Sunday we visited Yellowstone National Park. Our older kids had especially been looking forward to this park.
We left our RV park in Idaho Falls around 9AM, picked Gigi and Pops up from their motel and arrived at the west entrance of Yellowstone around 11AM. We waited about 20 minutes in a line of cars at the entrance.
Once we were in the park, we continued driving east until we hit the Madison Junction. There we went south, heading toward all the sites we’d been dreaming of seeing.
As we were driving, we started to see steam rising from the ground ahead. We were antsy to see what was causing the steam.
The first stop we came to was the Lower Geyser Basin. We parked there and walked a boardwalk around the area. We saw hot springs, geysers and boiling mud pots. We were amazed and impressed already!
Next, we drove a little further south to the Midway Geyser Basin.
There we saw hot springs pouring into a river. The chemical reaction from a hot spring often discolors the surrounding rocks. The rock looked yellow, orange and gold where it dumped into the river.
We crossed a bridge over the river, and again, we walked a boardwalk and explored the area.
We first came to the Excelsior Geyser. It is a beautiful turquoise color and has steam rising from it.
Then we walked around to the thing I most wanted to see out of the whole park, the Grand Prismatic Spring.
We saw an array of beautiful colors. I looked up and saw people overlooking from a mountain above. I said, “We have to figure out how to get to that overlook! I’ve got to see this from above.”
We admired the rainbow colors up close, and we anticipated seeing them from above.
We continued along the boardwalk and saw a couple more pools.
After completing our walk around Midway Geyser Basin, we drove further south to Old Faithful.
There we got the kids’ passport books stamped and picked up a few souvenirs at a gift shop.
Old Faithful, named for its consistent performance, is a geyser that erupts about every 90 minutes. We happened to arrive soon before eruption time!
It was really amazing to see in person!
After watching Old Faithful blow, we headed north to the Fairy Falls Trail parking lot. There we hiked a short but steep trail up to the Grand Prismatic Spring Overlook.
It was all I hoped and dreamed it would be, one of the most amazing views I have ever seen!
I was sure nothing else at Yellowstone would top this for me, and nothing else did!
All of our kids said this was their favorite of the day as well.
When we finished admiring the rainbow pool, we drove about an hour north to Mammoth Hot Springs.
Mammoth Hot Springs is a large complex of hot springs on a hill in Yellowstone. It was created over many years as hot water from the spring cooled and deposited calcium carbonate.
It is a very neat area to see because it is so different than anything else seen in the park.
Once again, we walked a boardwalk trail and checked out the area.
It almost looked like ice or snow. There was a shiny gold portion that was fascinating as well.
It was cool to see this spring from the top, knowing it was pouring over creating the same type look below.
After we walked around awhile, we got back in the van and ate a snack supper as we headed home.
On the way out, Gigi and Pops got to see a buffalo. They’d been hoping all day to see one. We had seen many in Nebraska, South Dakota and other places we’ve visited, but we thought it was the perfect ending to the day for Gigi and Pops to see one.
We loved Yellowstone, and we’ve now named it one of our favorite national parks. There are endless neat things to see and do there. We only saw what the west side has to offer. I know there is a lot on the east side as well.