Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 8-Road Trip to Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park

So, first I wanted to post a picture of our campsite at Madison. It was out favorite of the 




On this day we planned to visit Mammoth so we could check out the hot springs. On our way to Mammoth we had planned to stop at the Artist's Paint pots, but it was sleeting!! One of the weather risks of going to the park in June. Needless to say, we didn't stop. When we got to Mammoth, we stopped at the first parking lot, especially since there were three female elk very nearby.








 We walked around the hot springs area, but unfortunately, most of them were not active. The activity of the springs can change often, so you can visit the park one time and they be active, and then visit again later, and they aren't. Some picture of the structures left behind by the springs are seen below.


Some terraces formed by water flow.



Another bacterial mat.


Me with the hot springs in the background.



At the top of one of the springs.


Loved the view of the valley.



One of the active springs.






The buildings are part of the Mammoth Hot Springs lodging area in the park.




Some panoramic views of the area.








 Hubby snapped a pic of me back near the car.



After we walked around, we went to the visitor center that was nearby. They had an interesting little exhibit about early explorers in the park. They also had some great wildlife displays. We left that and decided to drive the Upper Terrace Drive. There were a couple more active springs.





It was lunch time, so we stopped at a picnic area known as Sheepeater Cliff.



The river that was near the picnic area.




Hubby near the river.


A sign explaining how the cliff got its name.




A picture of the hubby and I.




Hubby was getting antsy to hike. We stopped at one trailhead where the shortest hike was 3.4 miles one way. We were just going to walk part of it. However, along the way I spotted some carnivore tracks that looked fresh, so I vetoed that hike. Some pics from the area though.






Looking at the map, we saw there was a shorter trail further down the road that would take us to the same point as the first trail, Grizzly Lake. This trail was only 1.8 miles, which was more manageable.


Towards the beginning of the hike we came across a family of marmots living in a down tree. We saw some other hikers on the way in on the trail, and they would be the only people we would see on the entire hike.


Pictures of the trail.



We finally made it to where we had a good view of Grizzly Lake. We really had no desire to go all the way down to the lake, so we turned around to head back.





But not before hubby and I could get a picture together.




Some pretty flowers.










Our marmot friends were still in the tree when we got back.




Posing for the camera.



We started to make our way back to the campsite. We were actually able to stop at the Artist's Paint Pots this time.










A little video of the paint pots.

video

Since it was our last night at Madison, we decided to walk by the area near our camp. The Gibbons River is right near the madison campground. We discovered it had small "hot pockets" within it. You could see the gas escaping from the thermal features beneath them. Pictures from the area near our campground.

Hubby looking over the river.






My hubby.

Me.




A little ground squirrel.




Alright. Next time, more picture packed adventures from Yellowstone.