“Yellowstone, of all the national parks, is the wildest and most universal in its appeal…daily new, always strange, ever full of change, it is Nature’s wonder park. It is the most human and the most popular of all parks.” – Susan Rugh
And that is 100% true. I last visited Grand Teton and Yellowstone in 2009. I was on a big road trip with friends and we just passed through — at the parks for less than 24 hours, which wasn’t enough time. Turns out, 4-day trip this year wasn’t enough time either. I would have loved to have spent another 2 weeks there because Yellowstone is just so massive — and so stunning.
My Mom has a National Parks “bucket list” that we are working through. Last summer we went to Bryce Canyon, this summer we visited Grand Teton and Yellowstone, and this fall we will hit Zion and maybe Death Valley. Yellowstone is on of my favorite parks though — primarily because you feel like you are on another planet. It’s otherworldly. It smells of sulphur. Steam is venting up through the earth everywhere you look. The landscape is full of hot springs, geysers, pools — and elk and bison and bears, OH MY! Yellowstone reminds you that the planet is always changing — and that the amount time we call Earth home is merely a split-second.
We flew in and out of Jackson, WY – which is the cutest little town. Our first stop was Grand Teton National Park.
The view after a short little walk near Jenny Lake.
Grand Teton + a selfie of us at the visitor’s center.
A few more hours of driving brought us to Yellowstone! We stayed at the Old Faithful Inn. Old Faithful itself is a little underwhelming — but pretty cool that it erupts to regularly.
The Old Faithful Inn was so cozy (can you imagine how cozy it would be in the winter?!) The hotel does not provide TV, radio, or internet access though *gasp* I barely survived.
My one and only goal for this trip was to hike to see Grand Prismatic Spring from above. On my first attempt, it was too foggy to see much of anything. I was so disappointed — but refused to give up! More on that in a bit.
More cuteness of the Old Faithful Inn. Also, I would like to move to Wyoming because my hair never looked better — that dry air worked MAGIC, I tell you.
We visited Hayden Valley so my mom could see bison. Not pictured: the one that was 2 feet from our car and grunted at my mom. That bison was her new BFF.
The Biscuit Basin area is full of pools and geysers. Sapphire Pool was my favorite. Look at that color blue!
So as I mentioned, my first attempt at seeing this was thwarted by fog. But I tried again!! I did the same hike later in the day and it was crystal clear. LOOK AT THIS BEAUTY!
Grand Prismatic is the largest hot spring in the US. The colors are a result of bacterial mats and mineral-rich water. Side note: can you imaging being one of the first explorers of the area and finding THIS?
You can also view Grand Prismatic at ground level — and walk on a boardwalk to see it.
The outside of the Old Faithful Inn.
We spent a night in Jackson, WY before leaving. The downtown area is so cute (touristy, but CUTE!). The whole region is gearing up for the solar eclipse. Jackson has a population of about 10,000 — but they are expected nearly 500,000 on eclipse day.
A photo on our travels home. It was a wonderful trip!