Into The Witch’s Cauldron – Yellowstone, WY
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
MacBeth (Shakespeare, circa 1606)
We’d thrown ourselves directly into the witch’s cauldron, and I wasn’t just talking about the boiling earth around us. A vast plain spread out before us, grass swaying golden in the mid-morning light. In the distance steam clouds rose in grand mushrooms, dancing and rising like ancient smoke signals from the ground. A herd of bison wondered slowly over the image, munching, playing, fighting as bison do. It would all be rather picture perfect apart from one gut-wrenching thing. We were stuck in a 5-mile traffic jam of idling cars and we were not moving…AT ALL! And this was OFF-season, in September!!
I could hear the witches cackling with laughter in the background…
To understand how deeply this scene affects us you have to understand our history. We lived in the Bay Area during the tech boom of the 2000’s. Our flat was in San Francisco and our jobs in San Jose, which meant we commuted ~55 miles each way in some of the worst traffic in the country. Sometimes it would take two and a half hours to get home, and we would be stuck for miles in masses of cars that inched along in agonizing slowness. After 5 years we vowed never to subject ourselves to that kind of horror again, and we never have…until now. This Yellowstone traffic jam was our version of a living nightmare, and rather than sit around for hours we simply turned the car around drove the other way.
Thankfully we had a back-up destination in mind, and once we managed to get there and fight ourselves to a parking spot, I have to admit we were quite impressed.
THIS was the cauldron we’d come to see! The scene before us was a furious, moving, living artists palette. Bold brush strokes of pinks, emerald greens, sea blues and burgundy reds swirled in intricate patterns across the valley. A geyser erupted to our left, spurting boiling water ~40 feet into the air. Pools bubbled in a angry fury to our right, sending steam and heat in thick waves through the air, at times obscuring our view and plunging us into a dense fog. A strong smell of sulfur permeated the air. If it weren’t so darn pretty you’d think we’d landed in the depths of hell.
This is what it looks like when you’re sitting on a thin crust on top of an enormous hotspot of molten MAGMA.
Yellowstone is Americas oldest national park. Established in 1872, it covers a mind-boggling 2,219,791 acres (8,983.18 km2) and extends into 3 states (WY, MT, ID). It’ s centered over the Yellowstone Caldera, the largest supervolcano on the continent which, should it ever blow, would create an ash cloud capable of covering most of the United States. Thankfully it hasn’t blown big-time in ~640,000 years, but standing ontop of it does give you pause for thought.
In the meantime the valley boils away, releasing its pressure in measured doses of bubbles, hot pools and geysers that erupt up to 350 feet high. It’s estimated there are over 10,000 thermal features in the valley, the most concentrated on earth, of which only a minor portion are visible from the official trails. And the crowds LOVE it!
We discovered very quickly (after the first day) that the only way to avoid the madness on the West side is to enter the park before 7:30 am and be home around noon. Early morning the steam from the pools is particularly intense (not good for photography), but you can capture wildlife in relative peace on the way in, get to your pools for mid-morning light (you need the sun high in the sky to capture the best colors) and then sneak back out by-passing the 3-5 mile “Bison jams” that form every single day on the southbound route between Madison and Old Faithful. This also kept our outings to around 4 hours so we could get back to doggie who cannot go anywhere interesting in the park.
You’d need MONTHS to see everything in Yellowstone and we were only here a few short days, so we kept our exploration focused on the key thermal features in the western section (from north to south):
1/ Norris Geyser Basin and Artists Paint Pots
These two thermal areas are both north of the junction at Madison and can easily be seen in one outing. Norris Geyser is the hottest and most changeable thermal area in Yellowstone and offers 2 1/4 miles (3.6 km) of trails. While you’re here make sure to see Emerald Spring Pool and Porcelain Basin.
Artists Paint Pots is a smaller area just a few miles south and an easy 1.1 miles (1.8 km) trail will take you around ~50 little springs, pools and bubbling mud pots. Cute and colorful.
3/ Midway Geyser Basin
This area just south of the Madison junction, commonly known as “Hell’s Half Acre” is all about Grand Prismatic Spring IMHO, the largest thermal pool in the U.S. (and the third largest in the world). It’s so large in fact (~370 feet in diameter) that the only way to really see it is from above. So, once you’ve admired the edges of the pool from the Boardwalk, drive back to the trailhead for Fairy Falls, hike around a mile in and then take the very clear but unmarked trail up the hill opposite the spring. It’s a steep, crazy scramble (I had a height panic attack and got stuck there for 20 mins before I could get calm enough to come back down), but the views are incredible.
- Midway Geyser Basin Info -> Click HERE
4/ Biscuit Basin
Just south of Midway is a smaller set of thermals called Biscuit Basin. The star of the show here is undoubtedly Sapphire Pool, a beautiful blue beauty who bubbles along at around 180F. No one seems to go here early AM, so if you arrive before ~8:30 you can have it all to yourself.
- Biscuit Basin Info -> Click HERE
5/ Old Faithful and Upper Geyser Basin
Anyone who’s ever heard of Yellowstone has heard of Old Faithful, the geyser that erupts with timed regularity (or sort of, anyway) near the beautiful wooden Old Faithful Inn. You can time the eruptions on this handy dandy website, and then just come early to beat the crowds. After you’ve seen her blow plan to spend a few hours walking the basin to catch other geysers and see the pools. We saw Beehive Geyser erupt (a fabulously intense geyser that shot up 200 feet) as well as Riverside Geyser (a smaller, but ~20-minute long eruption). Our favorite pools were Belgian Pool (renamed in 1929 after a visitor from Belgium fell in and..ermmm…died) and Morning Glory (the colors..wow!!!). All in all we walked just over 5 miles (~8 km) here.
- Geyser Eruption Time Website -> Click HERE
- Key Features of Upper Geyser Basin -> Click HERE
- Detailed Map of Upper Geyser Basin -> Click HERE
6/ Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center
This is actually outside the National Park in the town of West Yellowstone, but is well worth the $11.50 fee to see. It’s a well-managed non profit with a small population of bears, wolves and raptors all of which cannot (for whatever reason) survive on their own in the wild. Although I’m not usually a fan of these things, the enclosures here were well done, the information thorough and it’s awe-inspiring to see these creatures up close.
- Grizzly & Wolf Center Info -> Click HERE
Oh and on top of all this, we even managed to be social!! When we drove into camp our RV friends Alex and Ellen were unexpectedly here, so we had a wonderful reunion with them. One day later we hooked up with Becky, a lovely young solo RVer (Interstellar Orchard) who’s been working for the summer here in Yellowstone. She runs an excellent blog, has even written a book (Solo Full-time RVing On A Budget: Go Small, Go Now) and tipped us off to two prime in-town establishments -> the Slippery Otter (lovely little bar with a fabulous beer-list), and the Mexican bus Las Palmitas (yummy Mexican food!). Then, just to top it off Amy and Rod, fulltime RVers who run the superb website gopetfriendly.com drove into camp and we got to spend several lovely evenings with them too! If you ever need travel tips for your paws, definitely check them out.
Phew! A mere few days here and it feels like weeks!! Overall I loved the photography in Yellowstone, but the vast distances (everything here is FAR), the crazy, insane crowds (even off-season!) and the fact that we had to leave doggie at home means that we probably won’t be back here for a while. We are boiled and well-done. The witches will have to wait until we’re older to eat us up.SPONSORED LINK:
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We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do
Wonderful colors! Who would of thought you would be caught in a traffic jam!
We had heard about the Yellowstone traffic jams before we came (they’re notorious), but we “thought” they’d be gone by Sept. Not the case! Seems there is a traffic jam every single day. In summer it’s even worse (I shudder to think).
What great photos again, Nina. It’s so fun to see others enjoy this surreal environment as much as I have on my visits there. I recognize some of those spots as well. Brings back some wonderful memories and get my travel itch up! Lol!
Sad to see the traffic has become such an issue. I’ve been to the park in September twice, but both were a number of years ago, and there was no traffic at all. Heck, there weren’t very many people at all, really. Kind of a bummer in a way that it has become like a big city traffic headache now.
I know you’re not much for cold weather, but Yellowstone in winter is absolutely magical. It’s still Yellowstone, but that winter wonderland in that giant caldera is a while different experience and so worth it.
Becky told me that park visitation is up 20% this year, and that the traffic has been worse than ever. In summer there were ~5 mile jams just to get INTO the park. Nuts! Paul and I did actually talk about the fact that winter would probably be the best time to visit. No crowds and totally magical landscape. Maybe one day…
If you do go in the winter, I encourage some investigating things before starting that journey. West Yellowstone has for years called itself the snowmobile capital of the world. It can be crazy busy, and booked up at some points of the winter. It’s a lot of fun if you get things set up in advance, if not, well it’s too cold for camping!
I’ve been to the Gardiner entrance to the park a couple of times in winter, and that has always had far fewer people, tho it’s been a decade or so.
I’m not sure if there is access allowed via the east entrance, out of Cody, WY. I’ve driven by auto to the closed gates but don’t recall if any other form of acces is available there in winter. Same with the south entry route.
Good, luck, have fun, you’ll love it. It’s a Winter Wonderland like no other!
We were just in de park as well, left two days ago because of the bad weather (they already predicted snow). We loved Yellowstone, but those traffic jams are awful! I think we were lucky and only got stuck in three during our 10 day visit. I can really recommend the Northern part of the park, we found it a lot less busy and has tons of trails. We loved the boiling river (you can swim in the hot springs).
We actually saw some of that snow driving through Yellowstone earlier today. The passes were almost completely white! We’re down by Cody now and much, much warmer.
We did miss swimming in the springs while we were there which is a bummer. Plus we missed the whole northern section (and eastern section for that matter). It’s hard to do everything in that park in one visit though. It’s just SO big!
Bear Tracks Blog says
Wonderful pics! Last year Mike and I spent two months there and loved it. It is so huge! We did lots of driving but never had any traffic jams that lasted longer than 10 minutes, like when a herd of bison were crossing the road or when everyone would stop because someone spotted a bear. It was June and July so there were a lot of cars, but not 5-mile jams! That would sure take the shiny off the penny. Glad you got to see some of the beautiful thermal features.
Guess the traffic must be MUCH worse this year than last. We saw huge jams every single day we were in the park. At least we could avoid them by getting in early.
I’ve camped in the TT dry camping, in early June, in ID, west of W Yellowstone, and in Montana, along the Madison River, below Quake Lake, to visit Yellowstone National Park. Diesel was close to $5 a gallon that year, and Yellowstone had a lot of small cars in the park, not many 5th wheels or motor homes… price of fuel left the big rigs staying at home, for folks on the margin of affordability. Not that I wish $5 a gallon diesel on anyone, but it is what it is. Gotta pay to play, when fuel is cheap, a lot more people can afford to play.
I certainly agree that low fuel prices are part of the draw here. Lots more folks out on the roads when gas is cheap.
Ken & Jeannie Armstrong says
We went into the park during the winter 20 years ago. Rented a snow machine at Flagg Ranch just south of the park, and went into Old Faithful Lodge. Had a great time, except that Jeannie came down with a bad cold…. but she was a trooper!
I hope you saw Artist’s Point. It’s been 30 years since I’ve seen it, but can still close my eyes and envision that beautiful gorge with the waterfall. Simply the greatest sight I’ve ever seen, absolutely surreal!
Oh how wonderful! Winter must be simply amazing!! If we come back that’s when I’d most like to see it.
Interesting- when I went with my family a few years ago to Yellowstone it was early June, and I can’t remember getting caught in a traffic jam! (We *did* however see snow, enough to cover the ground around where you were during a few intense hours of snow of the morning!) I wonder if Yellowstone in September just suffers from the same symptoms as many places in Europe- practically as busy because everyone without kids thinks it’s better to go in fall right after summer, and the net effect is things are just as busy still.
But then, my family is also the sort where we took one look at all the tourists waddling around who couldn’t actually get anywhere far from their car, and opted to spend most of our time hiking far from the road instead. So not many jams to be caught in when out in the woods. 🙂
Visitation is definitely up this year big-time which I do think is part of the problem, although I have to admit I thought Sept would be calmer. In past years we’ve seen a big drop-off in Sept (post Labor Day) RV crowds, but this year seems to be different. It’s been packed almost everywhere we’ve gone. Time to get back out in the boonies!
Rick Meade says
Actually Yellowstone NP is the first National park in the World!
I have been going to Yellowstone since 1954 and every time go I see something new and different. I am always amazed by the parks diversity.
Standing at the Roosvelt Arch is always a thrill “For the benefit and enjoyment of the People”, it’s what are National Parks are all about.
Wonderful pictures, thanks
Indeed you are right. Not only Americas first, but the worlds first. Quite an accomplishment!
Linda Berry says
We stayed in the RV park right next door to the Grizzly and Wolf Center. Talk about hard on your nerves the first time you hear a Wolf howl that close to your RV! Yellowstone traffic is strange, we ran into one or two traffic jams when we were there in July a couple of years back, but overall, it wasn’t bad at all. We swore the Bison were on the payroll. There were a couple of them that were in the same places everytime we went by, one of them lay right by the road every day.
That’s a lovely RV park and such a great location too! Bison were everywhere when we were here. We saw at least 3 herds every time we went in. A few lay down on the road too, which of course caused an instant jam.
Cathie Dunn says
Hi Nina! I couldn’t find the proper place to post this. We are buying an RV this weekend and I would like to know what towing packages are the best for a 34 class A motor home. My husband Tom wants the dolly type but I’m not sure which one would be best. Do you have a resource for this? Thanks so much!
I MUCH prefer 4-down towing. You can read my 2-part series on towing here:
Cathie – my husband was set on a tow dolly too until we spent an hour trying to help a guy untangle the wheel harness from his axle. They don’t show that part in the YouTube videos that make it look so easy! 4-down is definitely the way to go.
Dan Bickham says
You ought to see Yellowstone Falls while you are ther. Very pretty.
Yeah we missed the falls AND the Grand Canyon too. With only a few days in the area it was limited what we could manage.
You got some great photos. That’s horrid about the traffic jams though. I’m glad you liked the Grizzly center, and the eateries.
The traffic jams were so much worse than I imagined, but the thermals were pretty. I’m glad we got to do at least a portion of the park. It is a really surreal landscape.
Sounds like you had a wonderful time. But, you missed enormous areas of the park, the falls, the lake, Lamar Valley, Artist’s Point, Mount Washburn, I could go on but you get the idea. Yes the park is enormous, part of its appeal in my opinion. We have been there probably 15 times or more. If you stay in the park, half the battle is won as you don’t have to drive 30+ miles just to get somewhere to start your visit. The traffic jams are sporadic caused mostly by herds of bison blocking the road, sometimes it hits you hard and other times it doesn’t, too bad you were caught. We love the thermal features, but we love the wildlife even more, wolves, bears, coyotes, fox, elk, etc. Hope you go back and try again, it is one of the great treasures of this country.
If we come back I think it will be post-doggie one day. There’s simply too many places doggie cannot go, and most places require at least a short hike of some sort to see the sights (again, no doggie). I know there is much we missed, but we have lots of other places on our “bucket list” to enjoy between now and then.
Great photos guys, some of the best I’ve seen from “our backyard.” September used to be the turning point for the crowds twenty years ago when Michael and I were first married but no more–YNP is crowded all summer/fall. If you happen to live nearby and have a gorgeous Indian summer and low snow winter, November can be awesome! We drove our little convertible to YNP one year in November on dry roads and saw maybe a dozen other people–it was awesome!!! And, my family has frequently snowmobiled in YNP before the newer restrictions–you are right, it is a magical place in winter!
I think if we come back it’s going to be completely off-season, either in winter or very early Spring…and of course that would likely be post-RV and definitely post-doggie. That sounds like the way to go.
Robin & Don says
So happy you were able to visit Yellowstone….. This year we also visited Yellowstone for the first time… And during the Fourth of July weekend!! Yes I know ….BUT it was the most amazing experience! We actually came to embrace the Bison Jams! Not for the drama of it…but how it made us feel to witness the mighty Bison own that road! It was a realization that we are visiting his land….and to watch his huge face with those big eyes walk right by our vehicle…we have some awesome bison photos! I have to say even on the Fourth of July weekend that Westside of Yellowstone bison or grizzly jams were not bad at all! Sure we waited….but it was time well spent…we actually spent four days straight driving in and out of Yellowstone with our dog …we spent 11-12 hours each day…just in awe of the vastness…the colors like I’ve never seen….the stillness and beauty of Lamar Valley.( to get away from crowds Lamar Valley was the spot to be at ) and again in Hayden Valley….the beauty and no crowds at Yellowstone Lake….the wildlife we saw was such a gift….we saw Grizzlies, beautiful Elk, Bison and beautiful birds…Regarding the geysers ( we must be weird or something 🙂 but the sulfur smell didn’t bother us at all…it felt like the earth was alive and Yellowstone was not like any other national park we have seen!
We stood in awe at Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone …( not to be missed we thought) since we travel with our furry child and it’s a short hike to sneak away from any crowds at the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone …we took turns to go separately out to this breathtaking spot…I actually just sat down on the edge and took in all the beauty in front of me….as we read about this area…”it’s beautiful tints were beyond the reach of human art” painter Thomas Moran stated.
So as you can tell we loved Yellowstone and hopefully you will give it another chance down the road. Thank you for all your wonderful blog postings we always look forward to reading them!
Sounds like you had an awesome visit! I think if you like to drive Yellowstone is the perfect place. Lots of scenic driving, lots of scenic stops. Both the dog and I tend to get car sick so that’s another reason we keep our outings short. I can definitely see the appeal though.
Great shots! And hoping the traffic jams are phasing out for the year… We don’t, won’t, drive on snow or ice roads. But three times we’ve been to Teton’s and Yellowstone in late September early October, and found we really enjoyed the weather and less crowded conditions. Hoping it will be so this year. And, as other posters commented, we have been known to pull out a few days early to avoid a winter storm forecasted for the time of our original planned departure.
We’re still just West of Cody, with a great sunrise and dusting of snow around the mountains of the Buffalo Bill State Park North Fork campground – this area is very neat. And, we dam well liked the dam Visitor Center visit, and of course, the Cody Museum. Treat yourselves to a lunch or dinner at ‘The Local’, and try to keep Paul away from the Pat O’hara’s – they need to start stocking up on brew for the locals to survive the winter ahead:)!
Well guess what. We’re in that same campground right now! I will send you a note.
We recently visited Yellowstone and boarded our dog in Cody so we could go on some hikes. Happy with Bed & Biscuit Boarding there!
Wow! the images of the water holes with the brilliant colors just want to make you jump in. Very cool pics! This area is on my “to do” list and some day soon I hope to make it there. Thanks for sharing.
I have to admit the colors here are beyond amazing. Never been anywhere else in the world where I’ve seen anything like it.
Jodee Gravel says
Beautiful pics of the geysers and pools, the colors are just incredible. After a life in SoCal I think the jams would cause a bit of PTSD for me as well 🙁 With the big anniversary next year we are waiting until Spring of 2017 to visit the park, and hopefully catch it when it’s a little less crowded. Still, it is a place we all have to see!
Yup, that’s exactly how we felt. The jams brought back all those Bay Area those traffic memories and it was stressful beyond the norm! I think Spring would be a great time to be here. You’ll get fickle weather, but you’ll be here before the big crowds.
Love the picture of the Belgian Pool, I haven’t seen that one before. As we normally go to Yellowstone for the wildlife I don’t get a lot of time to see everything else Yellowstone has to offer. We usually get out before Memorial Day because of the crowds, but even this year it was really busy in the first week of May, madness. This year we even went at the end of February in our trailer and did a ski-doo trip – yes it was cold, with our catalytic heater on 24/7 we could only get inside to 32ºF.
Wow, visiting in Feb in the trailer. That’s super hard core! That’s way too cold for me, but it must have been beyond gorgeous.
Marla ~ Corona, CA says
Beautiful pics, of course, Nina! 🙂
As I can relate to you about getting up early, looks like in this case it was worth it! I’ve never been to Yellowstone, but have always wanted to….I didn’t realize how amazing it was! Thanks for sharing!!!
Brian Hebert says
I had been there in 1992. At that time, huge wildfires had come through the year before. A lot of the landscape was black and burned.
It was still an incredible place. I’d been to the places you have. I think of them every now and then. Wonderful place.
Is it time to close Yellowstone to cars, and reintroduce the trains?!!
You know given the crazy traffic we saw I personally do think Yellowstone would benefit from some kind of managed transportation system. A closure to cars in certain areas of the park replaced by a regular bus system perhaps (like Denali)? Letting an unlimited amount of cars in just seems like a bad idea.
We were at Yellowstone the week before you. We had a few days and were also amazed at how many people were there post Labor Day. We did our sightseeing in the morning. We also got caught up in the traffic jam like you. The day before that we were in a very long stopped traffic jam because of a terrible head on car crash with a life flight having to take one of the victims out of the area. I was dismayed with the many people racing from place to place with no thought that other people were also driving or parking or anything else. I agree that maybe it is time for Yellowstone to think of running buses like at Zion and the Grand Canyon. Things seemed so much more orderly. My biggest gripe was the tour buses full of people dumped off at the main sights and their posing (laying down on the boardwalks) to have their photo taken. Or the selfie sticks and watching the person taking the photo backing up without paying attention to where they were backing to. I realize they only have a small amount of time to see things and get their photos taken, but they all seemed to be lacking in manners or good judgement. We saw foot prints off the boardwalk leading to one of the bubbling paint pots. I hadn’t been to Yellowstone since the 70’s and I figure it will that long or longer before I attempt to go back. And if I did go back I would spend most of my time on the east side of the park. It seemed more of what the park is about.
You had very much the same experience we did. The other thing that astonished me was tourists trying to take selfies with bison. Saw this several times between the traffic jams. People getting out, walking right up to the bison and taking a selfie. I cringed every time!
I have to admit I was going to put that in my note, but thought I was dwelling too much on the negative. I did enjoy seeing the part of Yellowstone that most tourist bypass because of lack of time. It helped to make up for the other parts that were more of hassle trying to see.
I know exactly what you mean by traffic in the bay area! I’m one of those who commuted 2 hours each way just to get to work! But glad that nightmare is behind us now, and yes never again.
We visited YNP early spring some years ago, and I enjoyed revisiting it through your eyes with all the vivid colors of the pools. As always great photography.
Yup, that was us…crazy commutes every single day for years. I never want to see traffic again, if I can avoid it.
Pam Wright says
This is such an amazing place. We’ve been there three time and out last visit was for ten days which was very nice. So glad you got to visit for a few days. There is just so much to see and the park is HUGE! Lots of driving! Love the photos:) Great color!
No kidding…this park is ENORMOUS! Before we came we naively thought we could do the “loop drive” in a single day. In the end we could only manage visiting a single thermal area in each trip. It would take months to see everything here, especially at the pace that we like to travel.
Your photos are just gorgeous, Nina — and so artistic! We loved Yellowstone, too — although as you said, standing on top of that enormous caldera of molten lava does give one pause for thought. We visited at the end of September for 10 days a couple of years ago, and the crowds weren’t a problem. In fact, we had many trails to ourselves, and even had the Boiling River hot springs all to ourselves. We had a bit of snow, but better than crowds, I say! 🙂
End of Sept sounds like a good time to go. Another blog commenter mentioned he goes early Oct and it’s nicely quiet there too. Without the crazy crowds this place must be amazing!
Great post, we loved the paint pots when we were there but ohhhh the smell. It’s was interesting to watch the bison or bear siting traffic jams. I was amazed how close people were willing to get with no regard for the saftey warnings being given by the park rangers. I guess if you don’t live in an area with frequent wildlife warnings you don’t realize the real danger they can provide.
Yeah the folks getting close to wildlife kinda shocked me too. This despite warnings and handouts given when you enter the park not to approach wildlife. I have waaay too much respect for wild animals to get remotely close.
Interesting – we were there for close to a week at the end of July and the traffic really wasn’t that bad. No major jams. They did close the road between Norris and Old Faithful for a couple hours due to a bad car accident, but that was really our only bad traffic other than a couple bear jams. We didn’t mind the bear jams as it gave us a chance to get out and look at the bears (thereby contributing to the bear jam).
If you don’t like traffic, stay far away from Yosemite- now that place is a nightmare.
We haven’t been to Yosemite in many, many years. Back in the day (10-15 years ago) traffic wasn’t bad at all, but I imagined it’s changed a lot since then.
Howard & Peni says
We love your blog with the fabulous photos and the excellent writing! We both just retired and are getting ready to travel next summer with Yellowstone on the list for a few days. I did ride thru from the Northeast entry (Beartooth Hwy) on my Harley back in ’06 on my way to Idaho. I was stuck in a jam because of buffalo and was more than a bit nervous sitting there on the bike while many 2000# beasts slowly walked by in the opposite direction, 4 to 5 feet away, snorting and puffing, and glancing my way a few times! It was a beautiful ride thru the park that day, but can’t wait to go back and take our time enjoying the wildlife and beauty that is Yellostone!!
One of things I DO regret on this trip is not being able to explore the Beartooth Highway. That’s one part of the area I definitely want to come back for!
Your photos are spectacular Nina and have made us very homesick for Yellowstone. Having lived there for two years, I am attest to the beautiful vistas, as well as the madness when you are stuck in a bison jam. Some of my very fondest memories of Yellowstone have been during the winter, when silence falls over the landscape and you feel that the park is yours, and yours alone. My two favorite thermal features have always been Sapphire and Morning Glory. Thanks for sharing!
Winter must be AMAZING, not only for the scenery but also the peace. You guys know this place more intimately than most.
steve citron says
Linda and I were there from May 16th to June 12th, and had almost no traffic anywhere except at the “Old Faithful”, and at the lake campground.
BOY, do they pack you into the campgrounds of the park!
Since we were in a truck camper, we could go just about anywhere and still have the “loo” with us, as well as we did have a couple of very sad Queensland Heeler Dogs! They wanted to go herd the deer, and bison in the worst way! But of course they just looked out the windows of the camper, and whined loudly!
We also were very impressed with the town of Cody, and the drive up to the east entrance. The “Buffalo Bill Cody” Museum is not to be missed while in the area. If you like historical guns, and HUGE collections, this will not disappoint!!
Also found the best breakfast place, called “Grandmas” right on the main drag in Cody!
Interesting the you had less traffic in June than we did in Sept. Not sure how the season runs there, but Sept was truly crazy.
We went to Cody right after we stopped at Yellowstone, so got to stay at the State Park there and visit the Museum. If you missed it, here’s the post: