Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Happy Birthday, Yellowstone!

America's national parks are sometimes called "America's best idea," and the very first national park, Yellowstone, celebrated its 143rd birthday of March 1. Yellowstone is an iconic American vacation spot that every U.S. resident should visit at least once! Best known for the Old Faithful geyser, the park encompasses over 3,400 square miles, of which about 80% is forest, 15% is grassland, and 5% is water. There are close to 300 waterfalls of fifteen feet or higher that flow year-round! Wildlife is also abundant, with elk and bison seen daily by most visitors. With enough to see and do for several days, it is an ideal travel destination.

One of my favorite vacations ever included time spent at two national parks - Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park - as well as Craters of the Moon National Monument, which is located in Idaho. In honor of Yellowstone's birthday, I am happy to share share some of the 900+ photographs my friend and I took in the park during our intense four-day visit in late August 2013. What most surprised me was the diversity we saw as we criss-crossed the area, and I would love to return to explore even more.

As we drove into Yellowstone, the very first thing we saw was a waterfall. To be more precise, we noticed many cars parked along the side of the road, and realized there must be something worth seeing nearby. We pulled into an open spot on the roadside, followed others, and quickly caught glimpse Lewis Fall, the first of several lovely waterfalls we would see.
Difficult to take photos in the bright sun, but it's a pretty spot.
Yellowstone is home to many fascinating and unusual geothermal features such as the well-known geyser basins, and lesser known spots such as mud pots, thermal springs, and thermal pools.

Remind you of a certain cartoon character?

We saw Old Faithful three times!
The park also features stunning vistas, and is generally an amazing place to spend several days.

There are dozens of fantastic places for a hike...
...and plenty of spots in which to cool off on a warm end-of-summer day...


  1. You forgot about the Chocolate Pots, you're the one that made us stop for them. :) The big openness is what I remember about it. That and the animals we saw everywhere. It was also nice to be able to hike and not see a lot of people.

    1. Forgot might not be the right term; overwhelmed by photo choices might be the correct one! I agree that going out on hikes, and not seeing many people (even though there were plenty of visitors in the park) was great. Even on some of the roads we saw few cars... The place is HUGE.


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