That's a long title for a blog entry.
For those who don't know the history, Yellowstone National Park was established as the first national park in the United States (possibly the world? I forget). It's larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined and has a wide variety of features such as mountains, plains, hot springs, waterfalls, wild life, geysers, among many other things. It's mostly in Wyoming, but does spill over a bit to Montana and Idaho.
The drive in from the east entrance
Our first night wasn't noteworthy, for we grabbed one of the last campsites available on a dusty lot with little to do. After hours of driving, we fell asleep around 9pm.
The next day we checked out some of the hot springs at the West Thumb area. This was our first interaction with the sulfur smelling pools that steamed and showed off their stunning colors. There were a lot of tourists at this particular point, but that didn't deter us too much from enjoying this unique natural phenomenon.
The colors, dude, the colors!
After checking out the Hot Springs we went down south to Grand Teton National Park to meet up with our friends Caitlin and Mike!
Mountains and stuff at Grand Teton.
The four of us got to watch some bison play in a field for a bit before we grabbed our permits to do some back country camping. I was super paranoid about finding grizzly bears along the trail, but we were never bothered once (woohoo!).
Backpacking to our site
Foggy morning lake
That next day we checked out the two of the (arguably) most popular destinations in the park: Lower Falls in the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and Old Faithful. Both, while beautiful and needed to be seen, didn't match up to our relaxed and fun experience back packing through the woods (even though it was only 2 miles in). These areas of the park were severely congested, and it was hard to have an intimate connection with the beauty there with so much noise. However, I'm glad we went to both of these spots, even if just for the sheer fact to say that we went.
Lower Falls as seen from a vantage point.
That famous geyser.
We said goodbye to Caitlin and Mike as they headed their own way and Jon and I found a campsite close to the north entrance. From our site, we had some great views of mountains and easy access to some other hot springs in a less populated area. Our last night in Yellowstone was an early one (8pm!) and I can say with happiness that we thoroughly enjoyed our time here. I felt like this was a place that deserved all of the attention it receives and warranted the biggest chunk of our trip. I will eagerly come back here with in the future to further explore some other hot spring areas and backpacking routes.
Hot spring waterfall.
Location, location, location!