Our first view of Yellowstone was from the East entrance,we drove through the town of Cody Wyoming and we know we were close!We notices a lot of places that advertises rafting,kayaking and canoeing on the river, and maybe next time we will rent some kayaks.
Our first stop in the actual park was breathtaking! We drove over 100 miles within the park the first day and passed many different terrains. Just looks at all those wide open spaces! Of course we used our park pass that we bought in the badlands, you can read about that here: Summer Travel 2016 Part 1 Badlands,Mount Rushmore and Wind Caves National Park.We followed the map upwards into the park and stopped at all the sites we wanted to see that day. It was pretty busy that first day we went and the driving speed was pretty slow,but we didn’t mind very much because the views were great and we even saw some bison! We also drove slow because the roads are curvy and at time narrow, a few times we ascended and descended mountainous terrain.
We didn’t come prepared to camp out so we had to book a hotel outside of the park while we were there. Now hotels in this area are very expensive and in July/August they are at least $200 a night!
We stayed in the West side of the park in a modest hotel and the little town it was in had a lot of food options for dinner. We chose a small roadside-style restaurant for dinner called Old Town Cafe, we loved their Cowboy chili !
Next time we want to bring a tent and camping gear and stay a while! We both have camping experience in our childhood but for some reason we didn’t even think about camping here since we didn’t plan on staying for days.
The next day we woke up very early (5am) and ventured into the park, we wanted to spot some wildlife and soak up the scenery while it was still cool out. First we took a little river view road and pulled off to explore a little bit on the river bank.
We did see a fly-fisher on the river but no wildlife, so we ventured further into the park. I thought I saw a bear every bend in the road we took but as I found out later those are called bear logs, they look like bears in a field, I was fooled plenty of times! As we drove further I saw a family of moose, so we used the pull-offs on the road and went to check it out, there was a moose family way off in the distance and unfortunately without binoculars we couldn’t see them very well.There was a Park Ranger pulled off as well and we went up and asked him if he had spotted any bears that morning, he said he hadn’t, he asked us where we wanted to go today and we mentioned the large and the small basin geyser and of course Old Faithful, he suggest that we head to old faithful before 10am when all the other people get there. I am so glad we followed his advice! We arrived at Old Faithful and got great parking close to the geyser. Now if your like me, I didn’t realize that while its called “Old Faithful” it only erupts every hour or so, we arrived right after an eruption and walked around to kill time until the next blast. We hiked around the different and smaller geysers, I was amazed at all the different colors of the water beds inside the sulfur rich waters.
We snacked all day while in the park, granola and fruit from the hotel breakfast bar really tided us over.
We walked around on the boardwalk trails and even got to see some of the lesser geysers erupt.Before we went to Yellowstone we heard all the horror stories about people falling in and get scalded by the geysers, and I won’t lie it made me a little nervous,but we didn’t find it hard to stay on the boardwalk and the hot smelly steam reminded us to be cautious !
We have a video of Old Faithful erupting but I suggest you go see it yourself, plus I can’t get it to upload here ha ha, seriously I suggest going to Yellowstone and spending as much time as you can exploring the many different areas and attractions that this park has to offer!
I had to get my “I’m embracing the world” photos, it’s my way of saying hello world and hello happy !
We drove out of the park to the South and traveled through the grand Tetons, it was a beautiful drive! I never get tired of a mountain range and trees, we are already planning a trip back.
So many amazing places within the park and so many trails and adventures to be had.
A few things that we learned on our first trip to Yellowstone
1.Bring a good camera ! We only used our iPhones for pictures, they work but its great to have a good camera to capture all the scenery .
2.Plan on camping to save money $$$$
3.Bring Binoculars!!! we felt like we strained our eyes trying to see wildlife.
4. Bear spray/mace. we opted out of certain trail hikes because the possibility of encountering bears was high. we always try to maintain a respectful distance from all wildlife but better to be prepared.
5.Go early in the morning ! As early as you can get out there and explore the park the less people you might have to deal with, you are there to see the nature and wildlife not other people.
6. Bring your own toilet paper and lots of hand sanitizer.trust me these won’t always be in stock while in the park…
7. Bring your own food/snacks. There are places to stop and eat but we wanted to eat something easy and fast and spend more time exploring! Plus it helped us keep fueled but not overly full from a heavy meal.
I hope you enjoyed my post about our trip to yellowstone! I would love to know if you found this post helpful or interesting, please leave a comment. Until the next post…