Day 2 was another early morning. Not quite 4/5 AM early, but we were definitely on the road heading into the park before 6AM.
Yellowstone National Park is laid out like the shape of the number 8 with entrances coming into the middle from both directions. From where we were camping, we decided we’d focus on seeing the geysers, and the lower half of the park and save the northern part for our next campsite. Day 1 was the Lower Geyser Basin. Day 2 was the Norris Geyser Basin and finishing the drive around the lower loop of the park.
I can’t articulate the facts about this area as well as the signs can… Leave me a comment on your favorite thing you learn!
We spent the morning exploring the top half of the lower loop, seeing Gibbon Falls, the artist’s paintpots and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.
This was a short 1 mile hike through a hydrothermal area. It was chilly, but we layered up this time and were far more prepared than we were the morning before. This trail was a little steep in spots but for the most part was a great hike, most of which was actually on a boardwalk.
Walking through this area was WILD…
the smells were…questionable…
the bubbling was… mesmerizing.
By 8AM, we were starting the Porcelain Springs Trail in the Norris Basin. The parking lot was fairly full, but as always, we always seem to luck out and find a spot…knock on wood.
Though the parking lot was full, the trails weren’t nearly as crowded. We passed a few people at the beginning but once we were on the boardwalk, no one!
“When We Come Back” I’d like to do the Back Basin, but this time around, we stuck to just hiking the Porcelain Basin.
If you keep driving around the Lower Loop, just past Canyon Village, there is a pull off with a couple different lookouts over the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone…
On one end was this majestically beautiful waterfall, and on the other the river raged into the distance.
From my phone’s perspective, it looked like this:
From my camera’s perspective, it looked like this:
This was another fun little spot within the National Park to explore. We wanted to keep our day going, but you can take a trail to both a Lower Falls Overlook and an Upper Falls Overlook.
As always, I’ve included some informational signs to read:
As we curved around the lower half of the lower loop, we suddenly started to see something I’ve been waiting for since South Dakota…
HERE COME THE BUFFALO!
But first. lets take a trip down memory lane…
When we were in South Dakota, we stopped in the Custer State Park Visitor Center and talked to Park Ranger Don for about an hour and a half.
“What could we possibly have talked about for so long?” you ask?
Our own experiences from seeing the buffalo in the National and State Parks and the interactive exhibits in the visitor center sparked a whole slew of questions for us.
Why do they grunt?
Why do you see some of them alone by themselves?
Why do you see them rolling on the ground?
All of the important questions in life.
So, ironically, after having all of life’s buffalo questions answered…
we never saw another buffalo again…
OK, back to Yellowstone.
We were ready for a buffalo.
And then suddenly…
They were everywhere….
We’ll take a walk on the wild side and answer all of those buffalo questions when I come back with next week’s post.