We stayed at Old Faithful
Mammoth Hot Springs
Mammoth Hot Springs

On our first day of exploring Yellowstone we decided to drive the furthest away to Mammoth Hot Springs and work our way back.  In hindsight it would have been better to split the stay between both ends of the park but we were limited by dog-friendly hotels.

It’s only 58 miles to Mammoth Hot Springs from Old Faithful but the roads are crowded and it’s only 2 lanes.  One part was under construction so we waited about 1/2 hour since there was only 1 lane getting through.

Our first views of the bubbling terraces and streams of colorful flowing hot springs did not disappoint.  We stayed on the main terrace and didn’t do too much climbing as we were still adjusting to the altitude.

Mammoth Hot Springs
Skip’s trusty LL Bean hikers had a major blowout on day 1. They replaced the shoes in Denver. Great company!

The upper terraces were more spread out and had vibrantly colored streams of flowing hot stuff.

In the evening we had dinner at the Yellowstone Inn and then walked the trail around the back side of Old Faithful to see it erupt again.  It erupts about every 90 minutes.  It’s crowded and everyone quickly disperses after their video/selfie orgy.  We learned not to go near the bathrooms or gift shop after an eruption!

It’s hard not to get cynical amongst the throngs of foreign tourists.  I’m sure we annoy them when we visit their countries but it got so irritating to watch people tramp in areas clearly marked ‘do not enter’ and the endless posing in front of everything.  Despite all that it was definitely worth it to see the beautiful sites of Yellowstone.

Yellowstone Lodge
Historic Old Faithful Inn
Old Faithful does it again
Old Faithful from the trail behind the viewing area
Shocking blue hot spring
Such a striking shade of blue!

The next day we visited the Grand Canyon.  We started at the North Rim with views of the lower falls and canyon.  Too bad Inspiration Point was closed due to construction.  The original overlook tumbled into the Canyon during an earthquake in the 1970’s.

Yellowstone canyon lower falls
Perfect timing for the rainbow
Yellowstone Canyon
Grand Canyon
Yellowstone canyon lower falls
We did some posing ourselves!

There’s a hike to the brink of the lower falls.  Skip decided against it when he saw that it dropped 600 feet.  I couldn’t resist and the views were breathtaking.  The power of the rushing water was mesmerizing.

Lower Falls
Overlooking the brink of the falls

Okay, the hike back up was not easy.  I stopped 3 times to catch my breath.  Guess I’m only in shape at sea level!

The view from the South Rim was just as spectacular.  We stopped at Artist’s Point for the view but I didn’t have anything left in me for the hike down to Uncle Tom’s Point.  We were getting hungry!

Lunch at the Canyon Lodge was my favorite meal.  We enjoyed a sampling of their appetizers for lunch before heading back to our cabin.

We encountered this scene on the way back.  Despite all of the dire warnings about approaching dangerous wildlife, spotting an animal from the road gives everyone license to pull over wherever they want and hop out of their cars.

Look at those dummies standing by the road

This grizzly bear charged the road to get to the other side where the pond was.  He moved really fast.  We couldn’t see if anyone was standing on the road in front of that trailer.  Luckily, no one was in his way.  If anyone knows about Jen and Bill’s close encounter with a grizzly while backpacking in Alaska, they’d stay in their car!

Bison (from the car window)
Stop your car!  Bison!!!

I took these pictures from the car as we passed by.  No way am I getting out!