This is the first of the 4 part series. As you all know, Yellowstone is a large national park in northwest Wyoming, with portions in Idaho and Montana. We visited all three states while we were there. Let’s show you Yellowstone so you can get an idea of what you’re facing:
You’ll note Yellowstone’s roads consist of spurs coming off what appears to be a rough figure 8, the Grand Loop. Our goal was originally to visit a quarter of the figure 8 per day, and go out the spurs later. We revised this once we determined we could visit more quickly.
Day 1: Mammoth Hot Springs. We visited Canyon (our favorite), went to Tower for lunch, Mammoth Hot Springs, then went down past Norris, Canyon and back to Fishing Bridge.
Day 2: Old Faithful to West Yellowstone, into Montana and Idaho
Day 3: Northeast Entrance. We saw bison, a pronghorn and mountain goats. Actually I never saw the goats until we did the photos. I took a shot at a white dot. The dot turned out to be two mountain goats. They were no less than 3 miles away.
Have you noticed I don’t give away my best photos? I used to put my best photos on Facebook, but they used them to advertise that site. I quit Facebook for that reason.
Day 4: West Thumb/South Entrance/Grand Teton/Jackson – this was a really long day, we ended up driving about 230 miles. We almost didn’t get back in time to make dinner. Still we ended up visiting Grand Teton National Park, Jackson, WY, Mormon Row, Cunningham Cabin, and various points opposite the rugged peaks of the Tetons.
Day 5: We had been on every main road in the park, except a 5-mile stretch to the north from Mammoth Hot Springs to the (Roosevelt) entrance. We knew that was going to be on Day 6, so we took another tour by the Canyon. We also visited the Lake region.
Day 6: Wildlife Day. We chose to get up early and check out animals around dawn. Most of the animals didn’t cooperate. This loop took us out the Roosevelt entrance, into Montana and then back down past Mammoth Hot Springs, Norris geyser basin, Canyon and back to Fishing Bridge.
Day 7: Our shortest day was to Grant Village. We visited there, drove back out towards the East entrance. We were getting snowfall, so we chose to return before getting to the Sylvan pass.
Day 8: We completed the bottom of the Grand Loop. I wanted to see Old Faithful again, so we did that, circled back out to Madison, Norris, one last stop at Canyon where I descended 600 feet to get some GREAT Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River shots, then back down to Fishing Bridge. We packed and left the next day. Altogether, we drove 1075 miles. Unfortunately, we didn’t go 1/2 mile from any road. The park rangers told us 90% of Yellowstone visitors don’t go further than 1/2 mile from a road, sad for what should be recognized as wilderness.