The road from the south entrance of the park to the Old Faithful inn and Geyser Basin area, cross over this well known mountain range two or three times. Good picture opportunity, ey?
Just look at the elevation, it is hard to breathe for us flatlanders up there. I got winded just from focusing and pushing the camera shutter button.
Another day has gone, and it is time to move on to the next stop in the park : Old Faithfull.
We stayed in a cabin close to Old Faithful Geyser for the night. I was very afraid that this cabins would be very cold and there would be only a thin blanket (read my Yosemite page; and then you know why!). But the cabins were heated ! The heater got warm so quickly, it looked more like a sauna. But hej, I am not complaining. Again these are very simple cabins, don't expect too much. For all accomodations in Yellowstone you must make reservations well in advance!
Black Sand Basin
Am I on another planet? Is this a science fiction film?....
No, this is Opalescent Pool in the Black Sand Basin. This Basin is only 1,5 kilometers to the north west of Old Faithful.
Opalescent Pool has a temperature 144°F and is 28x55 feet wide, with a depth of 6 feet. This pool has a cooler temperature than other thermal features at Black Sand Basin. Early in its history Opalescent was a boiling spring, surrounded by smaller springs. In the early 1950s it was a small dry pool, then the run-off from Spouter Geyser flowed into it. The increased water flow flooded the surrounding area, killing the lodgepole pine. Since then silica has precipitated upon the dead tree trunks creating the white "bobby sock" trees. This silica, a non-crystalline compound, slowly impregnates the wood and over time, with the absence of oxygen, could eventually petrify the wood.
Keplar Cascades ?
We travelled a couple of kilometers to the south, I am not sure, but I think this is in the neighbourhood of the Keplar Cascades. If anyone recognizes it, please tell me!
It is a much more tranquil area. If you watch closely you can see a deer crossing the river in this picture.
Mud Vulcano is a weird area in Yellowstone. There is a trail of about 1 kilometer long, most of it is boardwalk. It is a fascinating site, all those pools of hot muddy bubbling water.
But beware : The smell is awful !
I have been almost high for several days now coming back from this trip. No drugs, just the ride through the park. The corners are perfect for a great ride. The scenery is much more vivid on a bike and you get the smells. This has become my favorite way to see the park! Just dress warm, very warm! We got snow the last couple of miles one day.
Grand Tetons National Park is well known as a spectacular landscape with beautiful mountains, calm lakes, and a variety of wildlife. The park is named after Grand Teton Mountains which tower some 13,770 feet over the surrounding glacial lakes and plains. The park is home to a variety of wildlife including grizzly and black bear, mountain lion, wolf, coyote, American bison, moose, pronghorn, elk, mule deer, and bald eagles. The park was first established in 1929 to cover the peaks and glacial lakes, but in 1950, it was expanded to cover more of the Jackson Hole valley.
Four million people visit Grand Tetons National Park Each year, making it one of the top 10 national parks, but I'd bet most of these visit on the way between Jackson and Yellowstone.
We visited Grand Tetons after spending the night in Jackson. From Jackson we drove north out of town on US 191 and passed the elk refuge. Within 10 or 15 miles we approached the edge of Grand Tetons National Park. We took the first major road on the left, called Grand Teton Park Road, bought the $80 National Parks Pass, and were on our way. We drove along the side of these beautiful mountains, enjoying the snow-covered scenery until finally deciding to get some food at the only restaurant in the park sill open for the season: Signal Mountain at Jackson Lake. Here we had a great breakfast, then we headed north into Rockefeller National Parkway then into snowy Yellowstone National Park.
John D. Rockefeller, Jr., National Parkway is an area of 24,000 acres of public land that occupies the 27 mile corridor connecting Grand Tetons National Park and Yellowstone National Park. While the scenery here is pretty plain compared to the neighboring parks (especially since much of the forest was decimated by fire in 1988), the area does have an interesting history.
After Yellowstone was created there was a movement to expand the park to include the Grand Tetons and much of Jackson. Locals in Jackson Hole, however, were vehemently opposed to this suggestion. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., took his wealth and began buying up thousands of acres to preserve the land for when the government finally decided to expand or create this park. When the original section of Grand Tetons National Park was created after careful negotiation between locals and the park service, the government refused to accept the Rockefeller lands because of controversy and dispute between his company and locals. Finally in 1950 the Grand Tetons National Park was extended to its current size, and the government accepted Rockefeller's preserved lands. This section of the park was named in his honor.
There is an unlimited varierty of activities to do at any time of the year you visit:
Nature Walks, Camera Walks, and Evening programs.
Hiking, boating, fishing, horseback riding ( at Roosevelt Canyon and Mammoth), Stagecoach rides, snow coach tours, cross country sking, ice skating, snowshoeing and snowmobling.
Last time we went to Yellowstone, we passed by the mudpots a million times. I always wanted to stop, but always we were on our way somewhere else. This time we made it our first priority. The sun was just going down, but we had just enough time to make it around the boardwalks. Dragon Sring was luckily not too steamy, so we were able to peer into it's depths. Mud Volcano itself was gurgling, bubbling and splashing.
more to come.....
At the northeastern section of Yellowstone is the animal rich section of Lamar Valley. The long road that travels from the Tower Falls section to the Northeast entrance at Silver Gate, is not part of the Loop road and (when I went) much less populated with tourists. There are no active thermal features in this section of the park, just the long dormant cone of Soda Butte. The wide open expanses of land are great spaces to spot herds of Bison and Pronghorn Antelope families. If you are very fortunate, you might have the treat of seeing one of the wolf packs that reside here. During our visit, we spotted a couple members of the Slough Creek pack on a carcass. A spotting scope was needed to really see any detail of what was going on across the valley. Luckily there were many friendly people there who allowed us to take a peek through theirs. Only and the very end of our trip did I discover that there were scopes to rent at the General Store in Silver Gate, I have since acquired my own scope, it's ready and raring to go for our next Yellowstone adventure!
Calcite Springs Overlook is just north of Tower falls. This short loop trail takes you up to the brink of the canyon for some really spectacular views of the river and the hillside thermal features waaaayyy down below. It's a really breathtaking spot. As you circle back to the parking lot(or I suppose at the beginning of your trip depending on which way you choose to go) The Narrows section is in full view. The stone layers are so evident here you almost expect dinosaur bones to be jutting out of the cliff. It looks just like a schoolbook diagram rock layers that should go along with a timeline.
Lovely driving in from West Yellowstone in the early morning. The cold at 8 o'clock seems to make the rivers and pools steam even more than normal. The bison can be seen all along this stretch of road. Be very careful, they look tame but they ARE NOT.
Animals are easy to see everywhere in Yellowstone NP but in Lamar Valley especially. Besides this, Lamar Valley has very scenic routes and view. You will definitely see a lot of buffalos and deers and every type of colorful birds. Elks are not so easy to see, bears and wolves even less. If your trip is especially focused on animals, I'd raccomend to go outsite for sunset or follow rangers' instructions. Never approach animals and never get so close. If the animal moves because of you, it means you are too close.
West Thumb Basin is 17 miles east of Old Faithful. It is also one of the park's hydrothermic areas.In this location you will walk on a boardwalk pass numerous geysers. The basin is right on the edge of West Thumb Lake.
North Rim Drive, Wyoming, United States
Good for: Solo
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