From Banff National Park, we headed to Wyoming to Yellowstone National Park. If you ask google maps how far away Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park are, it will tell you they are a short 10 minute drive apart. This is true only if you are at South entrance, which is close to the North aspect of Grand Teton. We allotted three days at these two parks, and we planned to camp at Yellowstone all three nights, but our camp was in the Canyon Village area of Yellowstone, which was at least an hour from the entrance of Grand Teton, so we ended up booking a KOA at Dubois/Wind River on the third night (which lessened our time behind the wheel on our long trek home). We had not seen a buffalo yet, and that was one major expectation we had for Yellowstone. Within 10 minutes of being in the park we came up on a herd of wild buffalo.
It was a long drive from Banff to Yellowstone, so we set up our tent, and called it a night after eating dinner. The next day we planned on driving the entire distance of the park, starting with the Sulphur Caldron and Mud Volcano. It smelled like boiled eggs, but it was sooooo cool. Pictures could never do it justice, but the weather was nice and chilly and the wind blew the sulphur smell right up your nares. Its not mountains or glacier water, but we were tickled to be there. Dragon’s mouth and the mud volcano are all in the same area and if you follow the trail, you get to see them all.
From there, we headed to Old Faithful. It erupts inconsistently, but we were able to get a nice seat up front and watch it do its thing within twenty minutes.
After that, we headed to my favorite part of Yellowstone, Midway Geyser Basin. This area has many attractions — Turquoise pool, Opal pool, Indigo Spring, Excelsior Geyser, and the iconic Grand Prismatic Spring. We were here first to see these beauties up close.
If you really want to see Grand Prismatic Springs, I recommend going to Fairy falls trailhead, and hiking up the trail to see the springs from above. It is a short hike with little elevation change, but a much better view.
You can see the tiny humans next to this monstrous spring! It was by far my favorite view at Yellowstone; definitely a must see! Next, we headed to Mammoth Springs, which is the furthest point of the park up north. This park is windy and people still wear hats. There were so many hats in the springs at all of the areas of the park. Don’t be that person. Take off your hat or hold onto your hat. Below are pictures of Mammoth Springs. We went to a gift shop and saw some wild elk, and we also tried Huckleberry ice cream for the first time. It was surprisingly delicious. All the things were huckleberry flavored in both Wyoming and Montana.
Next we headed to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, which was close to our campsite. We were pretty wiped at this point, so we didn’t hike down into the canyon. We enjoyed the inclusive showers at the Canyon Village campsite, and there was also a gas station nearby. The park is so large and spread out, that I am sure it is a necessity.
It took us about an hour and a half to get the Grand Teton from our campsite. Grand Teton is spread out like Yellowstone, but you get amazing views of the Tetons throughout the drive. The flowers at Grand Teton were absolutely beautiful — photocredits to Jonmacko!
First, we went to Snake River Overlook. Jon definitely got the better picture here, but he also had to climb away from the actual overlook, and given my history of falls (and getting lost), it is in everyone’s best interest for me to stay on the trail. haha
There were dirt roads you could take to get closer to the Tetons, and take more pics.
Next, we went to Mormon Row. Here, we saw so many little creatures and many historic houses and barns, including the most photographed barn in the US — Moulton Barn.
The last stop we made was Oxbow bend.
From there, we made our drive to Dubois, WY. We set up our tent at the KOA, and asked the staff where we should eat. They recommended eating at Cowboy Cafe, which was the best food we had the entire trip.
I had read a lot of about long crowds and lines at Yellowstone, but we didn’t experience that during our stay in early June. These were the last two stops we made on our 12 day trip, so we were exhausted and didn’t do as much hiking, but Tetons and Yellowstone were beautiful.