Thanks to unavailability of desired accommodation at Yosemite, a tour Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Park happened! & obviously the Yellowstone part of the tour was the most awaited! We did have some ‘weathery’ worries but nature does throw up surprises in its own way.. very beautiful & pleasant surprises!
We had planned this 4 day tour to Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Park, out of which day 3 was entirely dedicated to exploring Yellowstone. I have split the blog into two parts, you can read the blog about Grand Teton National Park here -> the ‘Grand’ Teton National Park.
As our day two ended with full day excursion at Grand Teton National Park, we got the news that the tour to Yellowstone had been cancelled due to bad weather for the day. We had our tour to Yellowstone scheduled for tomorrow and we could do was pray & hope for the weather to improve. As our guide for the day – Mike arrived right on time, we were glad to hear that the weather had turned around and the roads had re-opened to Yellowstone. It would have been such a disappointment if I had planned Yellowstone on Day 2 & Grand Teton full day on Day 3! Couldn’t have been more lucky. We took our 1st halt at the Lewis lake were we saw a lone accipiter species and couple of Common Mergansers. The skies were still cloudy however the snow clad mountain peaks had just started to show up.
After some hot chocolate & coffee, we resumed our journey and just as we wondered if it was going to be another cloudy gloomy day, the skies completely opened up. A completed turn around as we entered the Yellowstone National Park – winding roads, clear blue skies and some beautiful landscapes. We took a couple of halts en-route as we sighted the beautiful Clark’s Nutcracker and a Sharp-chinned Hawk.
Our 1st major halt in the Yellowstone National Park was at the West Thumb Geyser. This is a small, colourful geyser in Yellowstone National Park that features some really scenic views of the Yellowstone lake and one also comes across small hot springs right on the shore of the lake. We spent a good 40 odd minutes here, as we sighted a bull Elk taking a sip in the hot springs.
As we kept driving along the beautiful Yellowstone lake, we sighted numerous Trumpeter Swans, Canada Geese, Ring-necked Ducks, Horned Grebe and the majestic Bald Eagle – perched high on a tree. We halted at every opportunity – to capture beautiful landscape views of the Yellowstone river as well as a huge herd of the mighty American Bisons.
Our next major halt was at the Upper and Lower falls of Yellowstone. Weather had turned out to be completely sunny out here in Yellowstone, and was hard to believe that the park was closed yesterday due to snow! We explored the view points around Upper & Lower falls for a good 30 minutes before we went to the Canyon Lodge Cafeteria for a delicious lunch.
Post lunch, we started our journey to one of the main attractions in Yellowstone – the Old Faithful Geyser. This geyser reaches an immense height of over 50 meters during an eruption and has been one of the predictable Geysers in Yellowstone, erupting every 90 to 120 minutes. It was much more predictable and accurate before (every 45 minutes) but not as much now. Mike ensured we reached right on time as we had to wait only for around 15 minutes to see the geyser erupting! Watching this wonder of nature for something special, add to it the fantastic weather and clear blue skies.
We also visited the Black Opal pool – a hot spring in the Midway Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park. This pool is known to have temperatures around 50 °C! We halted at few more spots to capture couple of waterfalls before finally exiting this beautiful park.
Here is small video that we managed during this day trip 🙂
The weather had been just perfect for the day, and our guide – Mike was just fantastic! We don’t think our trip would have been half as good if it wasn’t for Jackson Hole EcoTour Adventures! The day was actually not over though – as we exited the Yellowstone National Park and entered back into Grand Teton National Park, we came across the best moment of the entire tour! Stay tuned for that experience in the blog on Grand Tetons National Park. Signing off until next time 🙂
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– Rudraksha & Shraddha