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Yellowstone National Park travel


Driving to Yellowstone

The Yellowstone National Park is located primarily in the state of Wyoming, USA, although it also extends into Montana and Idaho. We went in the Park in the beginning of summer. Normally we go on our vacations all the time at that period because that what my boyfriend likes to do for his birthday. We drove from the East part of US to the Yellowstone a little bit less than 24 hours. It was very long and tiring drive with the fact that we made a few stops only to fill a car tank.

It was even funny story about our travel there. I’m not the best driver in the world. That's why just after one hour of being behind the wheel, I told to my boyfriend that it would be nice to switch. However, my friend planned to be in the Park by the next morning. He knew that it is not possible to survive to drive there himself most of the time. Therefore, he told me that we can switch seats only on the next stop to fill the car tank.

I looked on my fuel level and it was almost full at that time. From the surprise, I could not help to ask when we need to get some more gas again. He said that it will be in about 6 hours. My eyes after that rounded and some scary thoughts crossed my mind that I’m not going to make that long. Fortunately, it was not that bad as I thought and after 5 hours we switched and he started driving the car.

After about 6 hours I had to drive again. It was very hard to drive there especially overnight, and in my first day of trip I even didn’t want to see any remarkable views or bears, elk, or moose. I had only one wish to get to my hotel as soon as possible. That was the price of trying to save on the flight tickets and get there by car. Therefore, it is not recommended to drive to the Yellowstone by your own vehicle if you live far away from that place. With too long drive you will lose at least one day of your time which you could spend on exploring the Yellowstone much longer. It is much better to get there by plane and then rent a car there.

Since, we were so exhausted from such a long drive; we just entered the park and took some pictures on the font of buffalo and elks. Then we headed to our hotel. On the way there we enjoyed spectaculars mountain views and its valleys. Despite of our tiredness the short trip from the park to the hotel was a beautiful and unforgivable.

Exploring the Yellowstone Park

Next day we felt much better and full of energy again. From early morning we went to the Park to see many things, such as canyons, waterfalls, rivers, lakes, mountains, geysers, hot springs, and wild life. We were surprised that the weather there is very unusual. I remember when we drove in, it was very hot from the beginning, but once we got close to Yellowstone Mountains, it started getting really cold. It was like in the fairy tale because we saw all four seasons of the year in one day when driving up to the mountains and down. There even snowed when we claimed on the top of a mountain. We even drove through some road snow tunnels and the highest one that we saw was about 10 feet (3 meters) tall. There we stopped a few times to see just gorgeous frozen mountain lakes and streams.

One of the most beautiful places in the world

The U.S. is so blessed with diversed landscapes and wildness. The Yellowstone National Park is one of these wonderlands. The park is so big and you can find there everything in one place that other parks don’t have. On the other hand, the Yellowstone is not only exciting but even sort of dangerous place. Despite the fact that its wildlife is gorgeous, but it is prohibited to get too close to them for your own safety. We saw some signs there which warning tourists not to leave vehicles far away because of a bear zone. Other dangerous thing about the Park is that it is located over an active volcano which no one knows when might erupt. However, if you won’t think about bad things then there is so many exciting ways to enjoy these beautiful mountains and valley landscapes, lakes, waterfalls, wild animals and birds.

Animals in Yellowstone

We saw so many buffaloes in each day of our trip. Sometimes they just stay on the road with entire herd that it no way to pass them. They are huge and dangerous if you approach too close to them. Therefore, we didn’t know what to do because they could have potentially damaged our car badly if we would try to drive in between those gigantic animals. We drove a loop road that goes around the park and could take you to all of the trail heads, main points of interest, and the main north and south entrances. There are side roads off of the circle, which take you to less traveled hiking paths and wilderness views. Since we had lack of time we mostly could watch only from the car some wild animals. We spent just a couple of days in the park and I could have spent a lot more if I would have a chance.

While driving we spotted even two black bears. We saw several cars pulled off and we did too. Normally if you see some traffic ahead or cars just start to pull over then in that place probably something interesting. We had a few times such situations and didn’t regret that we spend some time there. When we stopped the car, I saw a few rangers were near two black bears. I guess those rangers feed them near the road because so many people can just watch the wild life of the Yellowstone from windows of their vehicles. My boyfriend also wanted to see these animals so badly that for us it was just blessing to be at that time and place. We got out of the car and took lots of pictures. They were so cute. Normally if tourists want to find more wild life and have enough time for that then they definitely should go hiking.

Relax actively

The Yellowstone National Park has lots of trails for hiking. Some of the trails are well populated and have some destinations like weather stations and overlook points. In contrast, other trails are relatively just not wide paths through the wild with some markings on them from time to time. Since, those small trails are more dangerous than others, it is better to sign in and sign out at the trail head for safety purposes. In addition, you should prepare yourself for such trips. It is a good idea to take a map with you just in case you will lose your route. In addition, it might be necessary to grab some water and snacks just in case too. You will need lots of energy for hiking. You should be ready to sweat there a lot. Those paths are not for everyone because they are not just flat, sometimes you need to climb on hills as well.

I saw also that there horse riding tours are available as well. If we would have more time I would definitely go to the wild on the back of a horse. In my childhood I used to ride horses a lot. So, when we saw the tour, I became envy a little bit because there was no time to joint them. We noticed that their tour guide had even a gun for protection from wild animals, I guess.

Mammoth Hot Springs

The views at Canyon are spectacular. We made lots of pictures with that nature and waterfall. Then we headed to the Mammoth Hot Springs. We explore a little bit the area and walked near mud pots and colorful pools. My boyfriend even touched the water in that pool from the wooden path. It was just warm at that time. However, I thought that he will burn his finger for sure. When other tourists saw him doing that they started to ask how was that but no one repeat that after him. It is not recommended to put your feet or fingers in that springs anyway for your own safety. This place was usual if you think about it as a volcano and different because I never saw anything like hot water steams from the grounds with some white steam. If wind blows in your side when you cross the path with this white mist, you can feel it warmness, but also some strange odor from that.

Time well spent

Everywhere we drove, I saw a wildlife. The Yellowstone has so many turnouts along the roads build specially for tourist which allow to spot wildlife from closer distance. In the Park are lots of rest areas and museums where we stopped a few times in order to know their history and culture better and also to eat something and relax from driving. We were told that sometimes especially in the morning grizzly and wolves come to such places mainly because of the food left by tourist.

I was also surprised that the Park’s roads can be so crowded. We’ve been in real traffic jams where we had to stay for awhile and since we had limited time to be there, we were a little bit frustrated. However, maybe we went there in wrong time of the year because most other families go also on summer vacations. On the other hand, not all roads in this Park are open whole year around. That was another reason why we chose to go in that period of the year.

Other than that, we had wonderful and exciting time in the Park. In addition, both my boyfriend and I had feeling that we want to come back there again. However, next time we won’t watch the wild from just a car window. I'll make sure that it will be plenty of time for everything like hiking, horse riding, and just staying near the lake and enjoying mountain views.