After a slow six days (36 hours) of driving, we finally reached Yellowstone. Yellowstone is a massive national park, in northwest Wyoming and parts of Idaho and Montana. It’s widely known as the first national park in the world. It’s massive and beautiful.
Around 2 million tourists visit Yellowstone every year, so be prepared for a fair share of lines and congestion. Knowing this going in, I was still a bit surprised as to how bad the roads can get. With only 1 lane in each direction, there’s a high amount of traffic if you travel during peak times. That being said, Yellowstone is worth it.
Especially Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon.
Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon is divided into two parts: the North Rim, and the South Rim. We walked along the South Rim, which I would highly recommend – it’s just the more beautiful of the two.
We parked and walked from the closest parking lot on the South Rim Trail. After about 5 minutes the crowds melted away and we were able to walk alone for a good 30 minutes.
This all changed when we reached the “Artist’s Point” parking lot, which had an amazing view, but drew in the crowds.
Leaving “Artists Point” we continued on the trail to Clear Lake, which took us back to the parking lot at the beginning of the South Rim Trail. Once again, after about 5 minutes of walking the crowds dissipated and we had the trail all to ourselves.
After walking along the cliff for 20 minutes, the trail eventually heads in land. I was a little concerned about running into bears (especially after seeing large scat heaps), but the rest of the walk was more meditative than adrenaline pumping.
All in all the walk took roughly 2.5 hours and was probably close to 4-5 miles in length. Keep in mind Yellowstone is at a high altitude (~8000 ft), so if you get altitude sickness you may want a day or two to adjust before walking long distances.
Tomorrow, we’ll go over some of Yellowstone’s geysers.