On our second day at Yellowstone we headed out to the Lamar Valley. This valley in the North Eastern part of the park is home to wolves, bison, and elk. We hadn’t gone but a few miles before we saw our first elk. The elk were all over the lawns of the Historic Fort Yellowstone in Mammoth Hot Springs. This little town at the North Entrance to the park was where the army was stationed to protect the park in its early years.
We crossed over the Gardiner River on this bridge heading to the Lamar Valley.
We were so excited to see the Rosevelt Lodge but sad that the lodge was temporarily closed due to Covid.
Here at the lodge is where we ran upon the Park’s large herd of Bison.
As we continued our drive into Lamar Valley we pulled out on an overlook. Instantly we spotted movement along the Lamar River. Using our binoculars we confirmed that indeed this was a wolf. Sorry our pocket camera couldn’t zoom in enough to share a photo with you.
Almost at the end of the valley we pulled out for a stop near a very small pond. We could hear ducks so we went over to see if we could see them.
Suddenly we caught movement on the side of the mountain above the pond. It was a herd of antelope. It was quite interesting to watch the Buck stay back from the herd to watch for predators. We watched them for about 20 minutes until they came all the way down to the pond to drink. I couldn’t believe we would get such a close up look at these beautiful animals. This would probably be the highlight of our day.
On our way back we stopped to see the Petrified Tree. It was still very early in the morning and we stopped for a while to enjoy the quietness and beauty of the forest.
When we arrived back in Mammoth Hot Springs we visited the Travertine Terraces. You could walkout on several levels to view these formations.
Driving up the mountain just past the Terraces we stopped to look back down the mountain side. This bridge on the Golden Gate Canyon was the biggest challenge for providing access into the park.
Next up was the place I was most excited to see. I had visited Yellowstone some 20 years ago and I just loved the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. There is an upper and lower drive with lots of overlooks and walkways for viewing the falls. Maybe this would be our highlight of the day.
After leaving the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone we followed along the Yellowstone River and Hayden Valley, also known for wildlife sightings. This was such a beautiful valley and we did see lots of bison. We even saw Bison laying down at the Sulphur Calderon.
This had been a long day so we were glad to be headed over to Old Faithful Lodge to spend the night in the rustic cabins. Due to Covid these cabins were the only lodging choice (except for camping) in the Park. We found the cabin to be very basic, clean and comfortable and would recommend staying here. Plus there was a fantastic view just outside our cabin door.
After checking in we rested for a few hours. By then the sun was not so hot and the crowds were thinning. We walked around the geyser basin behind Old Faithful to see the many springs and other geysers.
Old Faithful was scheduled to erupt at 7:22. They can predict Old Faithful with a plus or minus of 10 minutes. So at 7:29 Old Faithful erupted to the cheers from the onlookers.
Watching Old Faithful here at the end of our day ended up winning out on all the other beautiful things we saw today to be our highlight.