Tue 9 Aug 2011

Teagan and I flew from Nashville to bozeman, MT. We picked up supplies in Bozeman. As we were driving around town,we noticed a lot of the buildings were in a rustic lodge style (REI, Home Depot, etc. ). After we stocked up, we headed south to West Yellowstone where we stayed in a Comfort Inn. We ate supper at The Geyser Grill. The food there was reasonably priced and decent.

Wed 10 Aug 2011

After breakfast at the hotel , we headed toward the Madison campground, stopping along the way at various turnouts along the Madison River.

After we arrived at the campground, we set up campin space C100. After we were set up, we headed south to Fairy Falls trail. As we got near Grand Prismatic Spring, we climbed the hillside to the left for an elevated view of the spring. When the sun came out from behind the clouds, the colors in the spring were extraordinary.

We resumed the trail, but missed the turn to the falls and ended up going along fountain freight road. When we realized our mistake, we figured out we could take Imperial Meadows Trail to get back where we needed to be. So we hiked to the Imperial Geyser through the meadow. The geyser erupted almost constantly and put on quite a show. The pool around the geyser had many of the colors of the hot springs, so it was like a geyser and a hot spring combined.

When we finished there, we went to Fairy Falls, which is a 175 foot waterfall witha beautiful cascade at the bottom.

From there Ee returned to the parking lot completing our 8.2 mile hike. Our missed turn ended up adding 2 me to the trip.

From there we headed to Old Faithful. We were able to catch an eruption around 6:30 with good side lighting from the late afternoon sun.

Then we headed back to the campground where we built a fire and had supper.


Thu 11 Aug 2011

We made it through our first night in the campground. Neither of us slept great, but we slept well enough. The temperature got down in the thirties, so it was pretty chilly.

Once we were up, we headed to the Old Faithful area. We visited one of the stores for some supplies, then the Visitor Center for the next eruption of Old Faithful. Since the next time was over an hour away, we decided to hike around the geyser loop trail, then up the hill to Solitary Gryser before heading over to Observation Point for a distant and high view of the Old Faithful eruption.

After the eruption, we ate lunch at the Geyser Grill. After a visit to the gift shop, we headed to the Mystic Falls and Overlook trail. This is a 3-mile loop trail that begins at the end of the Biscuit Basin boardwalk. The hike to the falls is fairly easy, with only a little increase in elevation. The falls on the Little Firehole River are very
impressive with a high volume.

After the falls, we headed upward about 500 feet to get to the observation area that gave a view of the valley all the way back to the Old Faithful area over 2 miles away. Coincidentally, Old Faithful began erupting, so we got to see an even more distant eruption than earlier in the day from Observation Point.

From there, we returned to the Biscuit Basin area, completing our hike.

After that , we went to Old Faithful Inn for Richard to take a shower. The inn is a spectacular seven story all wood constructed building. Teagan spent some time taking pictures, then went off to the shops.

We returned to the camp site and cooke supper, built a fire, and began planning our next day.

Fri 12 Aug 2011

We made a Mountain House breakfast skillet for breakfast. Then we headed to the Great Fountain Geyser to see what the posted eruption time was. We got there at 10am which was right in the middle of the posted interval. So we were very lucky to get there just before it went off. By some measure, it is the fourth largest on the world. It erupts every 12 hours or so. It put on quite a display for us.

Lucking into the eruption delayed our planned trip to Grand Teton NP, as did the road construction near the south entrance of Yellowstone.

We ate lunch at a Coulter Bay restaurant on Jackson Lake, and continued on to Jenny Lake. From there we hiked half way around the lake and took the trail up to Hidden Falls. It was pretty crowded, due I suspect to the ferries that run from the visitor center across the lake.

The falls were spectacular like thebothers we have seen (and will see) this trip. From the falls, we took the trail up to Inspiration Point where we got a great view of Lake Jenny.

We decided to take the boat back so we could get back to the geyser basins before dark. So we went to the dick and took the boat across the lake.

From there, we headed back and stopped at the Grand Prismatic Spring boardwalk. The sun was almost setting, so we had very unique lighting on the steam.

Next, we went to the Artist Paintpot boardwalk for some sunset views of the various geothermal features there.

When we were finished, we headed back to the camp site. We arrived at 9:15pm, so we had to quickly fix our supper before the 10pm quiet time.

Sat 13 Aug 2011

We packed up our camp site and headed to Grand Prismatic Spring to see how the daylight colors compared to the sunset colors from last night. We walked the boardwalk and took several pictures of the brighter colors.

Then we headed toward the canyon area where we had another campsite reserved. Along the way, we stopped at Monument Geyser Basin and did the hike there. I had a lot of trouble with the steepness of the climb, even though it wasn’t much steeper than other hikes we have done here. At the top there were several geysers. Along the way, there were good views of the Gibbon River, and a canyon.

Next we headed to the Artist Paintpots. We ate lunch in the parking lot, then headed to the boardwalk. There were several hot springs, the at the top of the hill there were paintpots bubbling whitish mud.

We arrived at Canyon Campground around 3:00 pm. We set up our campsite. At first, we couldn’t find where the tent was supposed to go, but we found the pad down a short trail from the picnic table. It is very secluded.

We drove around the canyon region to orient ourselves. We did the north rim drive and the south rim drive. Then we ate supper at the cafeteria in the Canyon Village.

I took a shower and did laundry. Then we went to a ranger talk on the geology of Yellowstone.

Sun 14 Aug 2011

We left the campsite around 9:00 am and headed for the south rim trail. The parking lot where we wanted to start was closed due to bear activity, so we had to use the nearby Uncle Tom parking lot. From there we headed east along the rim of the canyon. We took pictures along the way. We stopped at Artist Point for moe pictures. The canyon was much more colorful than yesterday when we saw it late in the afternoon.

From Artist Point, we took a trail to Lily Pond Lake: then on through a thermal region to Clear Lake. We couldn’t go much past Clear Lake due to the bear activity. The lakes area and meadows were spectacular with wildflowers.

We headed back to the parking lot on the Vlear Lake Trail. We ditched our gear and headed to the Upper Falls Overlook on the South Rim Trail to get a great view of the upper falls. There was even a rainbow for us in the mist.

From the South Rim, we headed south to Otter Creek picnic area. We used one of our salmon packs to make sandwiched.

We continued south to the Sulphur Cauldron. Along the way we encountered a herd of bison.

Next we did the Mud Valcano boardwalk. There was a herd of buffalo all over the area by the walkways and paths, so we had to keep a close eye on them while Ee took in the geothermal features.

Next we headed to the Fishing Bridge Visitor Centrr, then the Indian Pond/Storm Point hike by Lake Yellowstone. This 3-mile loop took us along a meadow of wildflowers, then through a pine forest, then to the point. It was really too windy to fully enjoy the view of Lake Yellowstone with the mountainous background, but we tried.

We followed the path along the lake shore to a lava outcropping the slowed us to walk out into the lake. Then we headed back.

From there we headed to Bridge zbsy for the Natural Bridge Trail. The trail starts in the marina parking lot, passes by the campground, then cuts across s forest to an old road. The trail follows the road until near the natural bridge. We kept going on the trail up dome switchbacks so we could get to the top of the bridge. Than we came down and looked at the bridge from below.

As we were returning, I spotted s black bear about 50 feet in front of us just off the trail digging atround a tree trunk. The bear was way too close to the trailfor us the pass, so we slowly backed up to get our of harms way. The bear saw us, but just went snout it’s business. When it was far enough from the trail, we resumed.

We stopped at the deli in Canyon Village for sandwiches, then returned to the campsite. We build a big fire for s’mores.

Mon 15 Aug 2011

After breakfast at the campsite, we headed north to tower Junction, them west to Mammoth to see the hot springs.

We ate lunch at the Mammoth zhrill. Then we headed south toward Norris. We stopped at several pulmonic on the way.

At Thr Norris Geyser Basin, we did the Saphire Loop. We decided not to do the back loop because it was very windy and the weather was iffy.

Teagan was feeling tired from her cold, so we returned to the camp to rest.

We left the campsite around 6:30 and headed to the Hayden Valley to see if we could spot any animals.

There were lots of bison like we saw earlier in the trip, but nothing else. Along the way, we stopped st a crowd of cars to see what they were looking at. It was a male elk in the woods. After several, we continued NSC.

A little closer to the campground we saw a herd of deer, so we stopped for them.

We went to the ranger talk at 9::00. On wolves in Yellowstone, then went tonour campsite for our vholliest night yes: 34drgree predicted low.

Tue 16 Aug 2011

Teagan wasn’t feeling well enough for a hike, so we decided to drive around and go for short walks. We picked up some picnic items and headed north toward Tower Fall.

We stopped for a picnic lunch at the Cascade Lake picnic area, then headed toward Dunraven Pass. We stopped at several turnouts for pictures.

We were going to walk a short piece of the Dunrsven approach to Mount Washburn, but the parking lot was jam packed, so we just went on.

We stopped at several more turnouts on the way to Tower Fall. Once there, we did the short hike to the observation platform. From there, we took the steep trail down to the water. Unfortunately, the part of the trail that leads to the base of the falls was closed , so we had to settle with seeing to the Yellowstone River (the river the fall flows into).

We returned the the car and continued toward Tower Junction. We stopped at the Overhanging Cliff and the Calcite Springs overlook. Apparently, we just missed seeing a bear there. The views of the Yellowstone Canyon there were really good.

We stopped at Roosevelt Lodge to look around, the we drove west from Tower Junction to see a petrified tree located just a half mile off the main road.

We continued west toward Mammoth and turned off on the Blacktail Plateau Drive to come back toward Tower Junction. From there, we headed east to Lamar Valley. We saw a lot of bison there, but nothing else.

We turned around after Lamar Valley and headed back to the campsite. We stopped at overlooks to see how different the landscape looked in the late afternoon light. We also walked briefly up the Mt. Washburn
trail to see the wildflowers.

When we got back to camp we made supper. Then we went to a ranger talk on Thomas Moran.