Let’s pick up from where we left off…
We swiftly left Salt Lake City on Friday 21st at around 9am, after picking our hire car up we started driving, crossing the Utah state border into Idaho, and up to West Yellowstone in Montana, which took us five and a half hours. Yes, it was a very long drive, but it was very scenic.
On our first full day in West Yellowstone, we decided to go to the tourist information centre, like every tourist does… We then went to visit the West Yellowstone Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Centre, where they take in bears and wolves that otherwise wouldn’t survive in the wild. It was amazing to be able to see grizzly bears and wolves up close, which is definitely a once in a lifetime experience.
After visiting the centre, we went back to the hotel for lunch before setting off on a little road trip to see Quake Lake, which was formed by an 7.3 magnitude earthquake in 1959. This is why you can see loads of dead trees sticking up out of the water, as they were quickly engulfed by the water. Earthquake lake is 4 miles long, 120 feet deep and slowly getting smaller over time as the lake drains and the river resumes it’s original path.
In the afternoon, we had quite a lot of time to spare so we decided to go into Yellowstone National Park a day earlier than originally planned. As soon as we entered the park it was obvious why everyone we had spoken to had said that we would love it. It is a stunning place, and so vast that you forget that you’re actually driving on top of a supervolcano! However, there are many reminders of the volcano everywhere you drive, such as smoking rivers and hot springs. By far the most abundant wildlife species that you will see are bison, they are particularly fond of walking along the roads, making for good photo opportunities from the safe distance of your car.
We drove all the way to the Norris Geyser Basin, and the presence of the supervolcano is initially obvious due to the overwhelming smell of sulfur, which, by the way, if you didn’t know, smells like eggs… But the basin is a beautiful sight, like nothing you have seen before. It is the one of hottest and most changeable thermal areas of Yellowstone, and is home to geysers and colourful hot springs.
After a jam-packed and eventful day, we eventually headed back to West Yellowstone via the West Entrance, and had a lovely meal out before heading to bed to prepare for the next day.