Our Yellowstone Trip Agenda, Day One

Buffalo and Hot Springs,  Yellowstone National Park | Oysters & Pearls

I’ve had a lot of people ask me: “Where did y’all stay?”  “What did y’all do?”

First Glimpse of a River in Montana | Oysters & Pearls

Well, the answer is very long.

Just Outside Bozeman, Montana | Oysters & Pearls

We flew into Bozeman, Montana on a Saturday around 1:00 p.m. Mountain time.  We rented an SUV and drove straight to the Wal-Mart in Bozeman to pick up a cooler and some supplies and refreshments.  That afternoon, we drove to West Yellowstone, where we stayed the night.

  Yellowstone National Park, | Oysters & Pearls Entering   Yellowstone National Park, | Oysters & Pearls

We stayed at the Madison Hotel, which is a 100+ year old log hotel.  It’s very reasonably priced, has some hostel rooms, and is super convenient to the Park and everything in town.  We found a bar that evening, watched Georgia lose their football game, then went to another restaurant and had some appetizers for supper.

The next morning, we got up before the sun (pretty easy, considering our bodies never strayed from Eastern time!) and headed into Yellowstone where we watched the sun rise.

Sunrise,  Yellowstone National Park, | Oysters & Pearls

Sunrise,   Yellowstone National Park, | Oysters & Pearls

This was the best time for critter watching, and it wasn’t too long before we started running into elk and buffalo jams.  These pictures of this elk at sunrise turned out to be some of my very favorites from the entire trip.Bison,   Yellowstone National Park, | Oysters & Pearls Bison,   Yellowstone National Park, | Oysters & Pearls Elk at Sunrise,  Yellowstone National Park, | Oysters & Pearls Elk at Sunrise,  Yellowstone National Park, | Oysters & Pearls Elk at Sunrise,  Yellowstone National Park, | Oysters & Pearls Elk at Sunrise,  Yellowstone National Park, | Oysters & Pearls     Elk at Sunrise,  Yellowstone National Park, | Oysters & Pearls

 We saw SO MANY BUFFALO.  And a few osprey, Trumpeter swans, geese, chipmunks, and of course, squirrels on Day 1 in the Park.

Buffalo, Yellowstone National Park, | Oysters & Pearls Osprey,  Yellowstone National Park | Oysters & Pearls Buffalo,  Yellowstone National Park | Oysters & Pearls Buffalo,  Yellowstone National Park | Oysters & Pearls

We went in the West Entrance of the Park and headed south towards Old Faithful.  On the way there, we saw all the wildlife above, as well as made many, many pit stops.  We saw the mud pots and paint pots, Excelsior Geyser, the Firehole River, Grand Prismatic, and so much more.

Hot Spring,  Yellowstone National Park | Oysters & Pearls

Hot Spring

Sulfur Hot Springs,  Yellowstone National Park | Oysters & Pearls

Fountain Paint Pots

Red Spouter Mudpot, Yellowstone National Park | Oysters & Pearls

Red Spouter

Firehole River,  Yellowstone National Park | Oysters & Pearls

Firehole River

Waterfall from Excelsior Geyser into Firehole River, Yellowstone National Park | Oysters & Pearls

Waterfall from Excelsior Geyser and Grand Prismatic into the Firehole River

Nat & Wheat, Firehole River, Yellowstone National Park | Oysters & Pearls

Nat & Wheat at the Firehole River

Excelsior Geyser, Yellowstone National Park | Oysters & Pearls

Excelsior Geyser

Edge of Caldera of Excelsior Geyser in Yellowstone National Park | Oysters & Pearls

Edge of Excelsior Geyser

Excelsior Geyser, Yellowstone National Park | Oysters & Pearls

Excelsior Geyser

Boardwalk to Grand Prismatic, Yellowstone National Park | Oysters & Pearls

Boardwalk to Grand Prismatic

Grand Prismatic, Yellowstone National Park | Oysters & Pearls

Grand Prismatic

Grand Prismatic, Yellowstone National Park | Oysters & Pearls

Grand Prismatic

 We made our way to Old Faithful, then hiked the Observation Point Trail nearby.

Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park | Oysters & Pearls

Old Faithful

Observation Point Trail, Yellowstone National Park | Oysters & Pearls

Observation Point Trail

Observation Point Trail, Yellowstone National Park | Oysters & Pearls

Observation Point Trail

Observation Point Trail, Yellowstone National Park | Oysters & Pearls

Observation Point Trail

View from Observation Point, Yellowstone National Park | Oysters & Pearls

View of Old Faithful and Lodge from Observation Point

Observation Point Sign, Yellowstone National Park | Oysters & Pearls

Solitary Geyser, Yellowstone National Park | Oysters & Pearls

Solitary Geyser

Hot Spring, Yellowstone National Park | Oysters & Pearls

Hot Spring near Old Faithful

Old Faithful Lodge, Yellowstone National Park | Oysters & Pearls

Old Faithful Lodge

Old Faithful from Behind, Yellowstone National Park | Oysters & Pearls

Old Faithful, View from Behind on Observation Point Trail

After Old Faithful, we headed back from whence we came and did a very long hike to Fairy Falls. It was a three-mile hike to the trail head (the way we went, anyway) and we hiked a total of twelve miles on day one.

Bison, Yellowstone National Park | Oysters & Pearls

Fairy Falls Trail

Fairy Falls, Yellowstone National Park | Oysters & Pearls

Fairy Falls

Fairy Falls, Yellowstone National Park | Oysters & Pearls

Fairy Falls

Fairy Falls, Yellowstone National Park | Oysters & Pearls

Fairy Falls

The Fairy Falls trailhead is on the other side of Grand Prismatic, so we got another view of it.

Grand Prismatic, Yellowstone National Park | Oysters & Pearls

Grand Prismatic

Grand Prismatic, Yellowstone National Park | Oysters & Pearls

Grand Prismatic

Grand Prismatic, Yellowstone National Park | Oysters & Pearls

Grand Prismatic

After twelve miles of hiking, we were famished and ready to head to the hill.  We spent our second night inside the Park at the Canyon Lodge in a cabin.  It wasn’t a luxury cabin, but it served the purpose and had a hot shower (possibly the best I’ve ever had?), so we were happy campers.  We ate dinner at the Canyon Lodge, which has a great beer and wine list but the food is just sort of meh.  As much as I love to build a trip around food, this wasn’t one of those kinds of trips, and that was A-okay.  Just don’t get your hopes up.  Save your hungry for Bozeman. :)  If you’re interested in staying inside the Park, the rooms and cabins book up to a year in advance. We were lucky and found one night in a cabin at Canyon and I built the rest of our trip around that.  To make reservations inside the Park, visit Yellowstone National Park Lodges.

Day Two up next!  With all these pictures, I thought it unfair to bombard you with them all at once.  And a more whimsical, sit-down-child-let-me-tell-you-a-story version is coming soon, too.

Happy Trails!

Until Next Time

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8 thoughts on “Our Yellowstone Trip Agenda, Day One

  1. Jim McClellan

    Great work on the photos. The elk pic looks like a magazine cover. (It also looks like what I imagine when I dream about elk hunting.)

    Reply
    1. Cindy Lollie

      Have been there on vacation for the past 3 years. Most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. Could go over and over because even though you may visit the same places the scenery changes every time.

      Reply
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