We stayed a couple nights in Island Park, Idaho during the time we explored Yellowstone proper. We arrived in Island Park with enough daylight left to do the Box Canyon Campground to Rosie’s Waterfall hike, which was very pleasant and refreshing after a long day of driving.
We started the next morning at Running Bear Pancake House in West Yellowstone, and then proceeded to have one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had with the outdoors. Yellowstone National Park is one of the most incredible places on earth. The weather was perfect in the high 60s, low 70s, and crystal clear skies. We did the big Upper Geyser Basin and Old Faithful trail first, followed by the Mystic Falls, Fairy Creek, and Little Firehole loop, and finally Fountain Paint Pot Trail. I think people can spend their entire career trying to capture the feeling of this place, and consider it a success to be able to pass along just a sliver of the emotion and wonder this place generates. It’s one of the top five most popular national parks in the world, and every reason was on full, glorious display. We saw six geysers go off: Old Faithful, Grand, Lion, Sawmill, Solitary, and Grotto. Of these, the Grand Geyser was, well, the most grand. We waited an hour and a half into its expected eruption time window, and it was absolutely worth every second. I did get a fantastic picture of Solitary though, that is in the images below. During the walk along this trail (I hesitate to call it a hike because it’s mostly paved or wood paths) we unexpectedly got very close to a wild bison. Bison were everywhere in the park, we also saw a few elk, a bear, and a wolf. It was surprising just how much wildlife we saw considering how busy the park is.
Mystic Falls and Fairy Creek were beautiful but a little strenuous considering we had just done the large Upper Geyser Basin, and the Little Firehole had some beautiful pools in it. After that was Fountain Paint Pot trail, and I never thought watching bubbling mud would be so cool. I could have watched it for hours. The next day was a four hour horseback ride into the park, which was fantastic, and a visit to Artists Paintpots Trail.
I also included some pictures taken and various places like Artist Point, where we stopped while driving around or through Yellowstone, either when we were traveling to Cody or Jackson.
Yellowstone is one of the most unbelievable places on earth.