Long Weekend In Yellowstone National Park – Part I

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The year after we went to Crater Lake, we planned a trip to Yellowstone National Park.

Located mostly in Wyoming and a little in Montana, this is THE park to go with family and friends.  Wildlife, geysers, hot water springs, rivers and canyons, lake, fishing and waterfalls, it truly has something for everyone. We  planned a 4 – day road trip from Seattle to Yellowstone over one Fourth of July weekend. And it was yet another EPIC trip!

Planning a Trip to Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is the shape of a number 8. Most attractions are along this loop. Each loop has various entrances. We planned to enter the park via the north entrance in Gardiner and then drive around the loop clockwise starting with Mammoth Hot Springs, Lamar Valley, Grand Canyon of Yellowstone,  Lake Yellowstone and then around to Old Faithful. Our plan was to visit the numerous geysers along the way and exit via the West Yellowstone.

It was going to be a lot of driving but we were young without kids and we were really looking forward to a lot of bears, bisons, elks, moose, dall sheep and more.

Yellowstone loop

Getting to Yellowstone

Yellowstone is about 800 miles from Redmond -it was one long road trip. But its doable in 4 days. We started on Friday evening and had dinner along the way. We stayed overnight somewhere after Missoula. It was a basic motel with a MacDonald’s nearby where we had breakfast.

After breakfast we continued on I-90 and reached Gardiner by noon. We passed under the Roosevelt park and then headed straight to first attraction, Mammoth Hot Springs.

Mammoth Hot Springs

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This was our experience of the active super volcano that is Yellowstone National Park. This active volcano fuels all the thermal activity in the park. Sulphur fumes are in the air and its a unique experience to see the  hot springs bubble, gurgle and smoke all around.

There is a board walk  and its recommended to stick to the boardwalk -its safe that way! The white terraces formed by calcium carbonate deposits are straight out of discovery channel. Algae has tinted these terraces red, brown or orange and its a sight to admire.

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We walked up to take in the hot springs and wondered if there is a place where the hot springs meet cold river water to form natural hot springs to bathe in. There is supposed to be a spot along the river but we didn’t know where it is so we didn’t bother about it. We saw a bunch of bison’s lazing and grazing in the meadows around.

We were in the park only a few hours and we already got to experience hot springs and wildlife. The trip was on to a great start.

We were looking forward to more wildlife in Lamar valley.Stay tuned for next post on wildlife and more wildlife!

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About rutujak

A travel addict, self confessed foodie and a mom trying to make SFO my home after a decade in Seattle and a stint in Hyderabad, India.

Posted on May 2, 2013, in National Parks, Travel, USA and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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