Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Yellow Stone Trip

12th - 16th June 2008

Yellow Stone is a very beautiful place. It is one of the best national parks that I've ever visited. The park has terrains that belong to different weather patterns. You can see mountains covered with glaciers, spurting waterfalls, gushing geysers, hot springs, and lots of wildlife. The place is very safe to visit. You don't have to be a hiker to visit Yellow Stone. All the attractions are very accessible from roads. You don't have to have a all-wheel drive vehicle. I traveled with a 19 months old kid and I didn't have any problem at all. She enjoyed it too. The park has boardwalks everywhere. You can even take strollers with you. Yellow Stone is a nice & relaxing destination. There is plenty of lodging and dining facilities inside & outside the park. There is plenty of hiking trails. There is plenty of parking everywhere. Yellowstone is also a nice camping destination.

We stayed in West Yellowstone (Montana). This place is located near the West entrance. You can get to the center of the park in about 30 minutes from West Yellowstone. West Yellowstone is more developed when compared to the North entrance.

We took a flight from SFO (Sanfrancisco) to SLC (Salt Lake City). We reached SLC at about 7 pm. We took the rental car and drove to Idaho Falls. We stayed in Idaho Falls for that night. We got up the next day and went to Grand Teton Natiaonal Park. This park is located close to the South entrance of Yellowstone. We spent the whole day in Grand Teton. The drive in Grand Teton was beautiful. We visited Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center. They've a mini museum. We took the boat ride in Jenny Lake to get to the Hidden falls. The short hike to Hidden Falls was nice. It was hard to find a parking near Jenny Lake. Grand Teton is a nice place to camp. There are lots of campgrounds filled with RVs & tents. We saw the Grand Teton mountain covered with snow. The park officials have tried to make the visitors 'Bear-Aware'. We were not fortunate enough to see a bear :) We visited the Indian Museum and the lake (Colter Bay) close to it.

We didn't see a lot of things in Grand Teton. We drove to West Yellowstone from there. We reached West Yellowstone at about 6 in the evening. We had our dinner and slept early on that day.

The next day, we got up early. We visited Firehole River, Old Faithful, Lower & Upper Yellowstone river falls, Artist Point, Fountain Paint Pot, Upper and Middle Geyser Basin, Mud Volcano, Yellowstone lake on the first day. The access to Grand Canyon of Yellowstone was closed. So, we had to miss it. We reached hotel early, had our dinner and slept early.

The next day we visited Roosevelt Arch (North Entrance), Mammoth Hot Springs, Norris Geyser Basin (Steam Boat Geyser). We also saw Roaring Mountain on our way to Mammoth Hot Springs.

It is hard to miss wild life in Yellowstone. You can see Bison & Deer everywhere. You can see'em even on the roads. They don't do any harm to you or your vehicle. Do not scare them for them to not scare you :) We were luck enough to spot a bear deep in the woods.

On the last day of our trip, we got up early, checked-out from the hotel and started our return journey to SLC. On the way back, we stopped at Idaho (visited Idaho falls, & Idaho Falls Church of Christ). Idaho falls was small & beautiful. There is a park with picnic tables adjacent to the falls. We then drove to Salt Lake City and stayed in Salt Lake City for that night. We visited the "Cathedral of Madeline" in Salt Lake City. The church was very beautiful. There are other churches close by (notably, Temple Square). But we skipped them. We reached Holiday Inn and stayed there for that night. We took the early morning flight the next day and reached SFO by 7 am. I took my car from Anza Parking Lot (SFO) and drove back home. We reached home by 8.15 am.

Yellowstone trip was very memorable. It was very lightly packed and we all enjoyed it. The place was different from the other places that we had visited in the past. Yellowstone is a collage of natural colors. There is not a single place in Yellowstone that we didn't like. Every attraction was beautiful on its own. You can cover all the places in just 2 days or 2 months. It depends upon the passion and interest that you have.

If you are planning a Yellow Stone Trip you can refer to my Yellow Stone Trip Planning Sheet

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