The first day of fall has come and gone, and our warm days are coming to a close. We had to get to Yellowstone before it would be closed for the season! We actually got lucky because earlier in the week a few of the roads had been closed due to snow, but cleared up in time.
Early Saturday morning we grabbed some snacks and some friends and headed north. It was only about an hour and a half drive from Rexburg. We entered the park through West Yellowstone, and not long after we had to swerve out of the way of a giant buffalo right there in the road!
Shortly after we were able to view a majestic heard of elk on our way to Terrace Springs. It was a short little walk around a loop of hot pools.
Next we drove to Gibbon Falls, it is a short walk to a pretty view of a large waterfall area. We beat the crowd for these first few stops which was so nice. It was one of the best views of the trip!
Then we passed a small pit stop called Beryl Springs– which ended up being really smelly and too steamy to see anything. This crazy large blackbird in the parking lot was the highlight of this stop. Haha…
On our way through we totally passed into a “winter wonderland” like seriously we passed around one corner and everything was suddenly snowy. There we had our 2nd Buffalo sighting of the day.
Norris Geyser Basin was an important item on the list for the day. We walked around many of the different pathways; each led to a very different and diverse landscape of hot pools, geysers, and other unique natural structures. There is also a cute little hidden lake on one end of the hike. It’s crazy to think that the earth made these areas naturally; some were pretty warm, some muddy, some bright colors, and some gave off a strong sulfur smell. We spent a good amount of time exploring around here and taking pictures.
Next we got to the Yellowstone Canyon, which is such an impressive sight. Pictures really do not do it justice to understand the large perspective of it all. First we went to the Lower falls then the went to see the Upper falls. The best views required us to hike through some pretty steep switchbacks, but it was worth it! It was also really neat to stand right on the brink of the falls to see the amount of water falling over the edge, so pretty!
We made a quick stop at Sulfur Cauldron to see Mud Volcano and a few other natural hot pools.
It was fun to go on a double date with Brandon and Hannah because we could help take pictures for each other. Most of us just used our phone cameras, but Brandon brought his nice camera. In the end we all shared the pictures we had taken and I came across these fun candid photos of us. 🙂
For lunch we actually bought Jimmy Johns the day before and brought it for a little picnic. We stopped at Yellowstone Lake and just ate in the car because it was a little chilly out. It was a pretty view while we ate though.
Nearing the end of our journey we HAD to stop at the famous spot- Old Faithful. We checked the Visitor Center just in time because we only had to wait like 10 minutes before the eruption. After that we walked around the Upper Geyser basin for about an hour or so looking at the different geysers, fumeroles, etc. It is funny to see how excited people go when Old Faithful erupts, then it clears out so quickly. We also saw another group of bison just off the path.
I personally was most excited for Grand Prismatic Spring- because I either haven’t been there before or just don’t remember it. Sadly though it was so steamy there that you really couldn’t see the vibrant colors very well. It was still a bizarre to see the land look so differently that you’d expect.
That was our last stop before leaving the park. It had been a long day packed with fun and adventure. We decided to eat dinner in Ashton at Big Judd’s on our way back to Rexburg.
There is SO much diversity in this land, there is something almost magical about the color of the evergreen trees against the yellow grass and blue mountain tops. It is actually really interesting to see Yellowstone at different seasons of the year, the coloration of the landscape and the animals sightings are going to be different each time you go. Seriously if you haven’t been to Yellowstone PLEASE add it to your bucket list. Yellowstone is closing in early October, so get there before the season is done. it is only $30 a car for entrance fees and it is so worth it friends.
Read about our 2015 Trip to Yellowstone HERE.