Yellowstone National Park is one of the places that made it into my bucket list very early on. I had just a very vague impression of it being a place to watch a geyser spring into action, and it being a place of untold natural beauty. On this trip to the US, I resolutely made Yellowstone one of the destinations to visit.
The cheapest way to get to Yellowstone is by flying into the largest airport near Yellowstone and getting a rental car. The largest airport is Salt Lake City, which is about 5 hours away by car. Yes, not exactly near, but certainly cheaper, both for the flight and the rental car.
On the way from Salt Lake City to West Yellowstone, you can make a brief stop at Idaho Falls and check out the falls.
The accommodation inside Yellowstone itself are snapped up way ahead, and they’re expensive anyway. The next best alternative is to stay at West Yellowstone, which is the town just outside the west entrance of Yellowstone. There are decent dining options in West Yellowstone, so that’s a bonus.
IMHO the Norris Geyser Basin is the best attraction in Yellowstone. If there’s one thing one must see in Yellowstone, it must be a geyser, which is not easily found elsewhere. Norris allows one to see many geothermal features within a small concentrated area. One can easily spend two to three hours covering the two trails.
The steamboat geyser sprouts water all the time.
A colourful spring.
Bubbling mud pool.
From the Norris Geyser Basin, the next logical stop along the Grand Loop is the Mammoth Hot Springs. The claim to fame here are terraces formed by deposits from flowing hot springs. Unfortunately, the biggest terrace there has already dried up. There is still one active terrace (pictured above) that looks impressive and otherworldly.
The most notorious attraction in Yellowstone is none other than Old Faithful, the Geyser that sprouts every 2 hours or so. The photo above shows the final moments of an eruption. I nearly missed it, having arrived just 5 minutes before it happened.
The lower falls of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone looked like a Chinese painting to me, as viewed from Artist’s Point. I found that the lighting was better before 930. Afterwards it becomes too shadowy. There was supposed to be a rainbow that appears in front of the falls between 930 and 10 but a cloud covered the sun while I waited, so I gave up.
I have a strange love for meandering rivers.
As we exit from the south entrance of Yellowstone National Park, we entered the Grand Tetons National Park. The Tetons range is part of the Rocky mountains that stretches from British Columbia in Canada to Colorado in US.