Our third day in the park consisted of visiting what is known as the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, and Artists Point.
We woke early on Monday morning to a very heavy snow storm, both the car and the roads had a thick layer of snow on them. Obviously we were worried about driving in the snow in our little Ford Focus hire car, but we were told we would be fine as it is front wheel drive.
Rebecca was the first to drive in the morning, braving the snow, which being British, we are not used to as any small bit of snow we get in England the entire country freaks out and goes into meltdown. The drive was a little difficult but we took our time and eventually got to Canyon Village.
We parked up and walked to the lookout point where we could see the lower falls. Immediately you can see why they call it the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, as it is a huge steep valley which the Yellowstone River carved through the hardened lava and welded ash from the last time the supervolcano erupted (about 600,000 years ago). As you would expect, there are still steam vents within the canyon showing the presence of the underground volcano.
After visiting the lookout point we drove a little further away to another very famous lookout point called Artists Point. This viewpoint is the one where all the famous pictures of the waterfall are taken. Unfortunately it was a cloudy and dull day so we didnt get a great view from here.
The next day, on the tuesday, we set out early again to go back to Mammoth hot springs to go to the visitor centre. On our way there there were a few cars pulled up on the side of the road, so we decided to stop and take a look at what they were all taking photos of. We saw what looked like a small wolf, although it was on its own, and wolves hunt in packs. So when everyone was saying that it was a wolf, I was a bit suspicious. As much as i wanted it to be a wolf, it turned out to be a coyote, which are distant relatives of the wolf, and a lot smaller. Coyote are probably a rarer sight than a wolf due to them being much smaller and more elusive.
It was an interesting couple of days to say the least, and it’s always good when you see an unusual wildlife sighting other than bison.