Added: Tinea Carstens - Date: 28.09.2021 13:58 - Views: 13128 - Clicks: 9849
in. I say we started planning it three years ago, but whatever. We finally sat down in October and booked flights, a rental car, and five nights in Yellowstone.
I was set on visiting Yellowstone, at last, for the first time. Things we learned: 1 Much of Yel l owstone is already booked in October. Luckily we had fairly cool weather 70s and 80s, Fahrenheit for the two days we spent exploring in Zion — the following week, they had a bad heat wave, plus. We made a note of it. So nice to get tips from other travelers!
Leaving Zion on breathtaking Highway 9 with tunnels! We opted to skip the shuttle and drive out to the far south end and then try a walk down into the amphitheater among the hoodoos. The walk was too steep for my vertigo, and I was having a reaction to the altitude 8,plus feet! We also saw a model of the whole land area from the Grand Canyon in Arizona up to Bryce, where numerous different rock layers tilted up and were exposed by geologic activity—in other words, we learned why the rocks and cliffs throughout southern Utah look the way they do.
We spent the full day in Bryce, and the next day we set out to do the slot canyon walk in Willis Creek, which our motel neighbors back in Springdale had told us about. It was south of Tropic and on our way to our next motel. The creek was very shallow, but we did get our feet wet! It was a great walk.
After the slot canyon walk, we needed to drive east and north to Torrey, Utah about three hours. The road from Escalante to Torrey took our breath away! We stopped at a visitor center in Escalante, and the volunteer there asked us which way we were headed.
What could she mean? Red rock cliffs! Striped and twisted rocks pushed out from the belly of the Earth! Shorty afterward, we stopped at this lookout below and saw our future road winding out below us. That drive on Highway 12 was filled with wonder. We could barely blink, the terrain was so beautiful.
The afternoon sun made the reds and yellows glow, and the newly repaved two-lane road wound like a snake around the hills, mountains, and cliffs. A told us that this area was the very last part of the United States to be explored and mapped, in Toward Torrey, the land grew greener. We saw herds of cattle grazing, and startling stands of white-trunked aspens marching up steep mountainsides between the pines. Jodi said they looked like Japanese ink drawings on a long, tall scroll.
We did not get a photo. A scenic drive took us south into the park and provided different awesome views both going and coming back about two hours. From Capitol Reef to Moab, Utah, the land is fairly desolate. We stopped in a tiny town called Hanksville, where they have a market, and Jodi miraculously got cell phone service and sent some texts.
I was able to navigate with Google Maps even without service because I had downloaded several territories to use offline. This was a big help, even though Jodi had picked up a paper map of Utah—which we also used—at the car rental place. We bought bananas and apples at local markets. We carried salted nuts and some dried fruit too, along with multiple gallons of water. In the parks, we often saw families munching on homemade sandwiches, so carrying your own lunch makes sense for most people. Tip: We filled a small Styrofoam cooler with ice and water bottles every morning, which we really appreciated after some of our hottest walks!
Moab is a great little tourist town next to Arches National Park. We arrived around 8 p. Earlier, in another park, a man had told us the Arches road was closed for repairs, but it turned out that for the one day we were there, the whole road was open because it was the weekend.
We were lucky!
The woman running our motel said summer is the slow season at Arches because of the intense heat. We got lucky—high temperatures were in the low 90s. In the morning, we stocked up on food and water at a local market and then drove the road around Arches, with side trips out to Delicate Arch and the Windows Section and the Double Arch. We had hoped to also visit Canyonlands National Park 45 minutes west of Archesbut we looked at our schedule and decided to skip it. Another time! For our seventh night, we had no motel reservation.
It was our only non-reserved night—we would be driving north toward Wyoming and Yellowstone and splitting an eight-hour drive into two parts, sleeping in between. Tip: Even the small, family-owned motels fill up early around the national parks. The days of traveling with no reservations might be over!
One or both of us often had no cell phone service, so searching for a motel while en route was a bit of a challenge. We drove north of Provo, Utah, took a detour through Park City misjudging how far it was from the highwayand finally drove on to Evanston, Wyoming, on Interstate 80, where we finally found a nice non-chain motel for the night.
We were able to avoid eating at chain restaurants most of the time on this trip, although we did fail at least twice. We drove through Alpine without stopping and went straight to the park, where we did a short walk partway around Jenny Lake and took in great views of the Teton Range, where the snowy peaks are 11, to 13, feet high no, we did not climb them.
Later that week, a woman traveling with her daughter told us about a cool aerial tram ride to the top of the Tetons. We hoped to do that on our last day, but we did not manage to fit it in. On our way to Grand Teton we drove through Jackson, Wyoming, with some horror—the town was packed with people and cars.
Traffic crawled until we got out on the north end. In spite of that, we decided to eat dinner there on our way back down to Alpine for the night. As it turned out, we parked easily and had a nice plate of barbecue pulled pork in Jackson. I had looked for motels there but was put off by the high prices, which is why we were sleeping in Alpine. On our eighth day, our Yellowstone National Park adventure was about to begin!
We stocked up on food and water at a market in Alpine and drove through Grand Teton again, this time taking the outer eastern road that skirts the park. North of the park, we took some time at the National Museum of Wildlife Artwhich was much cooler and more fascinating than we had expected. After that, I saw my first herd of bison! We checked in at our Grant Village room in Yellowstone—which was surprisingly much nicer than we had expected from reading reviews online albeit overpriced —and had dinner at the Grant Village Dining Room, with a great view of the lake.
Later some elk came by to graze there, just outside the window, but by that time the light had gone. This worked out pretty well. We often stopped along the way to see unplanned sights, viewed lots of bison in many locations, saw four black bears and two coyotes, numerous elk only one with antlersand no grizzlies boo! The park is 63 miles by 54 miles, or almost 3, square miles, and the maximum speed limit is 45 MPH. Even though I had bought a guidebook, we relied mostly on the trail and road maps supplied by the park.
We thought we could see them all in one day, but when we tried to park at the Midway basin, it was a madhouse—cars parked on both sides up along the road, and a huge parking lots with no spaces. We got to see it the next day. Several pullouts allowed viewing of different geothermals. We saw a lot of marmots running around on the shore of the steaming lake too far and too active for photos. The next day we decided to drive up about 68 miles to the northwest section of the park: Mammoth Hot Springs.
The Mammoth Hot Springs area is known for brightly colored terraces and pools built up by limestone deposits left by the dripping or flowing water. The shapes and terraces change over time as the water moves into other parts of the area and starts spurting out in new places. I was tipped off by a friend to bring a bathing suit and go to the Boiling River for a safe soak in warm or hot pools, but when I asked a park ranger, she said the Boiling River was still closed because of high water and fast currents.
The spring snow melt was really heavy this year. This was not hard to believe, because Jodi and I had repeatedly commented on how high and fast all the rivers seemed to be. We were somewhat underwhelmed by Mammoth Hot Springs because many of the existing boardwalk paths lead to now-dry springs. We saw some impressive new ones that we could not get very close to.
The line of traffic hardly moved for an hour—we gave up, made a U-turn, and returned to Grant Village on another road.
First, we stopped at the West Thumb area, just north of where we were staying. There we saw more geothermals —this time, they were right beside the lakeshore! It was a beautiful way to spend the morning. We also made another unplanned stop at the Mud Volcano area, which has a long boardwalk loop around less colorful geothermal pools that are bubbling and popping with hot liquid mud. Loved it! When we finally made it to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, it did not disappoint.
We had another piece of good luck as a result of chatting with other park visitors: A couple suggested that we not go to the North Rim Drive to view the upper falls but instead go to a viewing point just north of where we were. We loved what we saw there—the roar of the water penetrated our bones! On our fourth and final day, we resolved to drive to the northeast section of the park: Tower-Roosevelt about 56 miles. We planned to see Tower Fall and drive east on the Lamar Valley road to try to see some wildlife. A lot of people with camp chairs and high-powered scopes had set up on the roide pullouts when we were returning along the Lamar Valley road in the early evening.
I guess those are the serious wildlife spotters! It appeared that many of them had brought their coolers with them. Nice spot to have dinner while waiting for the wolves and bears to emerge from the trees. We learned about the massive fires as well as how the native lodgepole pines are adapted to regular fires they produce resin-sealed pinecones that only open and release seeds after being in a high-temperature fire! We had some trouble finding the path to Tower Fall, which was ridiculous, because it was right beside the Tower Fall General Store.
Well, in our defense, it was just past the store, and the s were not obvious! We decided to reward ourselves with ice cream after the short walk. It is yummy. Farther north on the main road, we were impressed by an overhanging cliff face and a fine view of the snaking Yellowstone River, with several tall, pointed lava formations that precede the waterfall. We slept one more night in Yellowstone and set out the following day for Salt Lake City and our airport motel.
On the way we planned to spend some more time in Grand Teton, and we found a short walk that would get us out into Jackson Lake on a little knob of land. Our drive after that would be about five hours. Google Maps found us a great route that took us through Idaho to Interstate Altogether we had 15 days for this trip, including the flight days at start and end.
Expenses: The biggest expense was the room in Yellowstone. Camping in the park is an option, but you would need to reserve early. Eating in restaurants there is also not cheap, but you can get around that with groceries and a cooler. We always had two queen beds. This was an awesome, wonderful trip.Hot Parks women
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