Yellowstone National Park (July 18, 19 and 20)
We spent one night in Yellowstone at the Old Faithful Inn and two nights just outside the north entrance at Gardiner. Yellowstone is so spectacular and such a highlight it deserves a section all to itself. I have hundreds of photos, I hope you like the one's I have selected.
The North entrance to Yellowstone, with the famous Roosevelt Gate
The roads in and out of the park are spectacular in their own right
The Old Faithful Inn, which opened in 1904.
The Inn is so well known a title is almost superfluous.
The interior lobby area is quite remarkable - made of wood and stone all quarried and cut within five miles of the hotel.
The stone fireplace (which is functional) made from local stone
The original clock (with new mechanism) over the fireplace
And our "rustic" room in the original building. The bathroom was down the hall, so the robes were useful!
The orginal dining room (it was extended behind the fireplace in 1927).
Then on to the park itself. As we drove into the park, we were greeted by a profusion of wildflowers.
An English Rose (in front of Lake Yellowstone and some more flowers)
Of course, Yellowstone is famous for it's thermal features and there are a lot !
Hot springs with vivid colors produced by different forms of algae:
Colors so rich they seem to have been painted
Sometimes looking like an abstract painting
Sometimes in bands of color as the water drains away
And some pools which look invitingly cool. In fact, pools with little or no color (like the one above) are scalding hot.
At Grand Prismatic Spring, the colors from the spring are reflected into the steam above.
At Mammoth, water pours over crystalline terraces, looking for all the world like a gigantic wedding cake.
And of course the geysers, some active, some not.
Yellowstones's most famous (and most predictable) geyser, Old Faithful
White Dome geyser
This geyser produced lots of steam with an occasional burst of water to the left
If you take an early morning (5:45!) photo safari with Betty, in her 1927 bus, the air is cool and the sun hasn't yet risen, Yellowstone can be a wonderful and mysterious place.
Betty with her bus. If you are lucky as I was, you may be her only passenger
And of course, there's the famous Yellowstone Wildlife.
A rare Trumpeter Swan shakes out it's wings
And sails serenely down the Yellowstone River
A Mountain Goat climbs along a cliff
And (at a great distance) an Osprey guards it's young
A stag tries to hide amongst the branches of a dead tree
The buffalo in the Lamar Valley can be quite numerous
They have a very distinctive silhouette
A buffalo keeps a wary eye on the tourists
And another buffalo rolls in the dirt to rid itself of ticks and fleas
An elk browses the grass in the middle of Mammoth Hot Springs, unconcerned by the passing traffic
And a black bear ambles across a meadow
And of course, the fantastic scenery
Here with no distracting people in the foreground
The incredible colors in the walls of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
The brink of the lower falls
The lower falls with a rainbow
Getting to some of those locations required quite a steep climb
This is Tower Fall