Here we are at Day 2 in Yellowstone, we had a great night sleep at our wonderful cabin Sacajawea at Shoshone Lodge and campground, I just wish we would have planned a day to stay here relax and enjoy all the offerings they had, perhaps on another trip.
6 a.m. Rise and Shine. We were packed up and ready to go at 7 am. We entered through the east entrance again and took our time enjoying the beautiful drive into the park.
Stopped to fuel up and grab some munchies here. Made a quick stop to the Fishing Bridge Visitor Center to get our Passport Cancellations. This visitor center/gift shop is pretty small, we looked at a few of the exhibits and then proceeded with the itinerary.
Off to find Potts Hot Springs Basin-FAIL we never found it despite driving around the area several times.
We pulled into West Thumb and stopped at the Information Station Bookstore for yet another Yellowstone Passport Cancellation. Did a quick Lake Overlook and ran back to the car, much more exciting things ahead.
Next stop the Continental Divide
There was a huge line of people getting their picture taken at the sign headed west so we just pulled into the eastward sign. There are plenty of CD signs in the park you won’t miss them.
This place was a beautiful stop on the 17-mile drive from West Thumb heading into the Old Faithful area. Low crowds and lots of photos.
Now we are off to Old Faithful area. It has its own exit, I felt like I was on an interstate, in a National Park??? So weird.
We parked at the Old Faithful Inn, Grandma hopped on the Old Faithful Inn tour while we went up to the Observation Deck to view the eruption. Here we waited about 10 minutes before Old Faithful did its job. That was pretty good timing!
This must have been around 11 am. We went downstairs and waited in line for about 2 minutes for the Old Faithful Inn Dining Room, what a beautiful place! We really enjoyed eating here, the atmosphere was amazing and the food was fantastic! We learned a mistake from yesterday and timed our meal so we didn’t waste a minute.
From here we strolled over to the Old Faithful Visitor Center, went through the center, did a Junior Ranger program, strolled through the NP Haynes Photoshop, back to the visitor center and we received our Junior Ranger Patches. Not without first reuniting a poor lost kid with his mother, apparently, she beelined it for the geyser eruption and didn’t pay attention that she lost her 4-year-old, after about 20 minutes she came back for him.
We were on our way to get Huckleberry ice cream back at the Old Faithful Inn when Old Faithful erupted again for us. We snapped this quick picture and headed for ice cream to beat the crowd!
The Huckleberry Ice cream was everything that we dreamed of. Absolutely worth it and delicious. We sat outside and enjoyed the scenery and ice cream, the day was perfect for it. I really wanted to rent bikes and ride through upper basin but couldn’t talk my cohorts into it, add it to the list of things to do “next time”, that list is really adding up.
Black Sand Basin
Back to the car and off we go only about 1 mile northwest of Old Faithful. This place was fun; springs, geysers and our first elk sighting! The binoculars we brought finally came in handy, thanks, dad. The kids were mesmerized by the elk and I was mesmerized by the pools. So beautiful, the springs and geysers were fun to just watch along with the elk.
I could have easily stayed here all day!!
Fountain Flat Drive
Grand Prismatic Spring, this is it. This is what we have been waiting to see. The most famous spot at Yellowstone was it worth it??? Yes, it was. The only thing I wish we would have done is to walk up to the overlook, but the parking lot was full. The parking here at this time of day was horrendous, so be prepared! Make sure not to miss this spot it is really amazing.
Firehole Lake Drive
This was just ok, not too impressive. Low crowds and pullovers for pictures. A nice break from not getting in and out of the car, a small road off of the main road. The kids loved this part because I let them take pictures of this set of geysers while standing in the car and taking the pictures out of the moonroof. A little trick we learned here at Yellowstone National Park.
We drove up to Madison to add a cancellation to our passport. To our surprise, it was not crowded and really peaceful. Not a soul around at the Visitor Center, so we wandered around and enjoyed the silence. A great break from all the crowds and traffic. So serene and empty. This is how I imagined Yellowstone would be.
Firehole Canyon Drive
This road, off of the main drag was beautiful, one of the best parts of the park. We were expecting to go swimming at the Firehole swimming area, but as per usual with Yellowstone, it was packed and there was absolutely nowhere to park. With a little better planning now that we have experience with the park, we will come here earlier and make sure we swim and relax. It looked amazing, I was a little upset we missed out on this experience. We just keep adding to our list of things to do next time!
With the west side of Yellowstone under our belts, we headed to Flagg Ranch, our destination for the next 2 nights. The drive through south Yellowstone was absolutely gorgeous, is there any spot here in the park that isn’t?? We did manage to find a prettier setting for another Continental Divide sign. The picture below was taken on our way back through, this spot had a lovely little pond covered with lily pads and some information about the Continental Divide. I recommend this stop over the above one.
We checked into Flagg Ranch and enjoyed a wonderful dinner at the Ranch as well. Next up is Grand Teton National Park! Overall we enjoyed Yellowstone immensely. It was so pretty with so many things to do, it would be impossible not to want to come back! We really enjoyed the wildlife, the geysers, the springs, the visitor centers, and everything minus the crowds and a few grumpy tourists. I am already planning our next trip here (in my mind). So with 4 full pages of cancellations, over 300 photos and a lifetime of memories, I will say Yellowstone was a success with our family. Lots of hours spent researching and planning was not wasted. I hope with this blog it will help someone out there to plan their trip or just enjoy watching us. Please let me know if you have any questions at all. Don’t miss out on my other two blogs on Yellowstone either. What is your favorite part of this park?? There are so many great ones.
Cancellation Success, we are missing a few. Museum of the National Park Ranger and Snake River Ranger Station. But, alas we will be back 🙂
Thanks for visiting. Don’t miss out on all the other National Park posts I have!! Feel free to send me suggestions on parks I need to visit!!