I Drove Through Yellowstone and We MUST Go Back!

My first ever journey through a national treasure

September 4, 2019
Yellowstone National Park

by Gregr

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I spent my Labor Day Weekend driving a car from Albuquerque, NM, to Snohomish, WA. Google Maps suggested a route through Colorado, Utah, Idaho, and Washington to get home, but I noticed that Yellowstone National Park sat (atop a supervolcano) just a few hours detour west through Wyoming and Montana. 

I learned a few things along the way:

  • Bison and buffalo are not the same things
  • Grand Teton National Park next to Yellowstone is stunning
  • Old Faithful may not live up to the hype
  • You can't see Yellowstone without stopping every five minutes
  • There are more cows than people in Wyoming

Wyoming is boring. With no cell service and extremely limited humans, this state feels like what I assume Mars is like in summer.

Wyoming State Sign

Then you get to stuff like this:

Yellowstone National Park

And the Tetons Mountains:

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Again, we were only passing through the area so we didn't get to take it in and hike and camp, but we stopped a bunch to look at scenic views - there are tons of pullouts from the road at all the right spots!

It's rather cool that two incredible national parks butt up to one another: Grand Teton and Yellowstone are neighbors!

When we got into Yellowstone, things flattened out and the wildlife starts to show up a bit. The whole day all I talked about was seeing a buffalo. Turns out that we don't have buffalo in North America. We have bison. I saw a bison. I lost it. He ate grass.

Yellowstone National Park

My buddy Brad spent a month-ish around Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. I hit him up to ask if I was driving through, what's the one thing I should try to see. He said to see the coolest stuff, one needs to do some hiking. He told me to just be extra basic and go see Old Faithful. Done.

As we pulled into the giant parking lot, my road trip co-pilot, Ed, cautioned me that because of all the lore surrounding this American landmark, I ought to temper my expectations. Boy, was he ever spot on! 

Yellowstone National Park

Old Faithful spouts off every 35-90-ish minutes. Heat and pressure build-up until water shoots up into the sky. The steam constantly pouring out is pretty ominous.

Yellowstone National Park

Suddenly, it starts shooting water up. First, a few feet of water pop up. Then, the main blast like someone really cranked the hose up at the spigot. Someone said to expect 100 feet in the air... yeah, at our viewing, Old Faithful couldn't get it up like that.

Old Faithful.

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Still pretty cool. 

Our time came to an end and having spent an hour looking around at steam rising from the ground we hit the road. I can't stress enough how we needed at least one afternoon to do some walking around let alone days for hiking even a trail of two at this simply massive park (2.2 million acres). I would totally be cool with spending all my time at Grand Teton National Park, too.

Yellowstone National Park

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