Posts Tagged With: Yellowstone

Observation Loop Trail, Yellowstone National Park

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Josh watching Old Faithful erupt for the first time

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Old Faithful

There are several fun hikes to take in Yellowstone National Park. A short one is the Observation Loop Trail. This one starts behind Old Faithful and is a 1.1 mile round trip hike. It takes you up 160 feet so it is rather steep. But the reward is worth it.

On our first visit to Yellowstone National Park as a family, we had reservations at the Old Faithful Inn for dinner. We first stopped to watch Old Faithful erupt. It was so much fun watching Josh see it for the first time – he was very excited and impressed!

Then we had some time to kill so David said we needed to take this hike because he had been on it before and wanted us to see the view. So off we headed crossing a footbridge over the Firehole River which is where the trailhead begins. First of all it is a beautiful walk through trees and flowers, watching for birds and the little critters. I would recommend hiking shoes. Sandals do not work as well and aren’t very comfortable as Josh discovered. You can see from the pictures that trail is dry and a bit bumpy and steep. It’s considered a “moderate” hike in terms of difficulty, but Josh was seven-years-old at the time and did just fine, so families can easily do it. There were only a few other people on the trail, so we had it mostly to ourselves. It was a great place to be away from the crowds that were around the geyser.

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Nancy and Josh hiking up the Observation Loop Trail

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View from Observation Loop

Once at the top, the view is gorgeous! The Old Faithful Inn actually looks quite small from that viewpoint. We stood there marveling at the expansive view of the basin until we realized we had about 20 minutes until our dinner reservation. So unfortunately we worried we wouldn’t have time complete the trail and David took off running back down the trail and Josh and I followed a little more slowly. We took what we hoped was a shorter route to get there and it actually was – we were just minutes behind David as he was making sure we wouldn’t lose our reservation. We arrived sweaty and breathless, but we made it in time.

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David and Josh relaxing after the hike and a great meal

After a delicious and elegant dinner in the Old Faithful Inn we headed back out to enjoy the evening and look up at where we were earlier and think of the different view of the area that we had. We know from the lack of crowds up there that many people miss this experience on their trip to the Old Faithful area. So next time you are there, take the opportunity to take that hike and see the view from a different vantage point and away from the masses. It’s a sight not to be missed.

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Categories: Keatons Out and About, Outdoors, Parks | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

The Waters of Yellowstone

1-100_0691Ahhh, the waters of Yellowstone National Park. Pools, geysers, lakes, rivers. The blues you will see rival the deep blues of the south Pacific. Steam can make the pools look smoky, lighter blues contrast to dark blue skies. In all different parts of Yellowstone you will see some sort of water and how it is central to the beauty of the park. As it starts getting stormy here in the northwest I always start dreaming of and planning our next vacation, and next year we will be going back to Yellowstone! It really is not too early to start planning, you want to make Yellowstone vacations well in advance because they fill up quickly. So to get you in the mood for thinking about planning your Yellowstone stay, here are some of my favorite sights of the incredible water:

Norris Geyser Basin has many pools and geysers. It’s made up of Porcelain Basin, Back Basin and One Hundred Springs Plain. The hottest temperature in the park has been recorded there. They drilled down 1057 feet and the temperature was 459 degrees! This is also believed to be the oldest part of the park. There are dirt and wood boardwalks in areas of the basin so you can walk around and check it out.

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The Yellowstone River runs through the park and you can see all sorts of wildlife. You can also fish in the park but be sure to check the regulations before you do. Helpful staff at the park stores can assist you to figure out which lures are working to hook that big one.1-100_0789

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Yellowstone Lake is a great place to rent a boat and get up close. It’s large enough you have to be sure to watch the weather if you decide to go out in a boat. Calm can quickly change to stormy.

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The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is a magnificent sight. Formed by years of lava flows, erosion and glacial melt have created this well-known feature.

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Beautiful pools are out in full sight for you to exclaim over their beauty at many roadside stops in the park:

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The Amazing Old Faithful

Yellowstone National Park is a vibrant, living place with so much to explore and admire. Water is the lifeblood of the park and the variety of ways it shows itself will amaze and delight you. There is simply no way to get through the park without seeing water and its impact on the park.

We hope this starts you thinking about your next trip to Yellowstone. Plan a few days, you won’t want to rush this experience!

You want to see what’s going on all the time in Yellowstone? Check out all the webcams!

http://www.nps.gov/yell/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm

Categories: Boating/Kayaking, Keatons Out and About, Outdoors, Parks | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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