We have been to Yellowstone National Park a number of times before but since we were staying at Henry’s Lake State Park which isn’t very far from the National Park we thought we would drive over there and if it was not a long wait to get into the park we would hop in for a few hours and do some touring.
We watched the West Entrance webcam and in the morning it looked like quite a line to get into the park. Around lunch time the crowds thinned and off we went. It is only about a 15 minute drive from Henry’s Lake State Park in Idaho to West Yellowstone in Montana. The West Entrance to Yellowstone National Park (which is in Wyoming) is basically on the edge of West Yellowstone so it meant we drove from Idaho to Montana and then to Wyoming in less than 30 minutes.
When we arrived at the West Entrance to Yellowstone there wasn’t any line so it only took a few seconds to get in the gate (especially since have a Interagency Pass). Off we went for a short exploration of the park.
Our approach worked well since we decided to go to those areas which we had not spent time at on our previous visits which just happened to be on the west side. Our first stop was Gibbon Falls which is on the Gibbon River with about an 84 foot drop.
Artists Paint Pots
From there we headed on to Artists Paint Pots which is a group of over 50 springs, geysers, vents, and mud pots which vary in color due to the amount of subterranean water. There is a boardwalk hike around the area which leads up to an overlook area.
Norris Geyser Basin
Our next stop was to Norris Geyser Basin which is home to a multitude of geysers including Steamboat Geysers which is the worlds tallest geyser. There are boardwalks which take you around two different areas where you can view the geysers and thermal areas.
Just doing these few activities and hiking around the boardwalks took most of the afternoon. It seems every time we go we can see something new since the park is so large.
On the way back to Henry’s Lake State Park as we drove from Madison Campground west to the West Entrance there were a group of cars stopped along the road. It didn’t take long to see a Grizzly Bear swimming across the Madison River and then he/she jumped onto the shore and galloped away in the other direction. Was he/she spooked by the number of vehicles and people or was he/she chasing dinner? As usual, some crazy woman tourist was out of her car, all dressed up and in high heels, running towards the bear with a point-and-shoot camera up to her eye trying to get photos. I don’t know which was more fun to see, the Grizzly Bear or the crazy tourist? As they say, there is always one in every crowd.
Yes, I tried to shoot too (from inside our car) but the bear was a distance away and I had to shoot through a windshield trying to dodge other vehicles and people!! Oh well, you get what you get.