Have you been road tripping with me all over the state of Wyoming and you're wondering what's left? In this episode of Wynot Wyoming, we're going to finalize our road trip by heading up to Yellowstone National Park. We’ll explore the park’s 50th anniversary and see all the amazing natural sights the area offers.
All Roads Lead To Yellowstone
Over my last four videos, we've explored four different regions of Wyoming. I've told you numerous times that all roads lead up to Yellowstone, and now we're finally here. The timing couldn't be better, as The Yellowstone National Park turned 150 years old on March 1, 2022.
Depending on which road trip you were taking, you may be there at the south entrance or over at the east entrance when you finally ended up at Yellowstone. We’ll pick up where we left off at the south entrance to the park. It’s really hard to explore all of Yellowstone in a day or even in a couple of days, but we’ll prioritize some of the more popular features that the park is well known for.
Visiting The Geysers
First, we’ll head north up to the West Thumb Geyser Basin. Here we’ll find two short boardwalk loops that will take us past three really popular features. A few of these features that we'll see are the Fountain Paint Pots, the Abyss Pool, and the Fishing Cone—just to name a few.
Before you leave this area, you're going to want to check in at the ranger station and find out when the Old Faithful Geyser is going to erupt next. Did you know that Old Faithful runs like clockwork? It erupts about every 90 minutes or so and has been proven to be about 90% accurate. Watching Old Faithful is a lot of fun, but it definitely draws the big crowds.
If you want to avoid these crowds, one option would be to head over to Lone Star Geyser. You can find Lone Star by taking a five-mile hike past Firehole River, which is full of a lot of geothermal activity. You’ll then arrive at the Lone Star Geyser, which is awesome. It erupts for a full 30 minutes and runs like clockwork about every three hours, kind of like Old Faithful.
The Grand Prismatic Spring
Our next stop is the Midway Geyser Basin, home to one of the most colorful attractions in the entire Yellowstone Park. The Grand Prismatic Spring is actually the third largest hot spring in the world, bigger than a football field and about ten stories deep. It's full of really hot water and a lot of bacteria.
It’s these many heat-loving, colorful bacteria that make this hot spring one of the more picturesque things in the entire park. Just to the north of here, we're going to drive around Firehole Lake Drive. It's a three-mile loop that shows dozens of different geothermal activities and attractions. We might even be able to catch one of the great fountain geysers and their magnificent eruptions.
This one takes a little more luck because it does not run like clockwork the way Old Faithful does. You need to be in the right place at the right time.
For our next stop, we headed over to West Thumb for a beautiful waterfront dinner at the Grant Village Lake House. In the morning, we can visit Yellowstone Lake and enjoy some breakfast at the Lake Yellowstone Hotel. The breakfast buffet is usually pretty good and includes sausage, eggs, and pancakes.
After breakfast, head out for a paddle on the lake. I recommend hiring one of the local guides because you don't want to miss all the underwater features and underwater geysers. You're probably not going to want to jump into this lake, though; it’s one of the highest elevation lakes in the country. At 400 feet deep, the water is a little too cold to swim in.
Heading up north to the Lamar River, you're probably going to want to grab your binoculars if you haven't already. This valley is surrounded by some beautiful rolling hills and is full of a ton of wild game. It’s also home to some of the best fly fishing in the entire park.
Lamar River is also home to some native trout. You can catch some cutthroat trout and rainbows that are sized into the upper teens. So why not grab your gear, hang out by the river, catch a couple of fish, and enjoy all of the wildlife?
The area near the Lamar River has been called America's Serengeti. It’s home to badgers, grizzlies, pronghorn, deer, bald eagles, and a variety of other birds—just to name a few. You can't miss out on spotting some wonderful wildlife when you're down here in this valley.
The Grand Canyon Of Yellowstone
Now we're heading over to the Grand Canyon. No, we're not going to drive all the way to Arizona; this is the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. The best way to view the canyon is on foot. Along the pathways, you'll find ten different platforms at different elevations where you'll be able to see different colors in the limestone walls along with waterfalls.
As a known geology, fisherman, and train fanatic, I would like to say that one of the most famous of these platforms is called Artist Point. From here, you're going to be able to witness both kids and adults oo-ing and ah-ing over the Lower Falls. You don't want to miss it.
Mammoth Hot Springs
A short drive north is gonna land us at the Mammoth Hot Springs. This place is crazy. I've heard it called a limestone cave turned inside out or maybe a scene from Middle Earth. This area is home to so many geological formations, I can't even name them all.
Two boardwalks allow you to walk around, explore, take in the area, and snap some pictures. When you're done with this area, you can head over to Fort Yellowstone and get your history lesson for the day.
Get Out And Explore
I hope you enjoyed this tour of Yellowstone. Of course, our short drive around the park has not done it justice. There is the Norris Basin, Tower Falls, Hayden Valley, and the Mud Volcano—which you can actually smell long before you see it because of the sulfuric acid. Additionally, the sheer volume of wildlife in the park is staggering.
Since just driving around without even hiking could take several days to take it all in, I implore you to go check out this magnificent part of our state and see for yourself how truly majestic it is. If you enjoyed our series touring the five regions of Wyoming, make sure to subscribe to my channel so you never miss a future episode of Wynot Wyoming, where we talk all about living, working, visiting, and exploring our great state of Wyoming.
And as always, if you want to know more about making this great state your home, go ahead and reach out to me and I’ll be happy to answer questions you have. I look forward to hearing from you!