Sunday, October 3, 2021

Yellowstone Day 8

 Tuesday Sept. 14

It’s amazing what a meal and a good nights sleep can do for a person!  This morning I was in a better mood and a much better frame of mind.  My emotional melt down yesterday was thankfully short lived and I learned a huge lesson about driving in the mountains with their ups and downs and twists and turns.  If you missed my post about that, you can read it here

Today I got up at 5:45 and even though it was still pitch dark out,  already several of the campers around me were pulling up their tents and getting ready to leave.   It was a cold 23 degrees out this morning so I quickly brushed my teeth and jumped into my clothes.  Getting into the front seat I turned on my heat -  My heated seats and steering wheel sure are a blessing sometimes!   I headed into the city of West Yellowstone, topped off my gas tank and then ran over to McDonald’s for a breakfast sandwich and a frappe.  By the time I entered Yellowstone the sun was just starting to come up and it was magical seeing the steam rising lazily up over the ground in many places... 

I headed up to Canyon Village so I could do the hikes along the upper and lower falls.   Just so you know, you have to drive to 2 different parking lots to view the Upper and Lower Falls.  I was a little confused about that ahead of time but once I reached the area and started seeing the signs I figured it out.  Go early so you have time to visit each of the falls before it gets real crowded.  I pulled into the first lot at 8 o’clock and there were only a few cars there ahead of me so getting an early start is definitely the way to go.   I highly recommend going here because the views are stunning.  It was still cold out,  only 34°,  so I dug out my winter jacket and my hat and bundled up for the walk. 

The hikes along both falls are easy and the views are fabulous.  Since I was properly dressed it was a pleasant experience and I wasn't cold at all.  Between the 2 falls I was there for several hours.  I really enjoyed the trails and seeing the falls from different vantage points.

I particularly enjoyed the walk along Uncle Tom's trail...

By the time I finished my walks the parking lots were getting crowded so I went back to Canyon Village and bought my necessary jacket patches. I decided to work my way back to West Yellowstone and made several stops along the way in the park just to take in the views.

Gibbons Falls is another "don't miss" spot that I really enjoyed...

By the time I finished with all the falls it was getting quite crowded in the park so I drove back to West Yellowstone and across the state line into Idaho, grabbing some geocaches along the way.  I wanted to drive into Idaho so I could claim a new state on my map.  I started to  head back to my campsite but in the meantime I talked to my sister who suggested I drive over to the Grizzly Bear/Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone. Great idea!!!

The Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center is well worth the visit and children and adults both will enjoy it.  It’s a not-for-profit wildlife park that houses grizzlies, wolves, otters and birds of prey.  They have indoor and outdoor habitats and throughout the day they host demonstrations and presentations.   

I didn’t get to see any of the grizzly bears while I was there because they were setting up the grizzly  habitat for a presentation later in the day.  I was disappointed in not seeing them but I did spend quite a bit of time watching the wolves stalk fish in the pond of their enclosure.  

The indoor displays are packed with interesting facts and information.

They are open 365 days a year and the price of admission gives you a ticket that is good for 2 days. 


  1. When I was about 11, so 60 years ago, we visited Yellowstone twice. On both trips, we saw over 95 bears, including 3 grizzlies. The parks in those days were much less crowded. It amazes me to think back on how much we have changed the natural landscape and habits by our presence. I am glad to see that the area is still so beautiful and unspoiled appearing.

  2. When i was about 11, so 60 years ago, my family visited Yellowstone twice. On each trip we saw over 95 bears, including 3 grizzlies. There were no real crowds in those days. I am amazed at how much we humans have changed natural landscape and habits by our presence. But I am glad to see that the area is still beautiful and appears largely unspoiled.

    1. I would have loved to see some bears. I actually saw very little wildlife compared to what I was expecting.


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