After a morning spent in Grand Teton, we began our drive north to Bozeman, through Yellowstone. We had already seen much of the scenery from the South Entrance to Canyon Village on previous days but we were treated to a coyote sighting on this trip through Hayden Valley! It narrowly missed being hit by a minivan likely because everyone was gawking at herds of bison.
The light was a bit different, so we stopped to get another shot of Upper Falls too.
As we passed out of the caldera, the scenery changed and we enjoyed some views along the river and winding highway.
The north side of the park was dramatic, with a hillier, drier terrain.
Our first main stop was at Tower Falls and we were not alone at this overlook. Strangely, the bathrooms were closed for the season and there were quite a few disappointed visitors. The waterfall can be reached by a short uphill hike which also affords beautiful views of the valley in both directions.
Our next stop was the nearby Calcite Spring Overlook (which was quite busy unlike online advice). The rock formations were very unusual but the canyon views were similar to those at the Tower Falls overlook.
In hopes of seeing more wildlife, we took a seven-mile detour on Blacktail Plateau Drive. It was dusty and scrubby and full of potholes so I really had to concentrate on the road. We didn’t see anything different, just a few grouses. So, while there were nice views for the first half, we didn’t think it was worth the time.
It was time for another waterfall, so we parked at a small turnout and started the hike to Wraith Falls. We spotted a sitting buffalo near the trail but he didn’t seem interested in us, so we hustled by without incident. Gulp.
Undine Falls had better flow which was surprising given water levels on this side of park.
Our last stop in Yellowstone was Mammoth Springs. What a disappointment! Most of the springs aren’t active and the formations look like an abandoned construction site. By far our least favorite part of the park. Eric still managed to get some nice photos but I wouldn’t go out of my way to return to this area of the park.