My roadtrips are usually planned out weeks in advance and to finally make it to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone was to say the least, a little stressful but always full of adventure.
My plans changed many times over the past weeks but one thing for certain were my reservations made last December for Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons.
From the time I left Zion and Bryce I have traveled through Utah, Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana.
I started my trek heading north in Utah avoiding Salt Lake City, so backroads, which I love, took me west of the city.
West of Salt Lake City you find the Bonneville Salt Flats along I-80 all the way to Nevada.
Not quite sure, but along with rocks, glass bottles and a serpent you find this unique object in the Salt Flats.
I only spent a few nights traveling through Nevada before I headed north to Oregon from Winnemucca, Nevada.
Jordan Valley, Oregon is where I will spend a few nights before moving on.
From downtown Jordan Valley, I set out cross country to see Silver City, a ghost town about 30 miles away. My trip was abruptly stopped because of Mormon Crickets all over the road. (I don’t want to gross you out with the details so google them and find out for yourself.)
**** Today I am very glad to be on my way to Twin Falls, Idaho!
On the way to my destination there was Lizard Butte (top) and an Airbnb russet potato (bottom).
And a Muffler Man Cowboy near Jerome, Idaho.
I stayed at a very nice campground just outside of Twin Falls.
I visited the Perrine Bridge high above the Snake River and took a hike near Auger Falls and captured these two beautiful falls on each side of the river.
Shoshone Falls is called the Niagara of the West. It is actually higher than Niagara Falls but Niagara Falls is much wider.
The Snake River canyon views were stunning.
An Idaho sunset from the campground.
On the road again, passing through Blackfoot, Idaho, I visited this Uniroyal Gal and then discovered this neat mural downtown.
At the bottom right is a bird in its nest. Not sure what kind of bird but I wasn’t climbing up to find out!
You know you’re in Idaho when you see a giant spud on a truck in front of a drive-in theatre!
**** Finally, here I am in Victor, Idaho and the sign says it all.
As I drive into Victor where I will stay for three nights, I get a small glimpse of the Grand Tetons.
Today I am headed to Jackson, Wyoming and to the Grand Tetons National Park.
I don’t think Jackson Hole is actually a hole but more of a valley.
Grand Tetons National Park
The Snake River runs along side the Grand Teton Mountains.
It was a partly cloudy day as rain was in the forecast.
No matter what angle you photograph from it’s hard not to get good pictures.
The Visitor Center was open and the Rangers were quite helpful.
These next photos are from Jenny Lake, a very popular place.I could live in a log cabin looking at this forever.
Jackson Lake is at the north end of the park.
The Snake River is the main source of water for Jackson Lake and the Jackson Lake Dam is where the Snake River continues at the south.
The fields were full of wildflowers and color.
As I return back to Jackson there were a few herds of Bison but they didn’t seem to care anyone was taking their pictures from the roadside.
And this my friends is a taste of the great state of Wyoming.
This morning it was a rainy day as I left Victor for Jackson, Wyoming and then there was snow! I haven’t driven in snow for over two years! It was a very pleasant surprise.
Downtown Jackson is very commercialized it reminded me of Deadwood and Keystone in South Dakota, which 40 years ago were once very quaint and unique little towns but now are also very commercialized.
In the middle of the town was a park and on all four corners there were “Antler Arches”.
**** Excited, because today I drive to West Yellowstone, Montana where I will spend several days.
After I settled at camp I headed into the park.
Welcome to Yellowstone
Yellowstone is the center of a collapsed supervolcano which erupted over 600,000 years ago.
Many rivers flow through Yellowstone like the Madison River from the west entrance.
Gibbons Falls and the Gibbon River.
Beryl Springs is just one of the several hot springs in the park.
Artist Paintpots is a area of geysers, mud pots and hot springs.
Nymph Lake is a small lake surrounded by volcanic springs and small geysers.
Roaring Mountain, named for the fumaroles, that in the early 1900’s could be heard for miles away.
Sheepeater Cliff named after the Shoshone Indians for their use of big horn sheep. The cliff is basalt lava formed 500,000 years earlier.
Tuff Cliff named for rock that consists of volcanic ash.
Golden Gate is one of the first roads constructed through Kingman Pass bringing visitors to the park.
Gardner Falls and Gardner River.
Elk and Bison
Evening splendor at Yellowstone.
Good night Yellowstone
This morning I visited the park early in hopes of seeing wildlife and avoiding crowds.
Good morning Yellowstone
Firehole Falls and the Firehole River.
Traveling south through the park there were multiple geyser basins.
The Lower Geyser Basin….
The Red Spouter is a fumarole that spews bubbly red mud.This was also my first introduction to the “rotten egg smell” or hydrogen sulfide.
Jet Geyser is known to erupt 20 feet into the air.
Clepsydra Geyser is known to erupt up to 45 feet in the air.
Jelly Geyser is a blue pool that may erupt 1 to 10 feet.
Fountain Paint Pots are boiling mud pots usually pink and brown in color.
Celestine Pool is a 202° hot spring.
Cliff Geyser in the Black Sand Basin on the Firehole River can erupt 30 to 40 feet high.
A geothermal hot spring in the Black Sand Basin and beautiful purple wildflowers.
Old Faithful is the most famous of the 500 hydrothermal geysers in the park.
Known for its almost predictable eruptions about every 90 minutes, erupting up to 130 feet in the air.
Watch a video of the entire eruption by holding down on link then click copy and paste to your browser or open in YouTube.
The Midway Geyser Basin….
Grand Prismatic Pool is the largest of Yellowstone’s hot springs. It is 370 feet in diameter and when there is no steam due to the cool air, the pool is deep blue with yellow and orange colored thermophiles surrounding it.
Opal Pool is a hot spring that heats up to 132°.
Turquoise Pool is bigger than the Opal Pool and can heat up to 160°.
The Firehole River with run off from the Excelsior Geyser.
Excelsior Geyser Crater is a bright blue hot spring, can you see it boiling?
Hayden Valley Mud Volcano Area
Dragons Mouth is a hot spring that spews steam and makes roaring sounds.
Mud Pots are acidic hot springs or fumaroles of bubbling mud.
Always a highight to cross.
Yellowstone Lake sits at the southern end of the park. As I drive north along the lake the views were spectacular.
Elk along the roadside. This bull still had fuzz on his antlers.
Yellowstone River Lower & Upper Falls
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is actually how “yellow stone” got its name.
**** West Yellowstone is a small town at the West entrance to the park. Here are some of the sights from town.
Heck! I even found me a cowboy!
During my stay I saw a movie on Yellowstone’s history at the IMAX, I attended the local Rodeo and I visited the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center.
Sam, a rescue Grizzly.
A mother wolf and her 4 pups.
Hawks, a horned owl and some bald eagles.
I have had a great time the past few weeks and I am one state away from visiting all of the lower 48 and that is North Dakota. As I travel back east I will travel to Theodore Roosevelt National Park putting a check in that box.
Be safe and Happy 4th of July.