Yellowstone – an American Safari (Part I)

Continuing north from Grand Tetons is the south entrance to Yellowstone National Park.  Created by an act of Congress in 1872, it is America’s First National Park.  The National Park Service was created in 1916 – so this year is their 100th anniversary celebration.

The entrance fee is $30/vehicle for 7 days, or you can combine it with a Grand Tetons pass for $50 total.  Unfortunately, the Park Service does not distinguish entrance lines between those with “paid passes” and those that “need to pay”.  Needless to say, the lines don’t move very fast.  Best bet is to arrive early.  Expect to spend 15 minutes to an hour to get through the gate.

Picked the wrong line… This biker had on so much leather that it took him 10 minutes to get his wallet out of his back pocket.

Yellowstone Day One:  We went up the eastern side of the park, branching off to the right at West Thumb.  There is no need to stop in West Thumb, but if you need a rest stop, Grant Village is a large rest area with a visitors center, lodging, cafeteria, restrooms and benches for a picnic lunch.

Continuing along Yellowstone Lake towards Lake Village.

And a pit stop at the lovely Lake Yellowstone Hotel.

Continuing into Hayden Valley, we saw so many buffalo in this area.  Be careful, because they aren’t afraid of cars!  They tend to stop traffic for a while.

Hayden Valley contains the largest group of free ranging bison in the world!

Did you get near my baby?  I’m gonna start a fight & kick up some dust!

We also spotted a herd of elk just over this ridge, but were careful not to get too close.

Next up is Canyon Village and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone along the Yellowstone River.

From the South Rim Drive, head to Artist Point for a view of the Lower Falls…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next to the North Rim Drive…

View of the river and Lower Falls from Lookout Point…

View of the wooden boardwalk down to Red Rock Point…

 

View from Upper Falls Viewpoint showing the Brink of the Upper Falls viewing platform (notice the people at the top right).

Brink of the Upper Falls trail & viewpoint…

 

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