Traveler Profile: Ashleigh Nicole, 35, USA
Location: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Time of Year: July
Travel Goals: Explore the natural wonders and wildlife of Yellowstone
Morning Exploration in Nature’s Wonderland
I was excited beyond measure before I even made it to the park. Yellowstone National Park is an iconic natural wonder and always a personal favorite. The crisp morning air filling my lungs as I arrived at Yellowstone was very nostalgic. My first stop was Old Faithful. The famous geyser is known for its predictable eruptions, so if you hang around, you’ll see the powerful burst of water against the backdrop of the clear blue sky since it happens every hour to an hour and a half.
A Hearty Mountain Breakfast
After stopping at Old Faithful, I went to the Old Faithful Inn for a hearty breakfast. The rustic charm of this place is just so very Yellowstone. I ordered a classic mountain breakfast with fluffy pancakes, scrambled eggs, and sizzling bacon to fuel up for today’s adventure. The food was great, and the views of the surrounding wilderness through the lodge’s large windows made the meal even more enjoyable.
Navigating the Geothermal Wonders
I explored the Norris Geyser Basin with a map, a full belly, and a sense of adventure. The steamy landscape dotted with bubbling geysers paints a surreal picture. The vibrant colors of the Grand Prismatic Spring are an unbelievable sight. It’s a stunning contrast to the greenery that surrounds it.
Fellow Traveler Tip: Print off a map of the park ahead to save time and money.
Wildlife Encounter at Lamar Valley
After that, I headed to Lamar Valley in the afternoon to maximize my chances of wildlife sightings. The valley is renowned for its diverse wildlife, and I wasn’t disappointed. I spotted herds of bison grazing and elk moving gracefully through the park. The wildlife encounters were a reminder of the untamed beauty of Yellowstone.
Fellow Traveler Tip: Bring binoculars and be patient – wildlife sightings are common but may require some time and observation.
Picnic by Yellowstone Lake
For lunch, I chose a quiet spot by Yellowstone Lake to enjoy a picnic I had prepared. The lake’s crystal-clear waters were breathtaking as I unwrapped my sandwiches and took in the stunning views. The tranquility of the lake was a peaceful interlude for the day’s adventures.
Fellow Traveler Tip: Pack a picnic to eat lunch in the park, as there are no restaurant options to ensure you have more time to sightsee.
Afternoon Hike to Artist Point
I embarked on a hike to Artist Point on my journey toward Yellowstone Canyon. The trail led me to a great spot to see the majestic Lower Falls and the colorful canyon walls. The sheer beauty of the landscape left me in awe, and I took a moment to absorb the natural beauty surrounding me.
Evening at Mammoth Hot Springs
As the evening approached, I made my way to Mammoth Hot Springs. The terraces of steaming, mineral-rich water flowing down the limestone formations create an otherworldly atmosphere. Walking along the boardwalk, I was amazed at the intricate formations and vibrant colors illuminated by the setting sun.
Sunset Overlooking Hayden Valley
For the perfect end to my day, I drove to Hayden Valley to watch the sunset. Words can’t capture how the valley looks, framed by distant mountain ranges, as the setting sun turns it into a golden wonder. The tranquility of the valley and the vivid colors of the sky made it a memorable end to my day in Yellowstone.
The Bottom Line
Driving to each location and getting out to get closer to the natural sights is the safe way to explore the park. Be sure to have a map to get around. The park is so big it wouldn’t be hard to get turned around.
Tourist Information: nps.gov/yell
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sopotnicki.