Blogs from West Yellowstone, Montana, United States, North America


We had a 14-hour drive to West Yellowstone, our next stop, and had paid for a campsite that we couldn’t cancel. But, after letting kids swim on Monday morning, shopping at Trader Joe’s and Costco, we got a late start. That meant driving not so far as we’d hoped on Monday and arriving later on Tuesday. We finally got into West Yellowstone just before the RV park office closed on Tuesday. I ran into the office with my wallet while Dale stayed in the truck with the kids. As luck would have it, Dale let kids out to play at the playground next to the office and he then got out of the truck. A bag of mixed nuts fell out of his door so he went to retrieve it and as he did that, shut ... read more
Grandkids Made Friends

Today, thanks to the wonderful generosity of Pat and Jane Scanlon, I got to share in their exploration of Yellowstone by automobile. Without them, I would have missed 95% of the park. Yesterday, in my very brief blog, I mentioned that I met up with Pat and Jane at Lake Lewis, which is just short of Grants Village in the Center of the park. ( Coincidentally, Pat and Jane live in San Diego!) Prior to that my ride went right through Grand Teton National Park which is stunning as well. Pat and I rode another 60 miles yesterday to West Yellowstone, Montana, just 1/4 mile from the Park’s West entrance.. I’m in the Madison Hostel and Pat and Jane are at a RV park a couple of blocks away. Early this morning, the Scanlon’s picked me ... read more
Grizzly and her cub.
Steamboat geyser from afar.
Paint pots

All is well . The last few days have been extremely exciting and busy. However, there was absolutely no WiFi or Cell Service so I was unable to communicate. I left Moran Yesterday and rode through Grand Teton Park and into Yellowstone. Camped with Pat and Jane Scanlon at Louise Lake 10 miles South of Grant Village. I then rode in their car for a tour of part of Yellowstone. Today, Pat and I rode through Yellowstone and arrived in West Yellowstone, Montana. Tomorrow,I am taking the day off and we will again see Yellowstone by car. I am exhausted and need some sleep so the big blog to fill in the last two days will occur tomorrow sometime. Until then.... read more
Mule Deer grazing in the Park
Entering Yellowstone
One of the dozens of boiling pools

The lovely little town of Jackson shuts down for a month in between the ski and summer seasons. But we were in luck, and when we left, it happened to be the reopening date for the aerial tram to the top of Mount Rendezvous from nearby Teton Village. So, we went up to the top to where the snow is. Others took skis. We wore runners. It was snow/hailing most of the time we were up there, and we had to take refuge in the waffle shop, which smelt sooooo good. But we saw the really good views from the top looking over the valley and in the other direction to more mountains that were obscured by the first range. We then headed north through parts of Grand Teton NP that we had not yet visited ... read more
Lewis Lake
Old Faithful
Bison have right of way!

North America » United States » Montana » West Yellowstone September 7th 2017

Today was a better day. I spent the morning fly fishing in the park, I'm sure that helped my attitude. I started first at Nez Perce Creek, a tributary of the Firehole River. I caught one small brown trout there, then moved to the Firehole River itself, where I caught two more brown trout. Yee-haa! At both rivers I was fishing alongside thermal features, with steam rising out of the ground and hot water running into the creek, yet there were plenty of happy trout in the stream. At one spot on Nez Perce Creek I could feel the warm ground through my boots. There is a lifetime of great trout fishing in Yellowstone. You don't need a state fishing license in the park, only a park fishing permit, which is reasonably priced at $18 for ... read more

North America » United States » Montana » West Yellowstone September 6th 2017

There was frost on the car when I got up this morning. It was only 28 degrees here in West Yellowstone. What a difference from a week ago in Zion, where it was 102. We spent basically the whole day today in the national park and only covered half of it, despite driving about a hundred miles. Yellowstone is a big place. Barb and I have been to Yellowstone once before, 24 years ago, in 1993. Of course, memories have a way of sweetening with time, but our visit today didn't measure up to 1993. The roads and facilities were in better shape but there was far more people, and that is in the middle of the week and after Labor Day. The bigger disappointment was that we saw far less wildlife. Maybe it was due ... read more

North America » United States » Montana » West Yellowstone September 5th 2017

So today we left Missoula and started the day with backtracking our way east on I-90, past Butte, Montana, then south on secondary roads to West Yellowstone, Montana. Our campground is right in the town and right on the border of the national park. After checking in and setting up, Barb and I scouted out the town a little but then she found a quilt shop while I went across the street to a fly shop. We had supper at the camper then made a short foray into the park. We saw several elk and a huge traffic jam when they crossed the road. We stopped at the first park campground we came to and stayed for the ranger presentation, which was about the park's wolf population. It was just enough to get us excited for ... read more

North America » United States » Montana » West Yellowstone August 18th 2017

QUAKE LAKE On August 17, 1959 an earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale rattled through the Madison River Gorge near Hebgen Dam. Twenty-eight people camped along the Shore of Hebgen Lake and along the river below the dam were killed when an 80 million ton landslide fetched loose from Sheep Mountain and came crashing down on top of them. The landslide blocked the river and Quake Lake formed behind it until the backed up water could form a new channel for the Madison River. Hebgen Dam was a stout structure built in 1917 and it was damaged but held. The new channel will continue to eat its way through the landslide I suppose until it reaches its original gradient and then Quake Lake will disappear. The new gorge it carves will continue to be unstable ... read more

First things first, yes I am combining 2 days into one! I've been writing each blog the following day, but I'm finding it hard to keep track as there is so much to take in. I was surprised to figure out that it was just yesterday that we left Twin Falls, it feels like that was several days ago. So in part for the sake of writing while the recollections are fresh, and in part because the drive across Idaho was a little blah (no offense Idahoans, you grow some fantastic potatoes), you are getting 2 days combined into one. My intention will be to write up each day in the evening from now on. Ok so the drive from Twin Falls was uneventful. Impressed by the 80mph speed limits on the interstate, California should take ... read more
Yellowstone Canyon
Animal Sanctuary

Last evening, we were lulled off to sleep to the sound of heavy rain tapping on the roof of the RV. The rain turned to snow at some point, and we awoke to a cold, blustery day, with the ground covered in the white stuff. After a leisurely morning of checking our mail, having breakfast, and just hanging around, we put on multiple layers of clothing and met our tour guide, Laura Callaghan, owner of Yellowstone Scenic Tours. Sandy found this company on the web, and we booked them for our group of 10. I must say, there was a lot of nervousness that the snow would prove to be a hazard problem. Nevertheless, we departed at 9:00 sharp. We entered Yellowstone via the West Gate and went to the Firehole Canyon Drive. This road runs ... read more
Elk on the Firehole road
Firehole Falls
Hot Spring at Fountain Flat drive

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