I’ve always wanted to visit Yellowstone, so when my friend Lucy told me about her recent trip, I told her she should share it with my readers (and me, obviously, lol).
Having seen the animals and rides that Disney has to offer more than once, we decided it was time to toughen up, go north, get ourselves some cheap car hire and look for some of the wilder variety.
Where better than America’s oldest National Park? Yellowstone!
We flew into Jackson and picked up our hire car, stopping first in Jackson for the night to recover from the flights before venturing into the park itself.
Early next morning we meandered north on the I-191 through the beautiful Grand Teton National Park with its mountains and lake and entered Yellowstone at the South Entrance. The traffic wasn’t heavy but due to the fabulous scenery it is slow moving and you don’t want to be in any hurry, just do as we did and take your time.
As we entered the park we saw elk and bison on our drive which made the experience special right from the start. We had booked Old Faithful Inn for the first half of our holiday, right next to the famous Geyser and its rustic charm did not disappoint.
The hotel provides a guide to expected ‘eruption’ times so you can plan your viewing, but staying here meant we got to see it several times and it got none the less spectacular with each viewing. Old Faithful isn’t the only geyser here and we spent a couple of days exploring the geyser basins and watching the various eruptions. Grand was even more spectacular than Old Faithful and we saw Daisy and Beehive in action too.
Photo credit: National Park Service
We also went to the visitor center to learn more about what we saw. After the second night we said goodbye to Old Faithful and headed north to Mammoth past Firehole river and falls where we are pretty sure we saw a couple of ospreys fishing. We then turned right and headed for Norris Geyser Basin which was unreal. The colors, hissing and bubbling of the thermal springs was like seeing into another world.
We then headed up to spend the night at our next lodgings, a western style cabin in the Canyon area. After another great night’s rest we headed out to see the falls in the Yellowstone Grand Canyon.
We left the car and hiked to Inspiration Point, which is along the rim of the Canyon, so no climbing and the views are just incredible. We saw some eagles soaring above and the falls were spectacular, especially the colors. After another night at Canyon village we headed north to Tower Roosevelt for our final stay in the frontier cabins there.
We wanted to spend a few days in this area to spot some more wildlife and in our drives and picnics around Lamar Valley in the mornings and evenings we finally saw our wolves and bears, including a grizzly. The valley was so lush it’s no surprise it’s home to so many creatures.
Yellowstone was an amazing experience and we really didn’t have the time to see it all, but the whole family has voted for another trip here next year as we found the real thing the most magical kingdom of all.
Lucy has always been keen to explore the globe, but since starting a family has discovered a whole new side to the world of travel. She is embracing the opportunity to travel with her children, and sometimes feels like a big kid herself!
Have you been to Yellowstone?
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