How did it take me so long to get to Yellowstone?? I grew up in the Midwest for heaven’s sake, and it took me 50 years to get there. Totally worth it though, when my hubby and I spent a week exploring the Yellowstone & Teton national parks last month. If you’ve been there, my recap may trigger some happy memories of awe-inspiring travel, and if you haven’t, well, put it on your list!
Here are the most memorable things from our trip:
- WILDLIFE! Bison in particular. We spent part of each day just driving around looking for animals. We happened upon mating season for the bison, which was particularly cool, because those males sure do fight hard for the girls. We saw several scuffles. Our favorite encounter was when we had a front row seat at a bison jam on the highway – where there was a couple planted in the road in front of us, and another couple just behind our car. We were sandwiched in and by the time traffic let loose 30 minutes later, we counted over 100 cars that were backed up. Almost as exciting were the moose we drove around and searched for for days, as well as elk and bald eagles. Unfortunately, no bear or wolf sightings on this trip.
2. FLOAT DOWN THE SNAKE RIVER. Spectacular scenery and wildlife spotting. A great guide makes it all the better. This was one of the only spots where we could see all 40 miles of the Teton mountain range at once. Plus it was our only day where there was literally not a single cloud in the sky.
3. WEST THUMB GEYSER BASIN. This is an area along the shore of Jackson Lake in Yellowstone that is full of geological wonder. There’s a lot of thermal activity here, and some of the pools are so colorful and clear they don’t even look real.
4. MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS. More geothermal stuff here where there are terraces formed of crystallized calcium carbonate. It’s taken thousands of years, and it’s the largest known carbonate-depositing spring in the world. The landscape is other-worldly and actually reminded me of Iceland.
5. TAGGART LAKE HIKE. This 4-mile hike at the base of Grand Teton was our fave. We saw stunning mountain lakes and gorgeous forests. There were lots of huckleberry bushes and seclusion made me oh so slightly nervous about meeting up with a bear, but we made it through. I did hear someone screaming at the top of their lungs and while I don’t have any proof, I am convinced they saw a bear and were following the “make yourself big and loud” rule.
As always, if you’re planning a trip and have questions about these or any other places I’ve travelled, I’m always available to answer questions if I can be helpful. I love talking about travel and the amazing things that are out there in this world.
“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”
– Ibn Battuta