Posts Tagged With: bison

Yellowstone National Park

In my last post about Grand Teton National Park, I mentioned that it snowed the last day we were there. As we drove to Yellowstone the next day we noticed a lot more snow on the drive and saw that Yellowstone got even more snow than we did the day before. It’s amazing that this was June!

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Driving to Yellowstone from Grand Teton

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Amazing snow in June!

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Okay, so I guess I went overboard on taking pictures of the snow on our drive, but it was so beautiful, and after our winter in Breckenridge I just can’t get enough of snow.

Anyway, enough about that, let’s talk about Yellowstone. This is another park that we are repeating this year because it’s just so awesome and definitely worth repeating.

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Old Faithful

This time of the year it’s so nice that it stays light so late at night because we can easily go for a hike in the evenings after work. The night we went to Old Faithful we hiked the trail from there to see several other geysers.

One of my favorites is Artemesia Geyser. We saw this one erupting last time we were there, which was good timing since it doesn’t erupt as regularly as Old Faithful. We didn’t see it erupting this time, but it was still beautiful.

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Artemesia Geyser

Another favorite is Morning Glory. Even though the colors in this one are beautiful, sadly the colors are the result of visitors throwing items into the geyser. That’s just not a good thing to do.

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Morning Glory

The river walk was beautiful with little spots of steam coming up everywhere.

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I forget what this one was called, but it started erupting just as we walked by. That was pretty cool!

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Another view of Old Faithful erupting again as we finished up our hike.

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I couldn’t believe how many bison we saw this time. It was weird when we were there 3 years ago with my parents, we hardly saw any bison. This time they were everywhere! Several times blocking traffic.

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Another night we went to Grand Prismatic Spring, another one of my favorites. On the hike to the overlook we saw this aggressive bison. We know he was aggressive because we saw him chase 2 ladies that had just walked by. We stood back and waited until he was well off the path before we continued on.

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Grumpy bison

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Grand Prismatic Spring from the overlook

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Grand Prismatic Spring up close

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Hiking along the boardwalk next to Grand Prismatic Spring

A few more pictures from the Grand Prismatic area.

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Another evening we went to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. This area is so beautiful and the hike along the canyon offers some amazing views.

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Artist Point

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I see that Jake is now taller than me ūüėČ

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Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River

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Lower Falls

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I was disappointed to find that Uncle Tom’s trail that takes you down over 300 steps to get a closer view of Lower Falls was closed. That turned out to be a blessing though because we went around to the other side and went down a trail to see it from the other side. This is something we didn’t do last time so it was cool to see it from a different perspective.

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Top of Lower Falls

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Another view of the canyon

Lastly we went to see the Artist’s Paint Pots. This is something we did not get a chance to see last time.

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We stayed at the Yellowstone Grizzly RV Park in West Yellowstone, MT again. We love that park and the little town of West Yellowstone is so much fun. We also got to spend some time with 2 other Fulltime Families that were there.

Now that we’ve been to Yellowstone twice, would I go there again? Most definitely! This is one of those places I could visit over and over again.

Categories: Montana, National Parks, Wyoming | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Custer State Park and Mt. Rushmore

After leaving Montana and Wyoming we headed east to South Dakota and stayed at Custer State Park. ¬†This park was amazing! ¬†We all agree it should be a national park. ¬†It’s a very big park with several different areas and campgrounds. ¬†It’s definitely one of the coolest state parks we have been to. ¬†I was very thankful to get a campsite there as they start taking reservations a year in advance, but I didn’t know we would be going there until about 3 months in advance.

We had lots of excitement at our campsite every day as bison came walking through. ¬†We’re always told to never approach or go near the wildlife, but we couldn’t really help the fact that these bison were always grazing¬†right in our campsite. ¬†Sometimes we would be sitting outside and look up to find a bison just a few feet away!

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Fat Cat was pretty scared of these things.  She wanted to run back in the house anytime she saw one.  I think she realized this animal was much too large for her to mess with.  She liked to watch from the safety of indoors.

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We visited 3 different areas of this park.  First was a driving tour of the Wildlife Loop.  We saw some pronghorn sheep and bison on this loop, but honestly we thought the wildlife sightings back at our campsite were a lot more interesting.

The next evening we drove the Needles Highway. ¬†This was an amazing drive with spectacular scenery of these tall rock formations. ¬†I had read about this highway beforehand that mentioned 3 tunnels we would have to drive through. ¬†The tunnels are very narrow and only one vehicle can fit through at a time. ¬†As you know, our vehicle is rather large and we weren’t sure if we should do this drive. ¬†The Needles Eye Tunnel is only 8’4″ wide and our truck is about 7’10” wide. ¬†But we did it! ¬†Chris is such a good driver. ūüôā

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Needles Eye Tunnel – I can’t believe we drove through this!

We hiked to the Cathedral Spires which was a beautiful hike.

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Then we drove to Sylvan Lake and walked the 1 mile loop around the lake.  This was a such a fun hike because there are so many rocks to climb on!

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There were also a couple of narrow passageways to walk through.

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I really loved how the rocks reflected in the water like a mirror.

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The next evening we drove the scenic Iron Mountain Road to go visit Mt. Rushmore. ¬†This road also had some tunnels, but not nearly as narrow as the Needles Highway. ¬†As we¬†drove through the last tunnel, we could¬†see the president’s heads in the distance.

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Mt. Rushmore is one of those iconic landmarks that is a “must see” on any American road trip.

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All 50 state flags are on this walkway.

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The boys earned their Mt. Rushmore Junior Ranger badges.

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Before we started traveling like this, I had never really given the state of South Dakota much thought.  I had no idea it is such a beautiful state with so many awesome things to do.  We visited Badlands National Park next, but I will save that for my next post.  Cheers!

Categories: National Parks, South Dakota | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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