Yellowstone National Park, the smoking land

If you have never been to the Yellowstone National Park you have to make a pact with yourself. You definitely have to see this beautiful place with many different terrains including high mountains, deep forests, geyserland and canyonland stretching out in three states: Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. Thanks to the slow speed limit you can observe them very carefully, while taking amazing pictures from and out of the car. I chose Yellowstone National Park as my vacation destination, which was a good choice and the best $50 I have ever spent in my life. I read that the Yellowstone Supervolcano had had an ongoing earthquake swarms since June and this was the biggest one so far recorded. Apparently, it will not erupt or blow in our lifetime so you don’t need to rush there right now. However, the best time to visit the park is between May and September. I wish I could have travelled around the park in a trailer or RV stopping at many places and spend more time in the wilderness.


If you are in Wyoming heading to Yellowstone National Park do not miss out on the Grand Teton National Park either. It will cost you another $30 but it has gorgeous high mountains. If you have time you should definitely visit Jackson Hole, a very cute ski town with western style buildings and arches of antlers. If you are lucky you will be able to see some bison herds and elks while approaching Yellowstone. I stayed at Togwotee Mountain Lodge in Moran in the middle of the Tetons in a wooden room inside the main building. It was very comfortable and cozy room with many amenities including hot tub, dining room and western style saloon. Out of curiosity I bought a jar of Huckleberry syrup with berry bits made with organic cane juice, which was very delicious. It is produced by Larchwood Farms – if anyone interested.


After paying the park ranger and entering the park I happily realized that the speed limit is only 45mph. This is a very comfortable speed when you drive by yourself and take pictures – not at the same time, obviously. The weather at the end of August was very beautiful with lots of sun but the temperature was not too high. I actually got into a hailstorm, which lasted about half an hour. So, we had happy plants and I had a clean car. I managed to drive around almost every corner of the middle of Yellowstone. I started northwest at the famous Old Faithful, a cone geyser, which was the first geyser to receive a name. Its name refers to its predictable eruptions, which is between 65-110 minutes depends on the duration of the previous eruption. These days everything has an app so as the geysers. You can either download the Geyser app to check the exact eruption time or you can find the prediction times on the buildings in the area. I was – again – lucky to catch the eruption of this geyser, however I was more interested in my next stop. Grand Prismatic Spring is another geyser area where the beautiful color hot springs are located. (See on image taken by myself) It’s only 12 minutes drive from Old Faithful and has two accesses. I went to the one everybody approached, which took us to the different hot springs including the Excelsior and the Grand Prismatic. We could walk around these amazing phenomena but you were not able to take a picture of the springs from above. However, there were people up on the hill above the springs and I really wanted to get there to take the best shot. I asked around but nobody knew the way to the hill so I thought I would find myself. I drove to the next parking lot up north but before I walked miles around I asked someone there about that hill. Fortunately, I run into an expert who told me that the access to the hill was the parking lot before the main entrance and there was a two miles hike to get there. So, I drove back to the first parking lot and started the hike for the best view. Even the hike was pretty amazing full of small hot springs along the way and the scenery was fascinating. It looked like the surface of the earth was smoking and by walking on this fragile soil I was wondering why it is not opening up under me if there are so many of them. Or how do they know where to build a path for the hikers that will not start to bubble. Anyways, how these hot springs even were shaped – it makes you think of geography and what you learned in the past. Also, what you do not know and forgot.


Another incredible phenomenon was the bison migration. They were literally everywhere, moving from one side of the road to the other stopping the traffic while all human was just starring at these gigantic, gentle-looking, slow-motioned animals. I was actually mesmerized by them they were so beautiful. I believe I took about 100 pictures of them and the other days I was still stopping at wherever they were close. I could not get enough of the bisons, that is for sure.


My next stop was the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, a stunning geologic feature of nature with deep rugged canyons, the Snake River, waterfalls, alpine lakes and steep mountain walls. The view was incredible from both Falls, the Upper and Lower Falls including the Artist Point and the Inspiration Point and you need to prepare to hike about two-three hours to get around the whole place. Trust me it is worth it.


My last stop on this day was Mammoth Hot Springs, which is near the North Entrance of the Yellowstone and it is a geothermal limestone terraces and hot springs. It has a steep stair to get to the top but after seeing the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone it did not give me a better view. It was quite interesting and educational to visit though.


Overall, it was a truly amazing trip and I will definitely be back to the Yellowstone National Park but next time for a longer period.

P.S. – Want to go on a custom designed eco-friendly and sustainable tour anywhere in the world? I’m happy to book your full or partial trip! I’ll be offering you to my favorite hotels or resorts, restaurants, attractions, bars, and natural wonders you won’t find in any guidebook. If you’re interested, subscribe to my newsletter for updates or contact me now.

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Author: Lexi_Randazzo

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