Entering through the West Gate coming from Idaho,
we already encountered a slowdown but it was not due to the large summer crowds but awe at the bison sightings along the way, in the valley
and a few even alongside the road. Please exercise caution and stay in your car or keep a safe distance of at least 25 yards if on foot, more if their babies are with them. Just like humans, animals are naturally very protective of their young.
Grand Prismatic Spring
Grand Prismatic Spring was our first stop. From the parking lot, it is an easy walk on paved roads, already giving you the first glimpse of geothermal activity along the way.
As you proceed up the designated boardwalk, hold onto your hats as once it falls outside of the marked areas, there is no chance of recovery evidenced by others less fortunate. You will pass the turquoise pool along the way to get you ready for the main event.
The colors of the Grand Prismatic are impressive even if it is created by different species of heat loving bacteria.
With 40 minutes before the next estimated eruption, we stopped at The Old Faithful Inn first.
A National Historic Landmark itself, the largest log hotel is worth a stop even if it is just to sit in front of the stone fireplace
under the multi-story log lobby.
Seeing the eruption from this side is much less crowded than the main viewing area making it a win-win strategy.
By now, it is time for lunch and the
and huckleberry soda.
Just be aware that service can be a bit slow with only one grill.
Our last stop of the day is the
and the Grand
Canyon of Yellowstone. Although not as
known for its falls as Yosemite or as its canyon as vast as Lower
Canyon, it does not make this area any less majestic. Worth the stop but bug repellent is
recommended as mosquitos are out in full force.
Unplanned Wildlife Sighting
Sometimes the best sights are unplanned and ours for the day is a brown bear. We were lucky enough to capture a quick picture right before the ranger had everyone move back to the road to ensure that safe distance, another reminder that this is their home and we are just visiting.