It’s a short drive from Grand Teton National Park to the south entrance of Yellowstone National Park. We’d planned to spend two days here, and our goal for today was to see the east side of the park.
We had breakfast one last time at Signal Mountain Lodge and then headed on our way – and saw these beautiful deer!
Gotta get a picture with the sign!
Our first stop was at West Thumb Geyser Basin. Most areas in the park have boardwalks so that you have a safe path through the geysers, so we spent some time walking around.
Here’s our first look at Yellowstone Lake! It’s the largest freshwater lake above 7000 feet in North America.
There were lots of signs warning you to stay on the boardwalk.
Next we drove around to the eastern side of the park, past the Fishing Bridge, and stopped at Mud Volcano – J’s favorite spot! (Not!) The sulfur fumes were so strong that even the grates in the parking lot were disintegrating.
Here’s Mud Volcano – this entire area smelled so bad that we had to basically run through it while holding our breath, and even then, J still almost puked.
We decided we’d had enough of the geysers for a while and drove north through Hayden Valley, famous for wildlife viewing.
We didn’t see much wildlife, but it was a gorgeous drive!
I liked this bison perched by the side of the road.
Our next stop was at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. There are many lookout points in the area – here’s the Upper Falls.
And here’s the lower falls.
I loved all the colors in the rocks here – it was beautiful!
We continued north to the Tower-Roosevelt junction in the northeast corner of the park. At one of the lookout points we could see the Tetons to the south!
Kind of looks like the Windows desktop, doesn’t it?
We stopped to see Tower Falls, got some ice cream at the general store nearby, and then headed back in the direction we’d come from. We’d had a hard time finding campgrounds in Yellowstone because they all book up so quickly, so we’d splurged on a hotel in West Yellowstone for the night. We retraced our drive and turned west at the Canyon Junction, heading first for Norris Geyser Basin, then continuing through Madison to West Yellowstone.
Another shot of the Yellowstone River.
We took a quick walk through the Norris Geyser Basin
We watched Steamboat Geyser for a while, since it erupts pretty frequently.
On our way out of the park to West Yellowstone, we stopped to see these elk hanging out in the grass.
Yellowstone is a huge park, and we covered a lot of ground in our first day! We were happy to sleep in a real bed after four nights of camping. We even treated ourselves to some bison ribeye steak at The Three Bears Restaurant – highly recommend if you are in the area!
Day 8 Map ~ 160 miles
Road Trip Recap:
Day 1: Indiana to South Dakota
Day 2: Across South Dakota: Badlands National Park, Mount Rushmore, Iron Mountain Road, Needles Highway, and Crazy Horse
Day 3: Wind Cave National Park, Devils Tower, and across Wyoming
Day 4: Grand Teton National Park
Day 5: Cascade Canyon
Day 6: Jackson Hole
Day 7: Amphitheater Lake