Yellowstone National Park is located in Wyoming, USA. The state of Wyoming is generally not too interesting or handsome. Most of the time, you only meet arid, deserted wasteland without any signs of life. Occasionally, you only find grazing cows and ruins of houses and various settlements from old trailers and great mess around.
Accommodation at the Yellowstone National Park is very expensive. Normally, many hundreds of dollars a night, and there are also more than a thousand dollars a night. Therefore, it is practically necessary to look for accommodation somewhere nearby. We lived in Dubois on the ranch The Longhorn Ranch, a beautiful western town about 130 km from Yellowstone.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is huge. Its area is almost 9,000 km2. Therefore, a car is necessary to travel and it is appropriate to reserve at least several days, preferably 5 to 7 days for this park. We had reserved for the entire park only one day, so we had to take it at extreme speed and leave many places out.
The entrance to the park costs $30 for one car including its crew. It’s a good idea to buy the Annual Pass, which entitles you to enter all parks and reservations in the US for 12 months from Purchase and costs only $80. You can buy it right at the entrance to a park instead of the classic one-time entrance.
When traveling to the national parks in the US, buy the Annual Pass.
Because we drove from Dubois, we went through the Grand Teton National Park, which we would have to pay if we did not have Annual Pass.
When you arrive at Yellowstone, you will also get a map of the park. The map is also available on Yellowstone National Park. Through the park you travel by a car, and there are parking areas where you can go on foot. Most pedestrian ways are various walkways. Around the roads there are also various rest areas, where it is possible to stop and photograph some waterfall, landscape, etc.
The first major stop was at Lake Lewis, where we were slaughtered. The main tributary to Lake Lewis is the Lewis River, which flows from Lake Shoshone Lake. Several hot springs also come into the lake.
The lake is named after an American traveler Meriwether Lewis.
Our second bigger stop was Old Faithful. Here is a large number of geysers, but also a large information center, restaurants and shops. Old Faithful is also the name of one particular geyser here. This geyser sprays every 35 to 120 minutes, and each eruption sprays 14,000 to 32,000 liters of heated water up to a height of 32 to 56 meters. The eruptions last for 1.5 to 5 minutes.
Midway Geyser Basin
Midway Geyser Basin has pools. There are two of the world’s hottest springs. The largest is the Grand Prismatic Spring, with an average of 113 meters. Another attraction is the Excelsior Geyser, which was sprayed 92 meters high in the 19th century. Today it is a sleeping geyser that produces more than 15,000 liters of hot water per minute.
At the Midway Geyser Basin, however, we had a parking problem, as there is a lot of interest in this place, but there are few parking spaces available.
Norris Geyser Basin
Because we had little time, our next stop was the Norris Geyser Basin. But there was again a problem with parking. This area is large (3.6 km of trails).
Norris Geyser Basin is the warmest area in Yellowstone National Park. It is also the area that changes most.
Gibbon Falls are waterfalls on the Gibbon River in north-west Yellowstone. The height of these waterfalls is 26 meters. Waterfalls are a natural barrier to fish migration. There are no fishes in these Gibbon waterfalls.
Mammoth Hot Springs
Mammoth Hot Springs has terraces. It’s a huge complex of hot springs. The hot water that supplies Mammoth comes from the Norris Geyser Basin. The water temperature is around 80 °C.
This was the most northerly part of our trip to Yellowstone.
Refreshment is also available at Mammoth Hot Springs.
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
There is a large waterfall on the Yellowstone River in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. It’s the first big canyon on the Yellowstone River. Its length is about 39 kilometers, its depth is 240 to 370 meters and is 400 to 1200 meters wide.
At the turn of the canyon, we met a free-grazing bison. On the way we also met a bear, but it was hidden away in a forest.
Yellowstone Lake is the largest water reservoir in Yellowstone National Park. The altitude of the lake is 2 357 meters and covers an area of 350 km2. The average depth of the lake is 42 meters, the maximum depth is 120 meters. Yellowstone Lake is the largest freshwater lake over 2,100 meters above sea level in North America. The lake in winter freezes with ice thickness around 90 cm across the area, except for places where hot springs are coming. The ice on the lake will last until the end of May or the beginning of June.