Showing posts with label Montana. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Montana. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Labor Day Part 2: Yellowstone National Park

Yes, there are even more photos from this weekend's little getaway, the scenery was so beautiful, both Cam and I couldn't help from taking tons of pictures. After spending Saturday afternoon enjoying Grand Teton National Park, we headed north to Yellowstone. Yellowstone encompasses a much larger geographic area than GT, covering Wyoming's northwest corner (actually it slightly spills over into Idaho and Montana). It's very close to Grand Teton, which is why many people (like ourselves) try to see both in the same trip. However, I have to admit that after the stunningly gorgeous beauty of the Tetons, Yellowstone National Park isn't anywhere near as visually appealing, and I felt a little underwhelmed. Sure some of the landscape is pretty, but a lot of it is just kind of blah in my opinion. What makes Yellowstone special are the many rare geothermal features like geysers and hot springs sprinkled throughout the park, plus the fact that it was America's first national park, which I guess is pretty cool. Don't get me wrong, Yellowstone is definitely worth seeing if you've never been. However, the sights are fairly spread out so you end up spend a lot of time driving around, and while the geysers and other geothermal features are interesting, after awhile it's kind of like ok, another pool of bubbling water, awesome. (Plus because a lot of the hot springs are sulfurous, many of the main attractions smell like giant farts) Here are our pictures of Yellowstone's high points:

One of the parks most famous geothermal features--Grand Prismatic Spring


Such a strangely beautiful landscape


Checking out the Old Faithful Visitors' Center with my young scientist...ha.
If you visit Yellowstone, you have to make sure to the gorgeous Old Faithful Inn...
This amazing hotel is over 100 years old and it's the largest log building in the world

Both the interior and exterior of the Inn are so so neat...someone told us that it was actually the inspiration for the Wilderness Lodge hotel at Disney World (where Cam and I ate dinner one night on our trip there last fall), and I can totally see that...I would definitely love to come back and stay in this hotel!
The hotel is right next to Old Faithful and has an awesome balcony where you can watch the geyser go off
Waiting for the geyser to go off...aka Old people repeating the same tired cliche about how a watched pot never boils over and over
It finally did explode...yay.
Watching the sunrise on Yellowstone Lake
Gorgeous...it was awesome to be able to watch multiple sunrises on this trip...basically it was so freezing at night camping that by 5:30am I just couldn't stand the cold anymore so we just got up and started our day...but it was great because we got to see so much in the early morning hours of the park
Front porch of the Lake Lodge on Yellowstone Lake...we stopped here to get breakfast and it would definitely be another great place to stay in the park, especially because the porch has great views of the lake
Lodge-y home decor isn't normally my style, but I was loving this hotel lobby
Elk grazing
One of the park's many waterfalls
I think Cam's secret dream is to be a photographer for National Geographic...how awesome is this bison picture he took?!
Checking out waterfalls in our super sweet sweats...gross.
Yellowstone's Grand Canyon...so pretty
Mammoth Hot Springs area...very pretty yet very weird
Look who finally decided to stop being a bum and change out of her sweatpants!


Giant bull elk
Pronghorn grazing
Since we got such an early start, we were able to see all the major sights in Yellowstone by early Sunday afternoon...so we decided to drive up to Bozeman, MT to check it out (about an hour north of Yellowstone)...it's a cute college town and we got a great lunch!
There is a beautiful stone gate called Roosevelt Arch at the park's North Entrance

Look at that, I said I didn't love this park, yet I still took 2390128 photos, crazy! Yellowstone has a lot of amazing (albeit sometimes strange/stinky) natural beauty, and it's definitely worth seeing at least once in your life. Cam and I tend to be very fast-paced travelers when we're in a new area and only have a short amount of time, so we really kind of flew through hitting all the main sights in each park. However, if I were to go back, I'd take a longer trip where I'd allot less time for Yellowstone and more time for Grand Teton, because you could seriously just sit and stare at those mountains all day. I'd also suggest staying at one of the hotels in the park (either Lake Lodge or Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone or Jackson Lake Lodge at Grand Teton) versus tent camping this time of year! (Brrrrr) But overall, Cam and I had a really awesome weekend together and I'm so glad that we were able to experience this amazing part of the country together!

Ps: Sorry for the lack of adorable dog pictures these posts; Lola didn't come with us this weekend because dogs are not allowed on any National Park trails, so we felt that it wouldn't have been smart to bring her. Our guidebook said that dogs + camping in a tent + bear country = bad idea, so Lola enjoyed a little trip to Camp Bow Wow while her parents were gone :)

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