Wild West 2015: Yellowstone (day 4)

by | Nov 2, 2015 | Travel, USA Travel

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.

red fox

The light was a bit different, so we stopped to get another shot of Upper Falls too.

Lower Falls

As we passed out of the caldera, the scenery changed and we enjoyed some views along the river and winding highway.

Yellowstone River panorama

clouds for miles

The north side of the park was dramatic, with a hillier, drier terrain.

Yellowstone NP

Tower Falls  river valley

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.

towering rocks

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.

gravel road on Blacktail Plateau Drive

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.

Wraith Falls  Undine Falls
Wraith Falls; Undine Falls

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.

Mammoth Hot SpringsMammoth Hot SpringsMammoth Hot Springs

Our Itinerary

2024 Trips

San Diego, CA (Jan)
Sarasota, FL (Feb)
Valencia, Spain (Mar)
Mallorca (Apr)
Croatia (May)
Faroe Islands (Aug)
London, UK (Sept)
Bari, Italy (Sept)</br />Rome, Italy (Oct)
Frankfurt, Germany (Oct)

2022 Trips

Florida (Feb)
NC Mountains (Apr)
Washington DC (Apr)
Valencia, Spain (May)
Hilton Head, SC (May)
Pacific NW (Jun)
Long Island (Jul)
Florida (Sept)
Chicago (Sept)
Poland (Sept)
NC Mountains (Nov)
Euro Xmas Markets (Dec)