Yellowstone, Part 1

Hello from Sunny Yellowstone National Park!

This was my relaxation shot after I completed a 5 1/2 hour stretch of driving through the Buchon and Big Horn mountain ranges and into Yellowstone National Park!  We set up our tent right away and were ready to fix some lunch before diving into the park sites!

We stayed in the Grant Village campsite in the southern part of the park, right on Lake Yellowstone!

I’m so happy I could burst!

I think I was a little slap happy after that drive. I was trying to be a geyser…???

Old Faithful – our first stop on Day 1

I should clarify, our first “site” in Yellowstone was during a traffic jam on the way to the campsite where all cars came to a hault as passengers jumped out to get photos of, what I would eventually learn as we inched forward, a bear lumbering up a hillside in the forest.  Due to the heavy traffic, I did not get a photo of him sadly, but we did see one!

After taking one of the ranger tours around Old Faithful, we did some exploring on our own around Excelsior Geyser Crater and the Grand Prismatic Spring!

Excelsior Geyser Crater

The ground surrounding Excelsior Crater.

Grand Prismatic Spring:

Great Fountain Geyser and Fountain Paint Pots:

It was really, really windy outside.

Silex Spring:

Later that night, we had a visitor on the way back to camp:

At the turnoff before our campsite ended up being a hotspot for elk herds.  This little lady paid us a visit while we waited to turn.

Sorry it’s so blurry, she caught us by surprise.

That concludes day one.  We spent the evening listening to the ranger program at our campsite’s amphitheater, which was great.  If you ever go to Yellowstone, definitely talk to the rangers!  They are passionate and knowledgable people who love what they do.  You’ll learn a lot!

Have you been to Yellowstone?  What do you remember most?  If you haven’t been, what’s your favorite camping story?

38 responses

  1. Great photos, Jess! Having a son who lives at the foot of the Big Horns allows us the opportunity to visit this beautiful park often. My best Yellowstone story: the last time we were there (a year or so ago), we literally were stopped in traffic due to the buffalo that were just sauntering down the middle of the road – and I mean right down the middle, on the spotted line!

    1. Yep, Joe and I had that too! We got stuck in two bison jams while we were there and I loved it!

  2. Amazing photos, Jess. Never been there nor have I, as you might have guessed, never camped. I love that shot of you with the tangle of branches. You as a geyser? I think you’re a bit petite to carry it off. 🙂

    1. 5 1/2 hours of driving through plateaus and mountains was good, but then getting stuck in the traffic jam for a half hour to our campsite made me loopy!

      You can still go to Yellowstone! Just stay in the Old Faithful Lodge, it’s massive and gorgeous and you could watch the geyser from your balcony!

  3. I’ve always wanted to go to Yellowstone. Even more so after seeing this amazing pictures. And gawl, you are so stinkin’ cute and pretty! Plus, you look like a heckuva fun hiking partner. =)

    1. Thanks Ellie Ann! I’d love to go hiking with you! I’m really good at singing and telling stories if bears are around!

  4. We were there a month ago, but only had one day to explore Yellowstone, which as you know, was not enough time. We drove the bottom circle of the figure 8. Our trip to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone was the best family trip we have ever taken. And the first of many more, hopefully. Loved the pictures.

    1. Yah we did 2 full days which I think was doable. But if you want to hike or boat you need more time.

  5. Very cool pictures! I have not been to Yellowstone and now I see that I simply must change that. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos. I love them!

    1. I had no idea how cool it was, but it really is a place all its own. I hope you go, and enjoy it!

  6. Wish I’d had you along one of the times I’ve been there, Jess. I take about one photo per thousand miles, and Sharon’s not a whole lot better. Always love going back there.

    1. Oh my god, that would never do. Document, David! Think of it this way…saves money on souvenirs, just take more photos. Lol

  7. I have an incredibly long and colorful story about my trip to Yellowstone, so look for me to create a post on my blog about it this week, and you can read it when you get done having all that fun!

    Enjoy the rest of your time there – it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.

    1. Hi Mike! We’re back already, but I’m catching up on what all we’ve been up to. I’ll watch for your post! I loved Yellowstone!

  8. I’ve always known I want to go there–this is more proof. Spectacular photos! Especially love the excelsior geyser crater. Super cool.

    1. That one is quite large and next to the Grand Prismatic Spring which is the colorful one. Both are near a gorgeous river scene! So many great lookout points and picnic stops. Breathtaking!

  9. I live two hours from the gate at Moran Junction. Being a geology geek, I have been to Yellowstone so many time I long since lost count. I see something new everytime I go. For those of you that will stop to take a picture of the really cool mule deer, antelope, white tail deer, coyotes, and wolves, that was me that just past the line of fifty shuttebugs. All but the wolves walk down the streets of my town. Coolest Yellowstone story? I was 16, my mom, my aunt and I were driving through the park when we were forced to stop due to a herd of bison in the road. Why were they blocking the road? Two bulls were fighting in the road. The really cool part? A calf got bored and stuck his nose through the back window of the car and tried to lick my face.

    1. OMG wow! That’s a great story. I got worried for a minute though; the rangers told us there’d been two bison gorings this summer.

      How cool you’ve been so many times. I got to see the mule deer, bear, bison, elk, coyote, and osprey. Wished we’d found pronghorn; next time!

      1. If you want to see the Pronghorn, they are easy to find. Just drive Highway 789 from Muddy Gap to Sweetwater Station at dusk. Keep your foot out of it though, they seem to think that sunset, when drivers are blinded is the perfect time for them to meander across the road. If you watch though, you can see whole herds running across the fields.

        1. Awww wish I knew when we were there. We’re already home. Hope to go back and check it out down the line. I had a great time.

  10. It looks like an awesome place and you had a good time. Your geyser poses are excellent 🙂


    1. Ah yes my talents lie greater than voices… lol

  11. Yellowstone is one place I’m dying to see. Tara practically lived right next door for 7 years of her life, so it’s old hat to her, but one of these days I’m a-gonna drag her there again for a visit. Hope we get to see an elk! The bear I could do without.

    1. But it would make for such a great blog story!

  12. Love this Jess! Great pictures 🙂 Can’t wait to read about the rest of your adventures!

    1. Thanks Ingrid! Wouldn’t it be fun if the WANAs went on a road trip?

      1. That would be INSANE! haha!

  13. These pictures are fantastic! My husband and I haven’t been to Yellowstone yet, but it’s on our list of places we want to visit. My parents have been and agree with you that it’s well worth the trip. I don’t think we’ll camp though 🙂 I’m not really a camper.

    1. Lots of people took RV’s or you could stay at the Old Faithful Lodge, which I imagine is a gorgeous view!

  14. Yellowstone is on our list and after seeing your photos we’ve bumped it up a tad. Great shots and you certainly did look like you were having a fabulous time!

    1. LOL. Yah, I’m a crazy travel partner. Thankfully, Joe’s used to it.

  15. Fabulous photos! I love your beautiful smile in the pics. I bet that place is a geologist’s playground. I did feel a little bad when I came to the pictures of the elk: The past two years at camp, I’ve had some delicious elk steak brought by a big game hunter who’s on staff. If he brings the elk again next summer, I’m going to have a hard time not imagining your up-close photo of that cute animal.

    1. LOL. Uh…my favorite thing was getting stuck in the bison jam, but I did also eat bison sausage and a bison burger. Do you feel better now?

      1. Oh yes. I love bison too. Very good meat. Come down to Texas sometime, and I’ll serve you alligator or rattlesnake–your choice. 😉

  16. Love your bear story. Reminds me of the Smokey Mountains. We got caught in a similar traffic jam there. We asked someone what was going on and they said, ” Thar’s a bar over thar!” We spent at least ten minutes trying to figure out why a “bar” would cause such a traffic jam and then spent the next twenty laughing.

    1. That is a FABULOUS story! Thank you for sharing that with me. 😀

  17. Karen McFarland | Reply

    Thank you Jess for sharing these wonderful pictures! It’s been many years since I stepped foot into Yellowstone. But what a special place, isn’t it? We spent a couple of days there seeing the sites that you captured so nicely. I must admit your poses really helped to make us excited about being there. One of the things besides the wildlife and beauty that I remember is the smell of sulfur in the air. Funny how that stayed with me. Glad you had the opportunity to go and thank you for the memories! 🙂

    1. Oh my god, the sulfur! Yes, it was so bad in some places. LOL. But, it’s just one of many things that make Yellowstone unique.

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