This episode is part two of our Grand Teon and Yellowstone National Parks week long trip. We spent three days in Yellowstone National Park. In America’s first and most iconic national park we give you all the details on Yellowstone’s unique geological landscape. From beautiful colorful thermal pools, to magnificent geyers, to abundant wildlife, Yellowstone has so much to offer and most of it doesn’t require hiking!
We took this trip at the end of May into June right when the park reopened after being closed during COVID lock downs. We tell you what to do in West Yellowstone, specifically what to do in Yellowstone in June which as you can imagine is a lot of sightseeing! Geysers, thermal pools, cool geological formations, and wildlife are everywhere here! If your kids are asking “what is there to do in Yellowstone” have them listen to this episode to get hyped up on all the cool things they will see.
We also put together a week itinerary to visit Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks with a detailed route to take, how long to stay in each place, hikes, sights to see, even where to eat! You can download the PDF on our website for your trip!
What to See in Yellowstone National Park
- West Thumb Geyser Basin
- The Old Faithful Geyser
- Upper Geyser Basin Loop to see Morning Glory Pool
- Grand Prismatic Spring
- Midway Geyser Basin to see Excelsior Geyser, Opal Pool, and Turquoise Pool
- Fairy Falls Trail to the Grand Prismatic View Point
- Mammoth Hot Springs Trails
- Roosevelt Arch
- Lamar and Hayden Valleys
- Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
Where to Eat and Drink in West Yellowstone, Montana
What to See in Yellowstone National Park – Episode Transcript
Welcome to this week’s episode of the Travel Squad podcast. Today, we’re driving just a little bit up north from grand Teton and finishing our adventures from last week and taking you to Yellowstone national park.
1 (1m 8s):
I loved Yellowstone Yellowstone. If you guys don’t know is primarily located in Northwest Wyoming, but the boundaries of the park also expand into both Montana and Idaho and Yellowstone has such a unique geological landscape. It has a beautiful thermal pools, magnificent geysers, abundant wildlife, and it just has so much more to offer.
3 (1m 29s):
And it’s one of the most iconic national parks in the us. And for very good reason, it was actually the first national park we ever had. And fun fact, it has 50% of the world’s geysers. It sits on top of the largest volcanic field, and that’s only the tip of what makes it so interesting
4 (1m 47s):
Largest volcanic field in north America, if I believe.
3 (1m 50s):
Oh yes, yes. Mr. Historian
4 (1m 52s):
And a geographer.
2 (1m 55s):
So I’m still sitting this trip out. I wasn’t with them since this is the, I know, I know this is the continuation from grand Tetons. This is a twofer, if you will. So I’m looking forward to hearing all about the strip.
1 (2m 7s):
So we’re going to start out with some tips. So like we previously said in the last episode, definitely get some offline maps in Yellowstone, even more than grand Tetons. I had almost zero service in the park. The entire time we were in the park. No self-service at all. So definitely have your offline maps downloaded and ready to go so that you can get from point a to point B. I would recommend that
4 (2m 28s):
Also continuing with the theme of last week, we’re still in grizzly territory, still in black bear territory. You do need some bear spray. So definitely do hold on to that, having a very interesting story regarding bears and being prevalent, close to the trails. So I’m going to share that with you later point being bear spray
3 (2m 48s):
Fun fact, if you remember from the last episode on our way to Yellowstone is where we saw two grizzly bears. So yes, there’s definitely bears in the area.
1 (2m 57s):
Absolutely. My last tip is Yellowstone is so big. Like I said, it expands into three states. And so you should definitely take a look at the map, see what areas you want to hit and have a plan on what you want to do each day, because it can take several hours to drive from one area to the next and just be prepared for that and map out your days.
4 (3m 18s):
Yeah. So that’s a very, very good tip again. So, so large. So have that game plan, but continuing on from last week, if you remember, we were leaving grand Tetons on a Monday. And the first thing we did when we entered Yellowstone national park was continued to an area called West Thumb, Geyser Basin. And Brittany, why don’t you tell us a little bit about that? Cause you did all the research. So why did you pick this area in particular?
1 (3m 42s):
Well, I picked this area because it’s one of the first areas that you get to really see something unique that the park has to offer. And in this area specifically, there’s a whole bunch of hydrothermal pools and little geysers. So there’s a short paved trail in the West Thumb area. And we’re able to see the pool called the abyss pool, which is the deepest hydrothermal pool within the park, which was really cool to see
4 (4m 6s):
And right in that area, two big, large parking lot. And again, it was so nice going on this trip at the time we did. Cause it was right after quarantine restrictions had been lifted a couple of weeks in after they opened Yellowstone national park. So still not a lot of people, but right away, even in the parking lots, we’re seeing wildlife like right when we got there before we did the trail to see all those thermal pools, I mean, we’re seeing deer, we’re seeing elk just so much in the area, which is really, really nice, but I did enjoy seeing those thermal pools. I wouldn’t call these areas hikes. Whereas in grand Teton, we actually had the Gitelman hikes. I feel like here in Yellowstone, most of the trails are to see the geological, formations and sites.
4 (4m 49s):
So a lot of them are wood planked trails and not really actual hikes. So this one here was a little trail of boardwalk planks to see the thermal pools. And it’s really cool to see all the varying colors from the blues, the reds, and they get all those different colors from the bacteria that grows in them. It’s just really, really unique to see.
3 (5m 8s):
And that’s key to know is that you need to stay on the wooden plank pathways. Don’t step on the earth. It’s not safe and it damages the area. So stay off of it. When we were there, we actually saw some people breaking the rules and going out there and it’s just, it’s bad. It ruins it for the next people, destroys things, stay on the path, stay safe.
4 (5m 27s):
Well, not only did we see those people at the grand prismatic, which we’ll get to that went off the trail. I was so upset. Cause I hate when I see people littering a National Park or trash it and they violated that. But beyond that, I mean, these are on thermal pools and in volcanic hot spring areas, if you will. So the ground itself isn’t really that stable. So the signs that they have saying to stay on it, there’s been cases where people have gone off and they’ve actually slipped in the water, which is really hot. I mean, these are thermal pools and waters and these people alive when they fall in. So it’s not a joke, really stay on the path.
1 (6m 2s):
So we just went to a West Thumb very quickly and just saw our first views of the hydrothermal pools. And then we headed over to the old faithful Geyser area. Ooh,
4 (6m 12s):
1 (6m 13s):
It. Who doesn’t know old faithful. Right?
4 (6m 15s):
Everyone does. Do you know old faithful?
2 (6m 17s):
I know old faithful.
4 (6m 19s):
Why is it old faithful
2 (6m 21s):
Because it faithfully guises
4 (6m 23s):
Guises. Well, yes it is a Geyser and it’s called old faithful. You are correct. Because to a certain degree, they can predict the eruption. And at the time that it will erupt usually in the past when it was a National Park, it used to be more consistent with its time. But again, Yellowstone is on top of a super volcano. There’s a lot of volcanic activity, which creates earthquakes. So because of those earthquakes, the chamber in which the water pressure and the guys that are builds up has been altered a little bit. So it used to be like every hour, hour and 15 minutes, but now they have a plus or minus 15, 20 minutes each way. But to a certain degree, they can still predict the time in which it will erupt.
4 (7m 7s):
And it’s the most consistent on that. So that’s why it’s most famous. It’s not the tallest, it’s not the largest, but because of its consistency, that’s why it’s famous. It
3 (7m 16s):
Was super impressive to see.
4 (7m 18s):
Yeah. So when you get out there, they have the big boardwalk plank areas again, and lots of benches for people. And this was the most crowded area I felt that we experienced, whether it be at Yellowstone or grand Teton was to see old faithful because again, there’s only certain times and they predict it. So everyone congregates there at the same time to actually witness it.
2 (7m 40s):
So question for you guys, because you are here right when the world opened back up after all of the COVID shut down. So how was it in terms of crowding social distancing people wearing masks?
4 (7m 51s):
I will say at old faithful, because there was so many people there all at once. I would say 60 to 75% of the people sitting there watching it actually had their face masks on at that point, including us, including us, you were able to keep enough distance because they have a big prominent boardwalk around the whole area. So you can spread out. I would wager to say during normal times pre COVID, it gets a lot more crowded. There probably less space, but people for the most part were actually keeping a good distance and had their masks.
1 (8m 27s):
And so now old faithful erupts, approximately like every 94 minutes or so plus, or minus 10 minutes. And it was right within that, that window when we were able to see it. So it was really cool to see, and you can actually start to see old faithful, trying to bubble up at first. And you’re like, oh, is it going to go off? Is it going to go off? And everyone gets really excited and then it kind of simmers back down and then starts to kind of erupt again. Then all of a sudden it just erupts completely.
4 (8m 54s):
It is a guide.
3 (8m 54s):
And while you’re sitting, waiting for it to go off, you see other geysers in the distance going off to,
4 (8m 59s):
Because there’s such a high concentration of geysers in that area, but they all have their own different chambers where the water will bubble and boil up before it finally explodes. So as we’re sitting there waiting, we can see all these other geysers going off in the distance. And some of them are a lot larger have cooler formations that build up to the Geyser. But again, old faithful is the most famous because of its consistency. Some of those other geysers, they go off every, you know, 24 to 72 hours. They can’t really predict it. Like they can’t old faithful.
3 (9m 30s):
There was one Geyser that we saw that hadn’t gone off since March of 2019.
4 (9m 35s):
So really, really, but it
3 (9m 37s):
Was a big one. Yeah.
2 (9m 38s):
So two questions for you guys. One when old Batesville does explode, how high, obviously you can’t measure it, but I mean like how high is it going in terms of, are you afraid of any of the mist or Splashback are you too far back? And how’s the smell.
1 (9m 52s):
It smells like eggs. I will say that Sulfur, but in terms of height, I’m probably not the best predictor of height. I,
4 (10m 2s):
It’s tough to gauge that. I would say anywhere between 75 to 125 feet, maybe a little bit higher, but at the same time, it doesn’t erupt height-wise with as much consistency as it does its timing. So again, old faithful isn’t the largest. So it just really depends on how much pressure truly is built up. So it definitely varies, but one other guys are, and we’ll talk about the trail that we did leading from old faithful, because again, there’s a whole plethora of them in that area. One of them, I believe erupts at least up to 200 feet in height,
2 (10m 33s):
But you guys aren’t worried about mist spray back or anything like that.
4 (10m 37s):
’cause by the time it gets up in the air and it gets in mist form, it’s really cooled down a little bit. So it’s not really going to hit you like that, that you’re worried about the water coming back at you
1 (10m 47s):
And the boardwalk isn’t right up on it. So you do have some space from where the guys are erupts to kind of where you are in the viewing area. But right after old faithful erupted, we decided to go on a little flat hike in the area was called upper Geyser basin loop. And specifically I wanted to go see a pool called morning glory pool, but along the way, there’s a whole bunch of other geysers. This area specifically contains 25% of the world’s geysers, which is super cool. And I think Yellowstone has in total about 50% of the world’s geysers,
4 (11m 19s):
Yellowstone has 50%, 25% of them on this trail. That’s like a four and a half mile loop. So just to give you an idea of how many there are, there’s a lot in that
3 (11m 29s):
A lot to look at also different too. There’s some that are purple. Some that are orange, some that are blue, some that have multi-colors are really pretty different sizes, different smells.
4 (11m 39s):
And not only that within the guys, our area, you could definitely see wildlife. I mean, we saw several bison that are sitting there grazing in the area. You can see the bison hoof prints that are in the guys are based in areas. So they’re walking on that thermal hot, warm water, and you can see their tracks. You can see they’re dropping so wildlife all around. So even though that the thermal pools and geysers are there, it doesn’t stop the wildlife from getting close.
1 (12m 5s):
It’s also fun to see the names of some of the thermal pools and the geysers, because like one was named castle Geyser and the structure does look like it starting the build of a castle. There was one called I want to say it was called like an ear thermal pool. And it was in the shape of an ear. So it’s fun to see all of the different names that they’ve named these thermal pools or the geysers,
4 (12m 25s):
But what was the payoff at the end of this trail? You said you wanted to see Morning Glory. So is that the payoff for you? Brittany
1 (12m 32s):
Morning, glory pool was my favorite thermal pool that we were able to see really up close. And it just had so many different, beautiful colors. It was oranges, reds, yellows, purples. It just, it looked like a rainbow and you were able to get to like a paved trail right in front of it. And you can photograph the entire thermal pool in one shot versus like some of the other thermal pools are so large that it’s hard to get into an entire picture. And the colors are just so vibrant behind you. And again, like we had said, this is our first trip post COVID and there was not a lot of people on the trail. So we got areas to ourself and it was just really nice to have that to ourself and enjoy nature.
4 (13m 14s):
Yeah. Morning Gloria was like a kaleidoscope of colors. I mean, you have that deep, bright blue at the center of the pool. And then as it radiates outwards, you’re getting your reds, your oranges, your yellows, and all those different colors from the varying temperatures of the water, to the bacteria, that’s in it. And it’s just so pretty. And we’re going to talk about this area a little bit later, but there’s a very famous thermal pool slash hot spring in Yellowstone called grand prismatic. And basically morning glory was a miniature version of the grand prismatic, but you can see this really up close. I mean, you’re standing on top of it on the plank boardwalk area, and it’s just so unique. So that’s at the very end of that trail.
4 (13m 55s):
And when you’re done, you have to work your way all the way back on a paved trail to the old faithful area. And by the way, just in that old faithful area, they do have shops, restaurants, et cetera, because it is a high traffic area. So there is a lot of amenities in that spot.
1 (14m 11s):
And so, although the trail was four and a half miles, it was pretty much flat the entire way we saw people with strollers and people of all ages being able to complete this trail. So it was really nice.
3 (14m 19s):
The morning glory pool was probably one of my top favorite things about Yellowstone.
1 (14m 24s):
So we got the sneak peek of morning glory pool before we headed over to go see the grand prismatic spring, which we were all super excited about.
4 (14m 32s):
Yeah. And the grand prismatic, again, like old faithful as one of Yellowstone’s most famous and iconic sites to see for the thermal activities that go on at the park. And again, it’s just a giant thermal pool, like so giant that when you’re up on it, that’s so hard to see because of how big it is and how much steam is coming, how much steam is coming off. Right. And if you do your research and actually Google grand prismatic, you can see what we’re talking about. It’s absolutely amazing. And so when we went to the trail to see the grand prismatic, we were expecting to see those views that we saw from the photos when we Google it. But again, like Kim said so much steam is coming off of it.
4 (15m 13s):
It’s so large that the actual trail to see the prismatic leaves a lot to be desired, but there was another trail that’s supposed to give you an overlook. And we thought we can access it from the main trail of the grand prismatic, which is not the case. So the first day of seeing it left a little bit to be desired. Yeah.
1 (15m 32s):
So the first day that we saw the grand prismatic spring, we actually took the midway Geyser basin boardwalk. And it goes by the grand prismatic. But along the way, you also go by other geysers or thermal pools that are also really cool to see. But when you do get face-to-face to the grand prismatic, like Kim said, there’s just so much steam. And depending on the way that the wind blows it was blowing that day towards us. So it was just kind of like missing us and giving us almost like a facial. Cause it was just so warm, but you can’t see across the entire grand prismatic from that area. So we had plans for the next day to go to the overlook and stuff.
4 (16m 9s):
Yeah. And just real quick about the grand prismatic and the main trail that’s right there. I truly thought that the Excelsior Geyser, which is right below is the highlight to see of the main midway Geyser basin boardwalk that takes the grand prismatic. I thought the Excelsior Geyser was a lot more beautiful and exciting to see versus the grand prismatic. So the next day is when we did that scenic hike view to get the overlook of the grand prismatic. But before we did that, we had driven early in the morning from grand Tetons. Again, Yellowstone, so large, it took a lot of time. What did we do for our lodging?
1 (16m 46s):
So we decided to stay in west Yellowstone, which is actually main Montana. And we wanted to stay there because we wanted to hit another state off of our bucket list. And it’s actually one of the closest entrances to like the main attractions in the park. However, we weren’t sure if Montana was going to reopen. So we found out just a few days before our trip that Montana was lifting their travel restrictions and opening their gates into Yellowstone national park on the day that we arrived, which was fantastic.
4 (17m 16s):
Yeah, because up until that day that they were lifting the restrictions. The only entrance into Yellowstone that was open was the one from Wyoming coming from grand Teton, the entrances that they have, which they have at least three that come in from Montana, all those were closed. So it worked out to be perfect in terms of our timing to stay in west Yellowstone. And we really enjoyed that aspect because if we had to drive all the way back to Jackson and back in the Yellowstone, that would have been like two hours of driving one way each day, just to get into the park versus 30 minutes stain in west Yellowstone.
3 (17m 52s):
And the hotel that we stayed in, in west Yellowstone was Brandon iron in it, did the job. It wasn’t fancy. But the thing about west Yellowstone in this, this area, if you’re going to access the park from it, there aren’t very fancy hotels. It’s a really small town. They have just a couple of restaurants. So that’s what you can expect there. It’s also a little bit more expensive typically than what you might hope to pay for.
4 (18m 14s):
You know, I was expecting it to look a lot like Jackson or have that type of field really done up and touristy. And I think just because west Yellowstone knows that it’s really one of the most convenient ways to enter into the park. They don’t really put in a lot of upkeep to the area. So again, it’s not bad. It’s not like it’s rundown, but coming from Jackson, it left a lot to be desired. And I really wasn’t expecting that.
1 (18m 40s):
I would agree. So we spent our first night in Montana and Tuesday morning we woke up and what did we do? First thing in the morning, Kim,
3 (18m 46s):
1 (18m 47s):
Yes we did.
3 (18m 48s):
So we wanted to go do this overlook so that we can get an aerial view of the grand prismatic, but along the same trail, you can extend it another 1.2, one and a half miles, I think to fairytale falls, highly recommend cute waterfall. There’s this nice log in front of it. You can sit and just enjoy the views really, really pretty and a fairly easy hike. If you don’t get lost,
4 (19m 12s):
If you don’t get lost and he missed a getting lost on this trail here, did you guys
5 (19m 15s):
Not have the Runkeeper
4 (19m 16s):
App? So no. I asked no one ended up using it, but that’s okay. So again, the fairy falls trail head is where you want to go to get to ferry falls. But this is also the origination point. If you want that overlook of the grand prismatic, which we definitely did. And we were going to go here nonetheless, to get that overview. But I think the night before Kim did a little bit of research and found, oh, there’s a waterfall at the end of this, let’s do it. So that was an added bonus if you will. But before we get into how we got lost, why don’t you ladies, tell us a little bit about the overview.
1 (19m 54s):
So the trail is primarily flat up until you get to where the platform is going to be, and then you hike up. I would say probably like, Hm what’d you say a hundred feet up.
4 (20m 3s):
It might be a little, it might be a little bit more than that, but it’s not steep it for the most part it’s flat before you get to that. Very minimal hike up for the overview, but all in all, if you’re just going to the overview, it’s 1.2 miles. So a little bit more than half a mile in half a mile out. So not too bad at all.
1 (20m 20s):
But from this position, you get to see an aerial view of the grand prismatic park and see just how massive and how colorful it is and just get that rate perspective. And I think that it was worth doing that because if I had just seen the grand prismatic from the original boardwalk, we saw the day before it would have left a lot to be desired. So I’m really glad that we went and hiked up to the overload.
4 (20m 40s):
And not only that, this is where we saw those do, Schurz go off of the trail, that flat part. And they actually walked up to the grand prismatic and we’re starting to take photos, putting their hands up and be like, what dicks man? Like, why are you going off the trail? They even have the signs. They say that your footprints ruined the bacteria and ecology that goes on in there. So again, if you’re going to go to the national parks, truly respect them. Don’t be like those people who went off the trail, that’s all I have to say,
2 (21m 7s):
Hashtag stay on the trail,
4 (21m 10s):
Stay on the trail. Yeah.
1 (21m 11s):
So ferry falls is marked. However, we were just kind of in our own heads and we missed the marking to where to turn. So we went passed by like an extra mile and then had to turn back around.
4 (21m 23s):
So it’s actually quite deceiving because you go to that overlook and then you could either go back down the way you came or they have a way to go the opposite direction towards it, back down the hill and continue on. And when you continue on you meet that flat trail that you started on from the parking lot and it just continues straight. And you think that should be the way that you go, but they do have a very small sign that points very falls this way. Yet. Interestingly enough, they have a whole bunch of rocks that block it as if that’s not the way you’re supposed to go. So none of us really paid attention to think, oh, we should go this way because we saw the rocks. Like it was blocked and thought we continued straight. So we continued that extra mile in that direction before we realized, Hey, should we have hit there by now?
4 (22m 6s):
And we pulled up our GPS and we realized that we were wrong and had to turn back around so easy.
1 (22m 12s):
It was an easy
4 (22m 13s):
Day. It was a real easy day on this one easy
2 (22m 15s):
Day. Did you guys eat breakfast before this hike?
4 (22m 18s):
Yeah, we did. We had a, to go breakfast in a bag from this hotel, just like the other ones in grand Teton. There you
2 (22m 24s):
Go. At least you had food.
4 (22m 26s):
That’s correct. So we turned back around, we got to that spot where we thought it was the block off. And then we went on the legit trail for the ferry falls. And once you get in that area, I actually really liked the trail a lot. It goes from a vast openness into really the forest. So then again, I was slightly concerned about bears cause I’m like, oh shit, I’m in the thick of stuff. Like quite literally, but it was a really cool trail because you’re just straight line in the forest. Really cool. And then you have that climactic waterfall at the end to see.
3 (22m 57s):
And there were tons of fallen down trees. So it just had like a cool vibe. I don’t know unexplained of why they fell, but tons of voluntaries.
1 (23m 6s):
So Jamal speaking of bears and kind of being a bear aware, why don’t you tell everyone of what happened at this Trailhead two days prior to us going,
4 (23m 14s):
They have all the signs in the park say be bear aware. So Brittany is channeling her inner National Park signs over here being bear aware. Well, speaking of that, I’m telling you, man, our phones are crazy. At least my Samsung galaxy is it either knows my GPS location, which all phones do, but it gives me new stories and articles related to obviously things that I search for location, et cetera. And as soon as we got home from Yellowstone and grand Teton, I went to my notifications that they pop up for me. And then I see something that says three days ago at Yellowstone national park. And it’s a video that somebody filmed of a grizzly bear right in the parking lot where we were parked for the ferry falls trail head to get the prismatic overview as well as to Berry falls.
4 (24m 3s):
And that grizzly bear is attacking a bison. And I’m like, Brittany, look at this, watch this video. And it’s crazy. This grizzly bear is attacking a BICE and it’s pulling him across a bridge that we had across the Creek at. There was a fallen tree that we all went to the restroom behind before we went on our hike because they had no port-a-potties that I’m just like this thing’s attacking the bison. Like we were just there. And the whole time we were talking about, obviously we know there’s bears in the area, how close do we really think they get to these like main points and these areas because there’s a lot of people and lo and behold, the date on that was two days before we were there. And we had no clue that just a couple of days before a grizzly bear attacked a bison in that area.
4 (24m 47s):
So bear spray is essential.
1 (24m 50s):
Absolutely. So after we hiked at ferry falls, we went back to the car and we packed up to go to mammoth hot Springs. And like I said earlier, the park is huge. So I would say the grand prismatic is probably kind of in the middle of the park. I would say in mammoth is at the north end. And just from that from the grand prismatic, very falls trail, head to mammoth hot Springs. It took us about an hour and a half in the car to get there. So Kim and Charlotte are in the back seat sleep in a way while Jamal and I are driving to our next stop. But Kim, why don’t you tell us about mammoth hot Springs and why we were so excited to go there?
3 (25m 26s):
Well, we love hot Springs and you showed me a picture of it. And it’s just like really, really cool. It’s it’s almost like a mountain kind of a structure. And at the top, there’s obviously boiling water. That’s coming down, but as it comes down, it forms these pools of water. So it’ll be in mountains and then a pool flat top pool of water,
4 (25m 47s):
Tiered levels going
3 (25m 48s):
Here and levels all the way down. They’re blue, they’re white, there’s some other colorful orange ones. And it’s just really, really pretty like, it’s really hard to describe, but if you Google mammoth hot Springs in Yellowstone, you’ll see some of the most amazing pictures. It doesn’t even look real.
1 (26m 3s):
It doesn’t look real. And like when the water’s really going, it kind of cascades down through all of those pools that we were talking about. So it was definitely a sight to see. And there again, it’s a paved area, pave trail, so easily accessible as well.
4 (26m 16s):
And there’s a parking spot at the top of it. There’s a parking spot at the bottom of it. And you can access the trail from either direction. But just to give you a little bit of context of the geological activity, that’s still going on. There’s several areas of the hot Springs, where they have like three main active ones that are still going. But on the initial ascend up from the bottom parking lot where we parked, you know, you see this big barren spot, you could see the tiered levels, but it’s all white as if it’s dead. There’s no water flowing, no nothing. And then they have the signs saying, and I don’t remember what year it was, but I think maybe at least 15, 16 years ago is when it stopped flowing. And they said, it’s because it’s clogged. And then it could open up at any time and start flowing again.
4 (26m 58s):
So I mean, these things are still real active. And you know, from year to year, the landscape changes because of how much activity is still going on.
1 (27m 6s):
So after we went to mammoth hot Springs, we continued up a little bit north and we wanted to go see Roosevelt arch, which is the brick arch that leads into Yellowstone national park from the Montana side.
4 (27m 17s):
Yeah. This was a pet project of mine that I really wanted to do. If you Google Yellowstone national park entrance, I guarantee you, this is probably going to be the top thing that comes up for you. It’s a very famous, iconic arch that commemorates the fact that Yellowstone was the first National Park. And again, Yellowstone is an Idaho Montana. Most of it in Wyoming, but one of the entrances in Montana has that arch. And I just wanted to go to it to see it. And it wasn’t too far from mammoth hot Springs. It was about a 10, 15 minute drive north. And so mammoth hot Springs is still in Wyoming, just barely on the border. And as you go out now, all of a sudden you’re in Montana. So that arch is on the Montana entrance side.
4 (27m 60s):
So again, little side thing that I wanted to see, but from there, we went on to Lamar valley
1 (28m 6s):
And Lamar valley is known for the wildlife specifically all of the bison in the area. So if you haven’t seen bison up until this point, pretty much guaranteed to see bison in the area. We saw so many bison herds with their little bison babies and the babies look so cute. And I think Kim’s favorite part is when they’re lying out on the grass, they’re just like sprawled out, like almost looking like, how is her?
3 (28m 30s):
They’re so cute.
1 (28m 31s):
Yeah, they were. So,
3 (28m 32s):
And this is where you’re going to want to use binoculars to the Lamar valley is a big, vast valley. So there’ll be herds of bison out in the distance where you can see them, but you can’t see them well. So the binoculars are great for that as well as peering into the sides of the mountains. Look for bears.
4 (28m 49s):
Yeah, because Lamar valley is iconic for the wildlife. You’re going to see obviously bison. There’s no doubt if you drive through there, you’re going to see bison. But again, it’s just so vast that where you’re at on the road, they’re out far in the distance, but this is where we saw tons of people with their binoculars, with their little mini telescopes. And at one point we ended up stopping because we saw so many people who were like, oh, is there a bear out here? Because this area is very famous for bears coming out, especially mamas with their Cubs. And so we stopped at a spot where there were tons of people looking and we asked them, are we looking at bears or what are we looking at? And what did they say, Brittany?
1 (29m 25s):
He said that they could see bears. They saw mama bear in the snow on the side of the mountain with her two Cubs nursing and a lady pulled it up on her camera to show us the shots that she was able to get in the video. She was able to get up them. So we didn’t have our binoculars, but they were able to see them with what is. And so again, we highly recommend bringing binoculars with you.
4 (29m 45s):
Yeah. Because I really wish we had them. I would have sat there a lot longer with binoculars. Just kind of looking up in the mountains, seeing what I could see if you don’t have those. And if you’re not getting lucky, truly the Mar valley is just an area for you to drive through, to see one, the dynamic landscape, see the bison. But unless you have those binoculars, you’re really not going to have much luck finding the big game that you want to see such as like there’s, whether it be grizzly bears, black bears, et cetera.
1 (30m 12s):
So from there from Lamar valley, we just went back to west Yellowstone. Like I said, the parks really big. So the drive from Lamar valley back to west Yellowstone was about an hour and a half to two hours.
4 (30m 24s):
Yeah. And then obviously we worked ourselves up an appetite being in the park all day. And if you remember, from our last episode, we were talking about having barbecue in Jackson while we had ourselves a little barbecue fixing after that. Cause it was so good. So we found a barbecue joint in west Yellowstone called the fire hole and we S Fire Hole BBQ. And guess what? Apparently guy Fieri has been there because there’s a photo of him up on the wall as if he did an episode there. I don’t know if he did a diners drive into the dive episode or what, but he’s definitely been to fire barbecue.
1 (30m 56s):
So in the area, I guess huckleberries are very famous to that area. So we saw lots of different things. Kim got some huckleberry vodka. We had good huckleberry Margarita’s and at one of the restaurants, they were advertising huckleberry cheesecake. The restaurant was called Bullwinkle’s. So he went there to pick up a cheesecake and we each split amongst the four of us and it definitely hit the spot.
3 (31m 18s):
Perfect. And we didn’t mention this, but we did have dinner at Bullwinkle’s the night before. It’s actually really good food. I’d recommend that restaurant as well as the fire hall, barbecue restaurant in west Yellowstone.
4 (31m 28s):
I definitely did like Bullwinkle’s, that’s where you guys had the huckleberry margarita is I got myself a normal beer. They have really good, like American comfort food came and I got country fried steak. Brittany got like an elk ravioli, which was really good. L That’s what they got up there.
1 (31m 45s):
It was so good.
4 (31m 46s):
It was bombed
3 (31m 47s):
A lot of bison.
4 (31m 48s):
Yeah. One of the other places too, not here in west Yellowstone, but I got a bison burger too. So they definitely eat a lot of their local game meat up there. That’s for sure. And it’s pretty good.
1 (31m 58s):
So Wednesday was our last day in Yellowstone national park. And we wanted to go to see the grand canyon of Yellowstone. So Kim, why don’t you tell us about the grand canyon of Yellowstone?
3 (32m 8s):
I showed someone a picture that I took of it and he said, it looks like a vagina. It’s a, it’s a, it’s exactly what you said. It, it is a canyon. It is grand. There’s a beautiful waterfall on one side of it. And then the Creek kind of runs through the bottom of it, really pretty red colors on some sides of it. And then there’s other colors on the other side of it, there’s tons of lookout points that we hit many of and there’s hikes that you can do around the north and south rims. Well,
4 (32m 37s):
That waterfall that you’re talking about is from the Yellowstone river, which is the large one that flows through. So at one point you do have that waterfall and then it’s just a beautiful river forming that canyon and it’s really bare. And what those red colors then. So that’s why it gets the name, the grand canyon of Yellowstone, because it is so wide. Is it as grand as the grand canyon? Absolutely not, but it’s still grand and majestic. Nonetheless, we wanted to go do specifically a hike called the uncle Tom’s trail, which is 300 steps down that brings you to the lower end of the falls for an overlook. And it was listed as open.
4 (33m 17s):
And it’s supposed to be a real scenic shot because it takes you from the top of the falls to the bottom and you can see it from a lower level. However, the trail was closed because there was still snow. So again, another example of where sometimes the websites, when they say something’s open or closed, not always true. So you do have to check it out, but that was a real buzzkill. I wanted to do that. Yeah.
1 (33m 37s):
Yeah. So did I, but we were able to go see so many different viewpoints. We were able to go to artists points, which was one of my favorite viewpoints of the park to see the waterfall and to see the canyon. And there was other points called lookout points, grand point inspiration point. And there was just so much to see. It’s like when we went to Machu Picchu where you get the same view from a different angle, but we to see them all and we didn’t want to miss out on,
4 (34m 3s):
I will say this, I’ve seen the grand canyon of Yellowstone and just seeing the big waterfall from the Yellowstone river. My favorite point of the ones that we went to was artist’s point. I liked it a lot. It’s not as close as the uncle Tom’s trail with the steps would have been it’s a little bit further away, but it definitely gives you a better perspective of it because you’re a little bit further back. You can see how wide the canyon is. You can see the full falls at that point. And I really, really did enjoy that. So if you’re going to go, definitely check out artist’s point. I think it’s one of the best spots to see the falls.
1 (34m 39s):
The last stop that we made in Yellowstone was two Hayden valley. We just drove through, again, it’s a area that’s known for its wildlife, whether that be the grizzly bears or the bison, we actually were able to go by a crowded area. We were asking people what they were seeing, because again, we didn’t have binoculars, but we could see animals in the distance. And they were saying that they saw some wolves go through the area, which was really cool
4 (35m 4s):
Wolves. Yeah. An interesting thing about the wolves. I mean, I wish we could have seen them a little bit close, but that’s what they were watching. And the wolves in Yellowstone area have been extinct for a while, but in the early 1990s, they reintroduced wolves into the area and you can do some research on it and find out they’re talking about how it’s completely changed the ecosystem and food chain in Yellowstone since they’ve reintroduced them. So it’s just a really cool story to know that, and they’ve even expanded as far down now as grand Teton. So they’re regaining of their former territory, but I would have loved to see some of the wolves up close. I think that would have been really cool. But speaking of wolves, we forgot to mention this on some of the trials we did end up seeing foxes, not as exciting as wolves, but seen foxes nonetheless.
4 (35m 51s):
So again, you’re definitely always going to come across wildlife and Yellowstone and grand Teton. And I think beyond the geological formations, that was one of the highlights for me. Like I said before, in that previous episode, when we’re talking about grand Teton, this is like America’s version of safaris out there. And it’s really awesome to see.
1 (36m 8s):
Yeah. And one thing we haven’t really mentioned, but I do want to mention now is give the wildlife, their space, the wildlife, a lot of them look really cute and you want to get close, but like respect their space. These are wild creatures. Don’t get close to bears, bison, moose, or any other animal just because we’re in their territory. We are on their land and we just want to be respectful of their space and we don’t want them to injure us.
4 (36m 32s):
Yeah. And speaking of that, you can Google any thing that you want to come across YouTube videos of people being stupid and going up to bison and Yellowstone and getting attacked or charged by them because they’ve gotten too close to their space. As a matter of fact, Yellowstone opened late may again about a week and a half, two weeks before we went. And the second day was open. There was news reports that somebody got too close to a bison and a bison injured a lady. So it definitely does happen. So do be mindful when you’re there of the wildlife, don’t get in their space, you’re in their space. They’re going to protect themselves and just don’t be stupid.
1 (37m 10s):
Any final thoughts?
3 (37m 12s):
My last final thought is totally recommend everyone see Yellowstone. It’s so pretty. It’s so unique. I can’t wait to go again and do some of the things that we couldn’t do this time. And just 10 out of 10 would recommend.
4 (37m 25s):
Next time I go back though, I’m bringing by because again, we saw a lot of the sites. We saw the geysers, we saw old faithful. We saw the thermal pools. I want to spend more time being in Lamar Hayden valley and actually being able to just keep an eye out for the wildlife. So do have those binoculars and if you don’t bring them, rent them somewhere, for sure.
1 (37m 45s):
Yeah, I agree.
3 (37m 47s):
That’s all we have for you. Thank you so much for tuning in and listening to this week’s episode. Please keep the adventures going with us by following us on Instagram and subscribing on YouTube at Travel Squad Podcast. And why don’t you go ahead and tag us in your adventures so we can see where you’re going and send us in those questions of the week to
2 (38m 3s):
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4 (38m 10s):
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1 (38m 17s):
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