Well, in case you missed our last announcement, we’re back in the United States! We miss France terribly, but it’s been nice catching up with family lately and also visiting some fun places before settling down at our new place in Washington.
One fun trip that we did recently was a day trip up to Yellowstone National Park. We’re lucky to have family who live only 1.5 hours away and so we spontaneously drove up there during our visit.
We had visited Yellowstone before back when I was pregnant with Adeline and when London was 1.5 years old and had loved it so we were excited to take the girls back and we were hoping to see lots of animals and geysers.
Last time we went, we entered through the West Entrance and headed towards Old Faithful. We saw lots of interesting geysers and hot pots and if that’s what interests you the most, then that is definitely the best path to take!
This time, after doing a bit of research on the drive up, we decided to go North on Grand Loop Rd. where more animals are supposed to be along with a few different geysers. If there was time, we wanted to do the whole loop past where we explored last visit.
On our way, we stopped in West Yellowstone (right before the park entrance) and picked up some food for a picnic at Ernie’s. Ernie’s is a super cute bakery that had great sandwich box lunches.
We drove into the park and stopped at the Madison Information Station to plan out our day and have our picnic. Unfortunately, with it being early May, the station was still closed. But we still had a nice picnic and even saw a couple of bison! The girls loved being outside and seeing the animals.
From there, we drove North to Norris Geyser Basin. It was a great place to go for a walk and see all sorts of geysers and springs. One of them, Steamboat Geyser, is one of the tallest active geysers in the world! It’s last major eruption was in 2015, I believe, but we saw it do several small eruptions while we were there.
The boardwalk that we walked on has railings on some parts, but not on others, so we did have a very strict hand holding rule with our girls while walking through.
From there, we drove over to Upper Yellowstone Falls. Our littlest was napping in the car at this point, so London and I hopped out and looked at the falls from the first lookout and then Aaron hopped out to see the falls from a second one.
Since we were making good time, we decided to try and do the loop while the girls napped in the car. We drove towards the lake (which was frozen!) until we saw a sign mentioning that the road ahead was closed. Such a bummer, but we had no choice but to turn around and go back the way we came.
On our way back, we stopped at Mud Volcano and Dragon’s Mouth Spring. It was another nice, short walk to do with the girls and the boardwalk had railings the entire time (although both our girls got splinters here so something to be aware of).
Dragon’s Mouth was pretty awesome and it was easy to imagine a real dragon inside the cavern blowing out the hot steam. We had to reassure our oldest that there wasn’t an actual dragon in there a couple of times.
Mud Volcano was interesting as well. It was kind of quiet, but still worth seeing.
We drove back through Hayden Valley towards the park entrance and saw lots of bison and even saw a bald eagle! Right before exiting, we saw some elk (I think) and pulled over so we could watch them for a bit.
It was a great way to end our day at the park.
Everyone had a wonderful time at Yellowstone and I can’t wait to take our girls back for another visit!
- We saw only a very small part of the park during our visit. Blogs like yTravel Blog gives tons of great suggestions for a multi-day trip!
- Make sure to check Yellowstone’s website for details like when different entrances open or weather updates.
- Entrance fee for Yellowstone is $30 per car and is good for 7 days.
- Geyser eruptions can be very unpredictable (with Old Faithful being the exception). Even still, they’re beautiful to see even when just steam and the water around them is usually very colorful.
- May was a wonderful time to visit. Some entrances are still closed, but the park wasn’t busy at all and there were tons of baby bison everywhere.
- Yellowstone was the first National Park in the country and is definitely worth a visit!