While the vast majority of Yellowstone in Wyoming, a small sliver of the park is in Montana and Idaho. In total, 96 percent of park is located within Wyoming, while 3 percent is within Montana, with the remaining 1 percent in Idaho.
The primary northern entrance to the park is at Gardiner, Montana, and is marked by the famous Roosevelt Arch, whose cornerstone was laid by President Roosevelt himself in 1903. South of the arch, the first five miles of US Route 89 is designated as the North Entrance Road Historic District. The state line is about three miles south of the arch, and at the southern end of this district is historic Fort Yellowstone, now the park headquarters.
This is Silex Springs, one of the many hot springs you can see in Yellowstone National Park. Take a look at the colours ! The things you see in this park make you think you took a trip to another planet... it's unbelievable!!!
Ranger-guided wildlife walk from Hayden Valley turnout about halfway to Lake Junction from Canyon Junction. Ranger walks are at 0700 Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Hayden Valley is a great place to view wildlife. The Sulphur Cauldron area is just south of the Hayden Valley turnout.
The wildlife is astounding and as beloved by the people as the beautiful land they live in. Do NOT forget though...this is WILDlife! Do not approach them as though they were pets! They are beautiful but dangerous. And YOU are dangerous to them! Respect and appreciate them. (Our ONLY disappointment was not seeing any moose! A wolf would've been nice, too, but they don't like hanging around people.)
The terraces of Mammoth Hot Springs are similar to those at Pamukkale, Turkey. I suggest to anyone wanting to tour this area on foot that you drive uphill, turn in to the one-way Upper Terrace Drive, and park right after turning off. Then hike on the boardwalk paths. It is really a beautiful area, surrounded by great mountain panoramas. My photos do NOT do this area justice. This is much more beautiful than I could depict.
There are a number of features just inside Yellowstone's northwest entrance, south of Gardiner, Montana. The first is Roosevelt Arch (named after President Teddy Roosevelt, who designated Yellowstone a national park, making it the world's first). South of that is the 45th Parallel, marking the midway point between the North Pole and Equator. About another 1/4 mile south of the 45th Parallel is a small bridge over the Gardiner River. Immediately after the bridge there is a roadside picnic area on the west side of the road. Directly across the road from that on the east side and down the hill about 50 yards is a parking circle that marks the head of the 1/2 mile trail to Boiling River, where a hot spring runs into the Gardiner River, forming a natural hot tub. You can stand with one leg in hot water and one in cold...if that's what you WANT! We really wanted to swim there, but the ranger at the gate told us it was closed for another week because of high runoff. She said we'd get arrested if we were even caught down there, so we had to settle for a picnic across the street. South a few more miles, up the hill and around some switchbacks, is Mammoth Hot Springs. There were several elk grazing right in town when we were there.
Norris Geyser Basin is the ONE area that was a real let-down. The walk is long, steep, and pointless, the geothermal activity is minimal, and the tourist hordes are undeterred. Its one redeeming feature is a small museum with exhibits that explain some interesting points about geothermal features.
Old Faithful is still the star attraction of Yellowstone. You can tell that from ALL the cars and people there!! The crowds are my LEAST favorite thing! Everyone (but me) was too tired to do much when we got here, so we didn't get to see any of the other features besides Old Faithful. I climbed to Observation Point though for some photos of the Upper Geyser Basin. THAT was a real climb! Had to stop several times. Not used to that much exertion or elevation!
Excelsior Geyser erupted for 46 hours on Sept. 14, 1985. The last prior known eruption was in 1888. Yet the geyser flows copiously, 200 degree water at a rate of over 5 million gallons a day pouring into the Firehole River. That's 1 1/2 BILLION gallons a year!
This is a can't-miss group of geothermal features. If you go be sure to climb the slope across the highway for some great panoramic shots. The day we were there, we had the added pleasure of watching a herd of buffalo cross the rock escarpment from the south with calves searching for the best place to leap across the steaming runoff channels. The panormic view I include here shows the Firehole River in the foreground. There are three features in the middle of the shot: (from front to back - and largest to smallest) Excelsior Geyser pool, Turquoise Pool, and Opal Pool. On the left border of the view in the background is Grand Prismatic Spring. (I HOPE you're in better shape than I was when you climb this hill! Wish I'd had an inhaler!)
A spectacular sight. Grand Prismatic has a 370 foot diameter, greater than a football field. The colors are brilliant and powerful. Even the mud flats have arresting patterns, the art in nature. The vapors above the spring appear brightly colored, smoke of bold orange, red, and blue spectrums. A must-see.
These two sites are in the North-central Park between Tower Junction and Canyon Junction. It is a very scenic drive. Dunraven Pass is on the south slope of Mt. Washburn. There is a small area with picnic tables just north of Canyon Junction, but we did not see any more between there and Tower Fall. Parking is at a premium at Tower, but there are public picnic tables outside the large park store open to all. We brought our picnic lunch there and ate it along with lots of other people. There are plenty of bathroom facilities in a large building just behind the store. The falls is a very short hike around the hillside along a good path. The waterfall is awesome. The hoodoos on the southwest side above the falls are unique and interesting. It is worthwhile to make the effort to see them.
A beautiful side-trip. 3-mile, one-way, south-north crescent drive. Enter on road on east side of highway south of Fountain Paint Pots. Return to highway just north of Paint Pots. Great Fountain Geyser is the star attraction but only erupts every 7-15 hours. There is a closer estimate each day available at the Old Faithful Visitor Center. White Dome Geyser erupts much more frequently, usually for about 2 minutes. Firehole Lake is very photogenic. It has a nice boardwalk around it with a very pleasant and enjoyable walk. I recommend it.
This is a great introduction to the awesome and unexpected sights of Yellowstone. Just south of Madison Junction, turn right onto the one-way Firehole River Drive. It's a 2-mile drive with several delightful features. There ARE bathrooms by the (unattended) popular swimming area.
We drove to Montana from Spokane, Washington along Interstate 90 for a 4th of July picnic in 1997. We got off the highway at the first exit from the border which takes you into the Lolo National Forest along the St. Regis River. This area is in Mineral County along the northern edge of the Bitterroot Mountains and the southern tip of the Couer d'Alene Mountains through Lookout Pass (4,725 ft above sea level).
This is a very beautiful and quiet area, perfect for a picnic, hiking, or fishing.
290 Izaak Walton Inn Road, Essex, Montana, 59916, United States
Good for: Solo
It is an ok hotel. It is an older structure, but seems to be fairly well maintained. It seems to...more
It's been awhile since we stayed here on our way to Utah. We stayed in a room with the following; ...more