Wednesday - May 28, 2014
I headed north out of Cody toward Cooke City to enter Yellowstone at the Northeast entrance.
Chief Joseph Scenic Highway
This direction takes you over the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway. The road starts out gently curving upwards with views of the mountain ranges and then there are more switchbacks as you start to climb higher, it is not a difficult drive. And of course, after you climb up, you then need to come back down the other side.
At the top of the road, there is a large parking area with a walking path
and a pedestrian bridge to walk out over the river.
As you approach Cooke City, you will be on the Beartooth Highway, but I did not drive over the Beartooth Pass today. Cooke City states it is the smallest town in America, it is 3 miles from the NE gate of Yellowstone.
display at the Cooke City Visitors Center
When you enter YNP at this entrance, your drive starts in the Lamar Valley where there are usually a lot of bison and elk, some of my co-workers saw white wolves in this area. I was not that lucky and only saw bison in this area.
I am having problems posting the video here and will try to add it to another blog post later.
I continued on towards Gardiner and Mammoth Hot Springs.
At one of the pullouts, I came upon the Undine Falls.
I stopped in Mammoth and walked around the Fort, I did not go into any of the buildings. I walked around the terraces at Mammoth, this is in the NW corner of YNP.
I had lunch in the RV in the parking lot at Mammoth.
Mammoth Hot Springs terraces - water seeping out, flowing down the rocks
It was time to head south and then east again, as I would be staying at the Fishing Bridge Campground for 2 nights, this is the only campground in YNP that has full hookups, which is greatly appreciated as the nights are still cold at the elevation of 7783'.
I do hope to get reservations at some of the other campgrounds in the park, during the summer, when I should not have to use the heater in the evenings.
Yellowstone is huge and I wonder if anyone can possibly visit all of it. There are many scenic pullouts and side roads, its not possible to stop at all of them. Some of the pullouts are crowded with cars and RV's, but there is always another one just down the road.
It is difficult to put a 10 hour driving/touring day into one blog post. I have many, many pictures and there were many scenic views along the way.
Forces of the Northern Range Trail
I got out and walked on many short trails,
I would love to walk further into the off road areas of Yellowstone.
It is recommended that you hike in groups of 4 or more, since this is bear country.
I will have to sign up for some hiking tours.