National Park Number: 20 of 59
Yellowstone is one of my favorite places on Earth, and one of only two national parks I’d visited before we embarked on this trip. I love its warm colors, burbling mud pots, aqua hot springs, steaming landscapes, boardwalks and expansiveness.
We met up with my parents for our first two days there, driving from Old Faithful to Mammoth Hot Springs and back through Canyon the first day, then to West Thumb and Hayden Valley the next day. Along the way we heard stories about the old Yellowstone, the one my parents experienced as kids, when bears met you at the entrance and you could feed them Fig Newtons through a crack in the window.
After my parents left, we headed back to Grand Teton, then returned to Yellowstone for several more (chilly and rainy) days of boardwalk-wandering. We were unhurried, mostly off-the-grid, and completely stuck on geothermal features, which we couldn’t get enough of. We did no real hiking. We watched Old Faithful erupt four separate times. We spent an entire afternoon just at Biscuit Basin, running around in the rain and steaming our faces next to the hot springs.
In short, it was incredibly lovely and I could have stayed forever.
Yellowstone was America’s first national park and remains one of its best-visited, and I think most people reading here have probably been at least once, so I’ll keep my words spare here and let the pictures do the talking.