This day, it’s hard to find the right combination of words to describe it.
We entered Yellowstone today from the North, through a little town called Gardiner.
We entered through this arch on this picture perfect chilly morning.
We stopped at the Mammoth Hop Springs visitors center and right as we were leaving we were greeted by this beautiful group of elk.
We headed east on Grand Loop Road.
First stop Petrified Tree… so cool. The kids couldn’t believe this was a once a tree, as we know trees to be, since it was as hard as a rock.
Onward we go…
…toward Tower (yet another area of the park with a visitors center) but not before stopping a few times to take in the breathtaking views and to take a couple short hikes.
Made it to Tower visitors center that is now closed for the season. After a short hike to this beautiful waterfall we stopped to eat a quick lunch before heading back west.
We wanted to be sure we could spend sometime at Mammoth Hot Springs before sun down. This park is immense and we found that it was hard to judge how long it could take to get from one area to another… especially when a Mama bear and her 3 cubs are spotted on the side of the road. We kept pulling over again and again to check out one cool thing after the next.
Approaching Mammoth Hot Springs.
The first thing we see when we turn the corner are these fellows just hanging out.
We stood in awe of Mammoth Hot Springs. These terraces are formed from deposits of calcium carbonate.
We were told that due to earthquake activity the area has drastically changed. Because the vent has shifted much of the area that was once covered in spring water is now completely dry. Also, apparently this area was much more colorful at one point.
Here we are at the end of a walk way. Doesn’t look too impressive or should I say as impressive as it once did. But I didn’t mind because there is always something new around every corner in this park. Each place telling a unique story of a space in time.
But then this just a short walk away.
And after Mammoth Hot Springs we got a little taste on just how hot that water really is…. more on that tomorrow.