Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park holds the distinction as being the world’s first, being established in 1872. It is a massive wildlife area that sits on top of a semi-active caldera, one of the largest volcanoes in the world. There are many geysers – such as the famous “Old Faithful” –  that explode throughout the day, shooting steam high into the air, and delighting visitors to the park. It is a beautiful wilderness, with lakes, waterfalls and abundant wildlife to go along with the thermal activity.

Over 2 million people visit the park each year and it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and with so much beauty it is easy to see why. Yellowstone is designed for driving through, made popular in the 1960’s in the post World War 2 boom. While there are many amazing hikes and trails that you could spend a few days exploring, it is designed for cars to drive through. It is easily accessible to all types of tourists, which makes it difficult to avoid the crowds; it is one of the most popular parks in the United States. Especially during the summer, with the peak coming in July, there are thousands of tourists who drive through here each day.

So how did I explore Yellowstone? I drove through. We were on a cross-country road trip from Vancouver to New York, and we needed some things to see along the way. Yellowstone was an easy choice as our first destination. We stayed mostly on the Interstates for the first two days of driving, making quick work of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho on our way to the park. We spent the night in West Yellowstone and drove into Yellowstone National Park first thing in the morning.

The scenery is spectacular, especially with the fall colours dominating the landscape. The most popular destination is a visit to the geyser known as Old Faithful, which erupts several times a day averaging every 74 minutes between eruptions. While we waited with a large crowd of people, we watched massive geysers exploding in the distance, high above the tree lines. The background show was more impressive than the one we waited 45 minutes to see.

We didn’t have much time to stay in Yellowstone, as I mentioned before we had to continue on our cross-country journey. We spent a few hours wandering around some of the easy to access places but didn’t have time for any substantial hikes. The park is so beautiful that it deserves a return visit with more than just a drive-through. A trip here combined with the nearby Grand Teton National Park would be the most amazing way to spend a week exploring the United States.

From Yellowstone, we drove East along highway 14 further into Wyoming. We would eventually stop for dinner in the beautiful town of Cody, but first, we drove past the Buffalo Bill Dam. The landscape here was spectacular, which despite being outside of the park, still had some great views. We were only in Wyoming for a day, but the citizens of this state were great hosts, and I look forward to my next adventure to this wonderful place.

 

Yellowstone National Park:

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Buffalo. 2012. 

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Many Geysers were erupting everywhere around us. 2012.

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Yellowstone National Park. 2012.

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Crystal Clear thermal pools. 2012.

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Yellowstone Lake. 2012.

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Geysers. 2012. 

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Where the Buffalo roam. 2012.

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Sitting and waiting for Old Faithful. 2012.

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Buffalo on the road is the perfect photo opportunity. 2012.

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Running Water. 2012.

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Old Faithful. 2012.

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Buffalo. 2012.

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Beautiful creek surrounded by Nature. 2012.

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Thermal Pools. 2012.

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Old Faithful. 2012.

 

Buffalo Bill Dam / Reservoir:

 

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The Buffalo Bill Dam. 2012.

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The hills of Wyoming along highway 14, East of Yellowstone. 2012.

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The Buffalo Bill Reservoir. 2012.

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The Buffalo Bill Dam. 2012.

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The Buffalo Bill Reservoir. 2012.

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