This time we (I, Navigator & Elder bro) decided to visit Yellowstone National Park. It was Saturday, Sep 8th 2007 we started for Yellowstone from our hotel. We decided to take a new car, so we went to the AVIS office at Denver Airport, took a new Jeep (572-PHV Colorado). Then we started for our travel towards Yellowstone.
Yellowstone National Park is located in the U.S. state of Wyoming & extends to Montana and Idaho. Established in 1872, Yellowstone is America’s first National Park. Yellowstone spans an area of around 8987 sq. km comprising of lakes, canyons, rivers, geysers, hot springs etc.. Half of world’s geothermal features are in Yellowstone, fueled by its ongoing volcanism. The park with its varied wild life is the centerpiece of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem, the largest remaining, nearly-intact ecosystem in the Earth’s northern temperate zone.
From the airport we took E 78th Avenue road to reach the E-470 Toll road, paid the Toll ($3) and approached towards I-25 then I-80 and then US-287. We went via Cheyenne, the capital of Wyoming state. At night it was a very much sleepy city. Elder bro drove the car until 4AM Sunday & then we went to a rest area, parked the car & took some rest. It was a freezing cold outside. We started around 7 AM, but unfortunately after driving few miles our car’s tire blew off. We had to stop the car at roadside & came out of the car for changing the tire. It was a near to impossible task in such a freezing climatic condition. At a time one among us was coming down & helping to open the blown tire. After nearly half an hours attempt we managed to change the tire. It was our passion to travel which I guess was helping us in disguise.
Finally around 9:30 AM we reached the Yellowstone National Park. We entered the park from its South entrance. After driving around 20 min, we watched nature’s one of the most beautiful creation called Yellowstone Lake. Yellowstone Lake is one of the largest high altitude lakes (2376 meters above the sea level) in North America. The huge lake covers around 352 sq km with 177 km of shoreline. Its beauty is beyond description. This huge lake is centered over the Yellowstone Caldera, which is the largest volcanic system in North America. The caldera is considered an active volcano; it has erupted with tremendous force several times in the last two million years. Near the lake there are hundreds of hot springs & geysers. We saw a spectacular view of Yellowstone wild life starting from a bald eagle to a hoard of bison playing & drinking water near the lake. It was an amazing experience.
Then we reached West Thumb Geyser basin, which is the largest geyser basin on the shores of Yellowstone Lake. About 150,000 years ago volcanic explosion formed the West Thumb of Yellowstone lake. The inner loop trail is spread around 0.4 km area & the outer loop trail spread around 0.8 km area & is full of hot springs & geysers.
After that we arrived at the Upper Geyser Basin area, which has the highest concentration of geothermal features in the park. The attraction over here is the Old Faithful Geyser, which is one of the predicable geysers in the Yellowstone area. With an error of 10 minutes, Old Faithful erupts 65 minutes after an eruption lasting less than 2.5 minutes or 92 minutes after an eruption lasting more than 2.5 minutes.
Then we approached towards Madison area & saw few waterfalls, then we reached Norris Geyser Basin, which is the hottest geyser basin in the park. There after we went to Mammoth Hot Springs area. Mammoth is a large hill of travertine that has been created over thousands of years as hot water from the spring cooled and deposited calcium carbonate. Here we got to see elks. Their view was majestic. Then we drove to Tower Roosevelt & from there we saw Yellowstone river.
Then we started back for our hotel at Denver & was cautioned by the Cops for speeding as well. Elder bro drove the whole night & morning around 10 AM we came back to our hotel. It was a memorable journey. Journey of the Wonderland called the Yellowstone.