Yellowstone National Park, Part 2

For our first full day in Yellowstone, we ate an early breakfast at the hotel before starting a hike to Undine Falls via the Lava Creek trail (8.6 miles). We followed two sets of grizzly tracks for several miles, but only ended up seeing some elk, bison, and a bald eagle.

Elk

Crossing Lava Creek

Bald Eagle

The falls themselves were pretty impressive, particularly because the creek was running high due to the spring snow runoff.

Route to Undine Falls

Undine Falls

We finished the hike around lunchtime, then swung by the visitor center for trail updates before starting on the Beaver Pond loop (5.2 miles). The trail meandered past several mountain ponds and beaver dams, but the elevation changes were very tiring.

Beaver Pond

Snack break

By the time we finished around 4:00pm, we decided to drive down to Canyon Village (overlooking the Yellowstone River). On the way, we passed a group of bison walking in the opposite direction. Traffic was backed up for at least half a mile, but they didn’t show any signs of moving to the shoulder. We also saw another grizzly bear on the return trip.

And I thought tractors were slow

Even though the temperature was down in the 30’s, we were fortunate enough to avoid snow for most of the day. The exception, of course, was when we stopped to take pictures of the canyon.

Lower Falls (honest)

On the way back, we decided to stop in Norris to walk through the geyser basin (2.0 miles).

Cistern Spring

Norris geyser basin

Approximate Total Distance: 15.8 miles

Published in: on May 28, 2011 at 2:08 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Simply amazing Matt and Allison! Each time I read a blog post I wonder to myself why am I still in Indiana! There is so much else out there.

    The Undine Falls look down right gorgeous and Yellowstone is a must see on the bucket list of things to do. Thanks for sharing and have a safe trip!

  2. “only ended up seeing some elk, bison, and a bald eagle”! Only! You do realize that Yellowstone is about the only place in the lower 48 where you could see elk, bison, bald eagle, and a grizzly bear in the same day don’t you? That is so cool! But I am beginning to believe you are slightly jinxed when it comes to the weather. You only had snow while at one of the most beautiful views in the park! That is a bummer. But it sounds like you had a good hiking day anyway. Here’s hoping you get another one on Saturday! (and once those bison get on the road all you can do is wait and hope they don’t decide to simply stand in the way!)

  3. Nice! (I was hoping you would be able to photograph a bald eagle.) 15.8 miles in the cold with the elevation changes and on that terrain is impressive. Bruce made some fine points regarding the wildlife and your misfortune regarding the weather! Looking forward to your next entry.


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