Friday, July 19, 2019

Yellowstone National Park 2019



palette springs, mammoth hot springs terrace, yellowstone national park

My groom and I had a wonderful vacation in Montana. We got to golf and visit both a national park and a national forest. Since we stayed at the Holiday Inn Bozeman in Bozeman, Montana, we entered the North entrance of the Yellowstone National Park via I90 & US89, coming through the town of Gardiner, MT. From the North entrance, the Albright Visitor Center is 5 miles and Old Faithful Geyser is approximately 56 miles. If you drive the speed limit and there's no traffic (ha!) and you don't stop (ha! again), it should take about an hour and a half. We entered the park at 8:16am, made several stops along the way, and watched the Old Faithful Geyser erupt at 1:20pm. And yes, even on a weekday, there is a lot of traffic! 

Yellowstone National Park, north entrance


The drive from the North entrance was simply amazing. Traveling southbound along the Grand Loop Road, the Washburn Range was to the east and the Gallatin Range to the west. Ronnie and I drove in silence, taking in the grand views of the peaks of the ranges. Some had snowy tops and I wondered if anyone had climbed them. I took it all in as we drove. Flanked by those glorious mountains, I felt blessed. 

Our first stop, from the North entrance, was the Albright Visitor Center and the General Store. At the General Store, I picked up a Yellowstone t-shirt and baseball cap. Visiting the different national and state parks, I like to pick up a t-shirt and/or baseball cap as a souvenir and to also use for climbing and golfing. Our next stop was the Mammoth Hot Spring Terrace.






Mammoth Hot Spring Terrace
From the visitor center, you can see the Mammoth Hot Spring Terrace. Mammoth is one of two major geothermal areas within Yellowstone, characterized by hot springs bubbling and steaming down a hill of travertine terraces. There are several parking lots for the terraces and Ronnie and I parked in the lower lot, then walked the boardwalk over the hot springs. 

















Mammoth Hot Spring Terrace
Such a beautiful and fascinating area! There are several sets of steps along the boardwalk, but a lot of it is flat and wheelchair accessible. There are also benches along the boardwalk so you can sit and enjoy the different springs along the boardwalk.








Beryl Spring
Pronounced "Burl" - this is a little beautiful roadside spring on the way to or from the Norris Geyser Basin. There is a small parking lot on the west side of the road, giving easy and short access to the spring. We were lucky that it wasn't crowded at all when we viewed it. 









Gibbon Falls
The parking lot was a nightmare, so many cars, RV's and motorcycles entering and exiting the two entrances of the parking lot. But it's such an easy and gorgeous waterfall to experience! I can just imagine what it looks like, totally frozen in the winter!





Old Faithful Geyser
We finally pulled into the Old Faithful Visitor Center at about 12:15pm and we had just enough time to grab some lunch at the cafeteria, the Veggie Hummus sandwich was delicious as was the Chili!! The next eruption was predicted to be at 1:20pm, so Ronnie and I quickly ate our lunches, then headed over to the boardwalk to grab us a seat. I've never seen a geyser in person, so I was anxious to watch Old Faithful. When Old Faithful finally erupted, it was such an impressive sight and an amazing experience!






Wildlife
We exited the park via the West entrance into the town of West Yellowstone, MT. Just past the Madison Campground, we encountered traffic and it was at a standstill. I told Ronnie there's probably wildlife and sure enough, there was a herd of Buffalo on the north side of the road. This gave me a good vantage point for videotaping and taking photos without having to get out of the car. Yeehaw! 



We only spent one day visiting the park and saw just a tiny bit of it. There is so, so much more to see and experience. It would probably take several days to see it all!