Second week of our honeymoon we went to Yellowstone National Park
. It is mostly located in Wyoming State and some small parts are in Montana and Idaho. Park was established in 1872 as first national park in the U.S.
It is just an amazing place! we have been there for 6 days and it was just enough to cover all parts of the park. The park is huge!
We stayed in Old Faithful Inn which is the largest log building in the world. Oh men, how I loved that building! Everybody who is going to Yellowstone should stop by there and see the magnificent lobby! And also Inn is so close to Old Faithful Geyser that you can watch it from there.
There isn’t a direct flight. We flew from Boston to Denver, Colorado where we took tiny plane to Cody, Wyoming. That flight was something! You could feel every little turbulence! I was glad when we landed safely in Cody. :)
We rented Subaru Outback and started our trip. First stop was at Old Trail Town not so far from Cody. I was glad we stopped. You get the real feeling of old west.
After that we continued on our way to east entrance to Yellowstone on Route 20 which is called Shoshone Road. Along the way you can see Hoodoos
which are rock formations.
Not so long after we passed the park entrance first things you notice are burned trees, smell of sulfur and herds of buffalos!!!
Yellowstone sits atop one of the world’s largest volcanoes. Last eruption was 640 000 years ago and they say it may be overdue to erupt sometimes soon. That’s why there is a sulfur odor and geysers, hot springs, mud pots and fumaroles (steam vent) everywhere.
A lot of fires are done naturally by lightning and it is part of the Yellowstone ecosystem. The worst was in 1988 caused by lightning and by people who left cigarette. You can see burned trees all over Yellowstone.
Buffalos!!!! We were so excited to see them!!! Then you kind of get used to them because they were everywhere everyday. :) Buffalos are magnificent animals and you can hardly imagine that once there were thousands and thousands of them.
There is more animals to see then just buffalos. We were lucky to see a coyote, an owl (that was awesome), an eagle (I guess), moose, elks (look at the video below), a bum of grizzly bear eating carcass through a binoculars (very far far away) and probably a black bear was passing near us (I wrote more under the section Hayden and Pelican Valleys). We haven’t seen wolfs which was David’s big desire.
There is so many things to do and to see. We have broke the park into 5 sections and started to discover.
Grand Teton National Park
Grand Tetons aren’t part of the Yellowstone park but it is park on its own. Tetons are located south from Yellowstone and when I saw it for the first time it took my breath away. I must say they are more dramatic and scenic then Yellowstone and it is because of their mountains which seems they arose just from the bottom without any foothills. You are at the base of the mountain and you see the whole thing! It is just AMAZING!!!
We saw a moose there. It was from a bridge so it kind of look small but I was thrilled! Moose is one of my favorite animals! It was actually moose family. The other moose and the cab were hiding. :)
is one of the Geothermal areas of Yellowstone. The active springs are building terraces which can change and grow two feet every year. Very famous is Liberty Cap formed by an extinct hot spring. It is 37 feet (11.3 meters) tall and is no longer an active thermal feature. Other geothermal areas that we visited are Norris Geyser basin, around Madison Junction and Old Faithful Area.
This Grand Canyon isn’t as well known as the one in Arizona but it has its own charm also. Canyon is known for its Upper and Lower Falls. The Upper Falls are 109 feet (33,2 meters) high and The Lower Falls are 308 feet (93,9 meters) which is nearly twice as high as Niagara Falls. It is impossible to have both falls in one picture taken at the ground level because the Yellowstone River makes S-turn between the falls.
There are several trails which will take you to some nice view points of the falls. One of them is Uncle Tom’s Trail which has 328 steps down and climbing up it feels like 2,000 step because of the thin air of high mountain elevation.
Before we got to Grand Canyon we made a small hike on top of Mt. Washburn. I wrote a separate entry about the hike
are located near Yellowstone Lake
, the largest water area in Yellowstone. We didn’t do much around the lake instead we did a short hike around Indian Pond which is near by.
The valleys are know for they wild life. Pelican Valley is the place where we met a bear. We went for a short hike there because it is well know for its grizzly bear territory. The Park Ranger informed us of high intensity of bears and that we should always make some noise because we don’t want to surprise a grizzly. So we were clapping hands and singing just in case but we didn’t see anything. We have passed couple who were returning from their hike and their didn’t see anything. So when we got through trail in the forest and entered open area we decided to returned. We were still singing and clapping when it happened. David noticed something first and whispered at me to stop. For awhile it was quiet, nothing was moving. It was hard to see because we were back in the forest trail. So we clapped our hands again and then we saw a running bear I would say 50 feet (15-20 meters) from us. I’ll tell you as adventures as it was it also was really scary. I was a little bit shaking and was glad that the bear was even more scared of us then we were of him. We don’t know what type of bear it was but we think that it was a black bear because of its size. I’m glad we didn’t have to deal with the bear. I don’t think we could run away. The bear was pretty fast!!!!! After that David asked me if I recorded it on camcorder. Of course I did not. I was glad I was standing. :)
is also known for wild life. To see something you would have to come very early in the morning or late in the evening. We were trying to get there close to the end of the day but we still weren’t lucky and didn’t see anything only the grizzly bear I mentioned earlier. It was kind of funny sight. You knew that there was something because of the number of cars parked near and all the people with binoculars. Some people were waiting and watching there the whole day. I must say I don’t have a lot of patience for that. One guy with a big binoculars let us to look and even with his giant binoculars the bear was big like a cherry. Everybody were excited. I was not. :) We stayed for an hour and drove through the valley. I must say I enjoyed more the beauty of the valley then waiting to see some part of a grizzly.
I am not going to write about all the areas we have seen but you can see them through photos in my Yellowstone Park album. It was an excellent experience and I just wish we could have more time. I hope I gave you some ideas about Yellowstone and how special the place is. I would highly recommend to everybody who loves nature to go there. Hopefully one day I will return.
more photos in my albumYellowstone Park