After leaving the bison in Hayden Valley, Lee and I made our way to the Grand Canyon of Yellowsone to view the Upper and Lower Falls on the Yellowstone river. You can hike down to the top of each falls and also there are great lookouts on the falls as well. The Upper Falls are the smaller falls and the path to the top wasn't bad, there was a beautiful rainbow in the mist... It was quite spectacular! The view of the falls is a bit hard because it bends, it's not nearly as famous as the Lower Falls! The Upper falls is about 100ft high and you can start to see the lava erosion here to... but it becomes even more beautiful after the lower falls.
The path to the crest of the Lower Falls was real steep.... Getting down wasn't as bad but imagining getting back to the top wasn't something you wanted to think about. The Lower Falls drop 300ft, it's the largest amount of waterfall in the Rockies and is twice as high as Niagara Falls, just of course no where as wide. Anyway the canyon is absolutely beautiful. The yellows and colors are crazy, it was definitely worth the walk down to see how epic the canyon is. Of course the walk back up... yeee gads. It was hard.... Luckily the path to artist point, where you get the famous view of Lower Falls was a much, much shorter walk and not as steep.
After the grand canyon and upper and lower falls we took the middle road towards Mammoth Village and the North Entrance. Tripp's favorite past time this vacation was sleeping adorably!
Of course at the North entrance is the Roosevelt arch (which you saw yesterday), and right south of it is Mammoth Hot Springs. I really liked Mammoth as a kid, but every time I've been here it's changed drastically. Much of the Minerva Terrace has dried up along with many of the other springs. It used to be all brightly orange colored (which the colors come from algae and how hot the water is determines the algae that grows, so different temps different colors), now there is only one small area that is still bright. The large phallic thing is the Liberty Cap which is a extinct geyser. It's slowly crumbling... What I like about Mammoth is just seeing how the springs take over... the dead trees being engulfed by the searing water then trapped by the dried white plateaus that are left. It's so interesting.
On the way back to our cabin we were able to see beautiful sunsets, especially since we were headed west. The atmospheric perspective of the mountains look like paintings. Lee and I had a wonderful time discussing the different colors we saw and wishing we could paint what was in front of us all the while snacking on some bison jerky... I think it was a perfect Yellowstone-y way to end our Yellowstone day.
The last couple of pictures were from the city of West Yellowstone, I loved the owl neon, and the mexican bus restaraunt was so cute! Lee and I actually ate at a tasty chinese food restaurant... Yep all the way in Idaho and that's what we come up with :)
So that's our Yellowstone day, we did spend a couple more hours the next day in the park as well. For those of you that have never been to Yellowstone I do have a warning. It SMELLS in some places! Like butt... Like butt farts... Like rotten egg butt farts... I warned Lee but there were certain areas that really smelled... But what do you expect with a geothermal active place spitting out sulfur....
Until the next day
photos by me and lee