Sunday, June 15th – Yellowstone Grand Loop

Yellowstone National Park is an absolutely amazing place. It is so beautiful, and takes on many faces as you travel the figure eight loop road.

Yellowstone is a place of natural wonder and majestic beauty. Rolling hills and mountains, raging rivers and waterfalls, luscious fields and forests… Yellowstone has it all!

Beautiful Yellowstone Lake and the Grand Tetons

The enormous Yellowstone Lake occupies the Southeastern corner of the park. Yellowstone Lake covers 136 square miles and is 20 miles long by 14 miles wide. It has 110 miles of shoreline. The lake is at least 320 feet deep in the West Thumb area and has an average depth of 140 feet. Situated at an elevation of 7,733 feet, the lake remains cold the year-round, with an average temperature of 41°F. Yellowstone Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake in the United States that is above 7,000 feet and is one of the largest such lakes in the world.We saw some mule deer by the road when we were leaving here.

Amazing Lower Falls from Artist’s Point.

We drove down to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, carved by the Yellowstone River. It’s nothing like the Grand Canyon, of course, but still amazing views. The Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River is the most inspiring of the waterfalls in Yellowstone National Park. It is 308 ft. high, and thunders through the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. It is certainly a must see for all visitors to the park. We were able to see the falls from Artist’s Point, and it was quite a crowded place to be. On the north rim is the Brink of Lower Falls trail. When we were here, this trail was sadly closed due to washouts, but we understand it to be an incredible experience. We will have to plan on this trail for next time. We also went to the Upper Falls as well, but the Lower Falls were really amazing. Tower Falls and Undine Falls were also very pretty sites to see.

Along with cars on the roads of Yellowstone, one must watch out for the Buffalo as well!

The kids also loved driving by the buffalo that were just walking on the side of the road. I managed to sneak some pictures of them as we drove by.

This is zoomed in of the bear we saw in Yellowstone!

Some people go to Yellowstone many times before seeing a bear, we were lucky enough to see 3 on our trip. Thankfully they were all far enough away to not be a danger to us. We saw one bear, way in the distance, just walking along heading to the forest, another one sleeping, and then the third was right by the road on Scott’s side. Traffic had slowed to a crawl, so Scott said “Give me the camera!” So, I took over driving from the passenger seat so he could take pictures as we drove slowly by. The only thing that got a little hairy was when the car in front of us stopped suddenly, and I couldn’t reach the brake, so I yelled, “Brake, brake, brake!” The Ranger smilingly said, “I’m glad she’s telling you what to do, you know your primary goal is to drive, right?”The Ranger was laughing, and I think us crazy Utahans made his day!

Roosevelt Arch at the north entrance to Yellowstone

We sadly left Yellowstone, knowing we would come back again on another trip. On our way out the north entrance, we went by this awesome arch known as Roosevelt Arch.

“The Yellowstone Park is something absolutely unique in the world…This Park was created and is now administered for the benefit and enjoyment of the people…it is the property of Uncle Sam and therefore of us all.”

President Theodore Roosevelt
April 24, 1903 at Gardiner, Montana
Speech dedicating the North Entrance Arch

To President Theodore Roosevelt, Yellowstone’s uniqueness was not the geysers or wildlife he had observed during his visit. Its uniqueness was being the first national park anywhere in the world. It was a new symbol of democracy – land that the federal government set aside from development or settlement, land that belonged to all the people. President Roosevelt recognized this would be Yellowstone National Park’s legacy.

After taking pictures of the arch, we drove to Billings, MT for the night.

We also got the second set of our Snake River White Water Rafting pictures, to see them, click here!

To see our amazing pictures from Yellowstone National Park, CLICK HERE!

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