4 Hours in Yellowstone

I love road trips. 15 hours in a car? Sounds like a dream come true to me! But one of the main reasons I love road trips so much because they allow for spontaneity, and that's exactly how this quick stop in Yellowstone came about. 

We were hightailing our way across Montana when my sister asked where Yellowstone is. After much deliberation that night about whether the eight hour detour would be doable, we decided to make what appeared to be impossible possible, and I'm sure glad we did. The 20 hour drive to Seattle may have been rough towards the end, but what we saw at Yellowstone was truly breathtaking and worth it! Plus, we couldn't think of a time we'd be in Wyoming again as a family, so it was now or never. 

We entered from the North entrance, and before we even hit any of the major tourist sights I was already amazed by how quickly the landscape could change around every corner. 

One of the first stops we passed was Mammoth Hot Springs. Often being described as a cave turned inside out, the photos of this geothermal area are truly unbelievable. Had we not been in such a hurry and known how much natural beauty was going to be along this path we would've gotten out of the car, but that day we simply glanced at the springs we could see from the road. 

Passing by the hot springs, we continued on our way through the park. My mom really wanted to see Old Faithful, so that's the end goal we had in mind.

After a significant amount of driving time we saw tons of people stopping to park, so we went with the flow thinking there had to be something spectacular for the area to be so popular. After entering the Midway Geyser Basin we quickly discovered we were right. The first thing we saw was this little hot spring waterfall, but that was only a little teaser to what lied ahead.

Behind the little waterfall was Excelsior Geyser Crater. The crater was huge, once being the largest geyser in the world, and filled with the lightest turquoise water I've ever seen! One of the best parts was being able to feel the heat radiating off the 199 degree water as we were drawn closer and closer. 

Continuing along the trail, I was not expecting what I came across next. Going into Yellowstone I was expecting to see plenty of geysers, hot springs and forestry, but I was not prepared for otherworldly beauty of the Grand Prismatic Spring. Its size, being the third largest hot spring in the world, was enough to make me stop in awe, but the deep blue fading into a fiery orange was a vibrancy I had never seen in nature before. 

It made me stop and think about how much our world, even our country, has to offer. We as people can create astounding buildings and monuments, but nothing we create will ever come close to what nature can. 

As we were walking down the path back to our car, to the right of the Grand Prismatic Spring, we saw this little turquoise pool and the landscape of the Midway Geyser Basin.

This was our last view, a picturesque, flowing river, before jumping back in the car to make our way to Old Faithful.

As we were driving we took a moment to slow down a bit to watch a few elk eat and then run back into the forest. 

Finally, our last stop in Yellowstone was Old Faithful. As we were walking around, admiring the famous geyser we overheard that it was due to erupt in 30 minutes. Seizing our luck in timing we used the time to grab a quick lunch and then watched in awe as it spewed water 130+ feet into the air.

After watching Old Faithful erupt, we took the West exit, and jumped back on our route to Seattle.

Trips centered around being outdoors and taking in what nature has to offer have always created my favorite memories, and going into a two week trip full of stops in some of America's greatest cities, Yellowstone was a breath of fresh air. Being a stop that popped into our minds last minute we flew through the park in four hours, but after seeing a glimpse into what the park has to offer I'm already looking forward to spend an extended amount of time in Yellowstone some day in the future! 

Have any of y'all ever been to Yellowstone? I'd love to know what you thought and your favorite parts in the comments down below! 

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