Saturday, August 12, 2017

Yellowstone National Park

"the wonders of His mighty hand"

On our way to a family vacation in the Black Hills of South Dakota my wife and I stayed a night in the Tetons and then drove north to Yellowstone National Park where we spent a day hiking around some of the geyser basins on the west side of the park.

Lewis Falls and Lewis River

Upper Geyser Basin

Fringed Gentians

Fringed Gentians, Lupines and other wildflowers

 Riverside Geyser

Yellow Owl's Clover



Driving east from the park in the evening we watched a beautiful sunset in eastern Wyoming and then traveled on through the night to the Black Hills where we met up with our daughter, her husband and their children and spent a week camping (the subject of another post).

On our way back home after spending a week camping with family in the Black Hills, we had two of our grandchildren with us and took them to Yellowstone after spending a weekend north of the park.  We camped at Norris campground and went first to Norris Geyser Basin.

Steamboat Geyser

From Norris Geyser Basin we headed north, stopping at Rustic Falls on the way.  At Mammoth Hot Springs we walked some of the boardwalks and drove the Upper Terrace Drive, stopping at various turnouts along the way, before heading back south.

Rustic Falls

Upper Terraces

Lower Terraces

Common Blue Damselfly

After spending a good part of the day sightseeing we avoided the crowds by going swimming in the Firehole River in an area that is not only open to swimming but with fun rapids to float a short way down the river.  The grandkids especially enjoyed the swimming.

After a fire and supper and an early bedtime for all of us we got a good start on the next day's activities and drove to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone on the east side of the park where we visited several of the viewpoints and hiked to the brink of the Upper Falls.

Finshed at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, we headed further north through Dunraven Pass, driving as far as Tower Falls.  We stopped for the wildflowers but were disappointed that the trail to the base of Tower Falls was closed, though we did get a few photos.

Tower Falls

From Dunraven Pass we drove back to our campsite at Norris, stopping to photograph Gibbon Falls, had lunch and a swim there, and then in the evening drove to Hayden Valley on the southwest side of the park where we saw bison and elk including a large herd of elk in the valley.

Gibbon Falls

Hayden Valley

Returning from Hayden Valley to our campsite we had our evening meal and an early bed time, getting up early the next morning also.  Driving south we went first to Fountain Paint Pots, then to Old Faithful and finally to Black Sand Basin all on the southwest side of the park.

Fountain Paint Pots

Old Faithful

Black Sand Basin

Later in the afternoon, leaving the park by the west entrance and starting for home we saw these Bighorn Sheep outside the park near Earthquake Lake.  After driving through the night we would be home again the next day.

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