We only had one day to visit Yellowstone National Park during our trip to Montana’s Paradise Valley. Deciding how to spend our time was tricky. We knew we would return to the park at some point in the future, but not knowing when we would return left us confused. Should we race around and see everything possible only stopping for a minute or two at a point to take a quick look and snap a few photos, only to jump back in the car and do it all over again somewhere else? Or not see as much, but take the little time we already had and spend time at just a few select points?
You can probably guess that we chose take it easy. With only a day in the park, we were already rushed, and to top it off we had the added pressure of making sure Bergen (22 months) napped at some point during the day. Our first stop was the Mammoth Hot Springs area where, in order keep up with my half marathon training, I got a trail run in while Slaed and Bergen hiked and explored.
After a peaceful drive where Bergen snoozed and Slaed and I took in the sights, we were ready for our next adventure. The drive also gave us some time to make up or minds on what to see,. We decided on the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.
We started off taking in the views of upper falls noting what a wet spring the area must have had judging from the amount of water flowing. As you might imagine, the gushing water really made for a full-on sensory experience.
Moving on to another spot along the canyon, we spent some time walking and hiking around Upper Falls. Aside from my trail run experience, this one of my favorite parts of the day. I couldn’t stop looking at the falls, which meant I also couldn’t stop snapping photos from different points on our trek down (and back up) for a closer look.
At this particular viewpoint, we were closer to the action, and were given somewhat of a respite from the crowds. Since it requires a little bit of a hike, not everyone decides to venture this far. Also, just a little ways out from the viewpoint was a huge nest with a small osprey tucked inside!
Maybe we didn’t see it all, but we did see a few things pretty well. I know we’ll be back.
Have you visited a National Park lately? Which National Park did you explore last? National Public Lands Day is coming up on Saturday, September 28, 2013. On this day, and a few other days during the year, entrance fees to all National Parks are waived.
Are you planning to visit a National Park soon? Tell us about your plans in the comments!
Seattle/Puget Sound Area Readers: Have you entered our Chinook Book Giveaway? Hop on over to the post and get in the running!