A visit to Yellowstone National Park
I have heard of Yellowstone National Park and its natural wonders for years in New Zealand and always wanted to visit it. It did not disappoint. A visit to Yellowstone National Park is worthwhile just for the scenery that is simply breathtaking. The wildlife is also amazing with lots of buffalo, elk and chipmunks and the thermal wonders are all part of a visit to Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone was the first National Park in the world and established in 1872. It is around 9000 square kilometres in size and 96% of it is in Wyoming, 3% in Montana and 1% in Idaho. The park has up to 3000 earthquakes each year with more than 300 geysers including Old Faithful it has fantastic thermal area spread throughout the park. The tallest waterfall is the lower falls on the Yellowstone River at 94 metres high. For me, the highlight of our visit was Yellowstone Grand Canyon.
Where we stayed?
We stayed near the small town of Gardiner at the Yellowstone RV park beside the Gardiner river. The RV park cost $50 per night for the four of us. Gardiner’s North entrance is open year-long and the site of the Roosevelt Arch. The town also has the occasional elk wandering down the street.
Mammoth Hot Springs and Buffalo Jam
On our first afternoon we drove into the Park and bought an Annual National Park Pass for $80 which covers all the US national parks. We first visited Mammoth Hot Springs with its terraces and steam rising from the thermal areas. The Mammoth Hot Springs were nice to view and the walkways allow access to all parts of it. The easy access also draws huge crowds of people and we were glad not to visit in autumn and not summer. Afterwards we went for a twilight drive and got caught up in a buffalo jam of a few hundred buffalo using the road. After getting out of the buffalo jam we then got into an elk jam with people taking photos or observing elk in the centre of Mammoth Springs township.
We got up early the next day and had a hearty breakfast in Gardiner before heading into the park. It was a lovely drive to Old Faithful where we saw it spout twice. There also is a lovely walk around the upper geyser area where there are lots of pools and geysers. On the way back we stopped at Yellowstone Grand Canyon which has breathtaking scenery. If you ever get the chance to go to Yellowstone make sure you visit the canyon.
Highlights for me was a buffalo jam and Yellowstone Grand Canyon. We also saw a grizzly albeit faraway. Our next stop is Cody home of Buffalo Bill.