitely missed parts but it was still amazing to see. I will most definitely be going back.
Before I share some of my favorite shots from the trip I want to make sure to thank my parents again for taking me! I really appreciated and enjoyed our trip!
I hope you enjoy a glimpse at some of my favorite spots in Yellowstone National park!
Mammoth Hot Springs
It's hard to see because I took 9 shots from the moving car and turned them into one, but all the dark dots are bison in the distance. It really doesn't do the view justice at all!
Water from a very blue creek merging with muddy water.
Lower Yellowstone Falls
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
A very rainy Hayden Valley
Dragon's Mouth Spring
West Thumb Geyser Basin
The very foggy Grand Prismatic Spring area
Grand Prismatic Spring with no fog!