Yellowstone beckons 

Tripoto
Photo of Yellowstone beckons by Aswathy
Photo of Yellowstone beckons  1/14 by Aswathy
Mamma bear at Yellowstone Bear World
Photo of Yellowstone beckons  2/14 by Aswathy
Photo of Yellowstone beckons  3/14 by Aswathy
Photo of Yellowstone beckons  4/14 by Aswathy
Lower Geyser Basin
Photo of Yellowstone beckons  5/14 by Aswathy
Firehole River
Photo of Yellowstone beckons  6/14 by Aswathy
Old Faithful Inn
Photo of Yellowstone beckons  7/14 by Aswathy
Photo of Yellowstone beckons  8/14 by Aswathy
Old faithful inn
Photo of Yellowstone beckons  9/14 by Aswathy
Amphitheater at Bridge Bay Campground
Photo of Yellowstone beckons  10/14 by Aswathy
No trip to Yellowstone is complete without spotting a bison 
Photo of Yellowstone beckons  11/14 by Aswathy
Sun kissed wild flowers of the campground 
Photo of Yellowstone beckons  12/14 by Aswathy
Photo of Yellowstone beckons  13/14 by Aswathy
Waiting for a click
Photo of Yellowstone beckons  14/14 by Aswathy

Tent camping on a riverside on a Saturday evening amidst of RVs, it was my husband who brought up the idea of renting an RV and driving to a far away place in summer. We had two of our close friends along with us. All of us shook our head in affirmation. We didn’t have to think much about the destination. Yellowstone has been on our list for so long. Yes, Yellowstone it was!

Day 1

The four of us started on a Friday morning in an RV to explore and enjoy the wilderness of Yellowstone, world's first national park. Since 1872, millions have come to Yellowstone to experience the natural wonders.

It is almost a crime not to stop at Yellowstone Bear World, if you are driving from the west. It's a drive through wildlife park where you will be surrounded by free roaming bears, bisons, elk and mountain goats. Sounds adventurous? It truly is adventurous when you have to drive in between naughty bear cubs who has put on the cap of brake inspectors.

Black bear

Photo of Yellowstone Bear World, South 4300 West, Rexburg, ID, United States by Aswathy

Female Elk

Photo of Yellowstone Bear World, South 4300 West, Rexburg, ID, United States by Aswathy

If you have time, go for the curator tour where you can feed the bears or for the bottle feed the cubs tour. If you cannot wait to reach Yellowstone, like us, just drive through the park and exit.

The drive

Photo of Yellowstone beckons by Aswathy

The west gate of Yellowstone, one among the five gates, is an hour and a half drive from the Bear World. 96% of this 3472 square miles huge park is in Wyoming, 3% in Montana and 1% in Idaho.

West gate

Photo of West Yellowstone, MT, United States by Aswathy

West Yellowstone has the charm of an old town. It is also a good place to fuel yourself and your vehicle and to grab some essentials.

Lake Yellowstone

Photo of Yellowstone beckons by Aswathy

The park is the shape of number eight, the upper portion of which is known as the upper loop and the lower one, the lower loop.

Photo of Yellowstone beckons by Aswathy

The drive after crossing the gate is impressive. The long pine and fir, beautiful wild flowers, water bodies, bushy shrubs, lush green open grasslands, steaming hot springs, geysers, rugged wilderness, majestic peaks, canyons, bison, elk and bear, orange, yellow, green and blue water and magnificent landscape together make it a unique world of natural splendour. Majestic!

The presence of different bacteria adds magnificent colour to the water

Photo of Lower Geyser Basin, Teton County, WY, United States by Aswathy

We made our first stop at the Lower Geyser Basin. It has all the four thermal features of Yellowstone. Less than a mile hike through Fountain Paint Pots Trail took us through Fountain Paint Pot, Red Spouter, Leather Pool and a few geysers.

Photo of Midway Geyser Basin, Teton County, WY, United States by Aswathy
Photo of Midway Geyser Basin, Teton County, WY, United States by Aswathy

Next stop was at Midway Geyser Basin further south. The bridge over the beautiful Firehole River took us to the broadwalk. It is home to the awe-inspiring Grand Prismatic Spring, along with Excelsior Geyser, Opal pool and Turquoise pool. If you ever have an image of Yellowstone in your mind, this is it. Grand Prismatic is like a deep blue pool with rainbow rings of bright yellow, deep red and fiery orange around, giving it a prism effect. Rising steam from the water interrupted our view and couldn't enjoy the view as expected. A hike to the Picture Hill will give you a better view.

We camped at Bridge Bay campground for the night

Photo of Bridge Bay Campground, Teton County, WY, United States by Aswathy

Bears are known for their incredibly strong sense of smell.

Photo of Bridge Bay Campground, Teton County, WY, United States by Aswathy

We had booked a spot in Bridge Bay campground in advance. We sat around the fire and had grilled chicken for dinner before calling it a day.

Day 2

We had booked a tour for the second day in advance. A 42 year old bus came to pick us up. The guide cum driver gave an overview of Yellowstone as we drove along the pristine Yellowstone lake. We were treated to some insane views of the lake. We also took a stop to know some of the flaura and fauna of the region.

Prediction

Photo of Upper Geyser Basin, Teton County, WY, United States by Aswathy

Waiting for the next eruption of Old Faithful

Photo of Upper Geyser Basin, Teton County, WY, United States by Aswathy

Thundering thousands of gallons of steaming water into the sky

Photo of Upper Geyser Basin, Teton County, WY, United States by Aswathy

Next on list was the iconic attraction of Yellowstone – Old Faithful Geyser. This geyser has been erupting every 90 minutes (+/- 10 minutes) for the last 75 years, thus earning the name faithful. One can either join the crowd who gather around the geyser or choose a spot in the Old Faithful Inn or may take a quick hike out to the nearby observation point.

While here, we took some time to check out the largest log structure in the world, built in 1903 - the Old Faithful Inn.

Blue Star Spring - Doesn't this resemble India's map?

Photo of Yellowstone beckons by Aswathy

We quickly hiked and covered the geysers on the upper geyser basin too. Upper Geyser Basin has the world's largest concentration of active geysers.

Next stop was at the Lower Geyser Basin, which we had already covered the previous day. But we could learn a lot about the thermal features from the guide.

Photo of Gibbon Falls, Teton County, WY, United States by Aswathy

The view from the overlook point of Gibbon Falls was quite a sight.

Photo of Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Park County, WY, United States by Aswathy
Photo of Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Park County, WY, United States by Aswathy

We got to see the power of Yellowstone River from the Brink of Upper Falls viewpoint and Artist point here. The view from Artist point is breathtaking as millions of gallons of water gushes through the terracotta hued walls of the canyon.

Bisons are iconic animals of Yellowstone

Photo of Hayden Valley, Park County, WY, United States by Aswathy
Photo of Yellowstone beckons by Aswathy

Hayden Valley is a haven for wildlife and wildlife photographers. The animals come in herds to the expansive meadows and water bodies of the valley. Visitors wait with cameras, tripods and binoculars to watch and capture the fascinating animals patrolling the area.

Photo of Yellowstone Lake, Teton County, WY, United States by Aswathy

We soaked in the stunning views of Lake Yellowstone and Butte Lake before retiring for the night. The late sunset of the summer definitely helped us to make the most of the day.

Day 3
Photo of Mud Volcano, Park County, WY, United States by Aswathy

We followed the pungent sulphur smells and reached seething Mud Volcano.

Yellowstone is a true marvel to behold. We will soon head back for more adventures.

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