Monday, September 3, 2012

First Days at Yellowstone National Park (West Yellowstone, Mt)

Our drive to West Yellowstone was uneventful and pleasant.  We are set up at Yellowstone Holiday RV Park, a private campground on Hebgen Lake about 15 miles from the park entrance.

We will be here a week.  We originally scheduled ourselves for 4 days here and 3 days at Fishing Bridge campground in the park.  However, this place is lovely so we canceled our park reservations and extended here for 3 more days....thus a week.  After that our plan is still to try and get a site at Mammoth Campground inside the park near the North Entrance, but who knows where we'll end up.

Monday evening we cruised into West Yellowstone for some dinner (bad, I'm sticking to my ham sandwiches) and did a historic walking tour of the town. You can get a free tour map at the Visitor Center. Very pleasant and very interesting.  We particularly enjoyed this historic rail car built in 1903 for the Vice President of the Union Pacific Railroad.  We learned that the car was retired from service in 1935 just 3 blocks from its present location.  In 1995 it was moved and it's now enclosed in the local Holiday Inn.

Pull out hidden sink 

Tuesday we headed for the park.  This is the first time we've been to Yellowstone and we're excited to be here.  It's about an hour from our campsite to Old Faithful.  Along the way we stopped at most every site to be seen.  Throughout the day we saw lots of varied geysers, mud pots, 

some beautiful waterways,

 and the Firehole waterfall.  You can even swim in this area.

We arrived at Old Faithful about mid day (we rarely get an early start).  You know, most all of my life I've seen hundreds of pictures of Old Faithful so it was nice to finally see the old girl.  She performed right on schedule. 

We spent a fair amount of time in the Old Faithful Inn.  I like my history, particularly the pioneers, mountain men and all those folks headed west.  Yellowstone was created as the first national park in 1872.  The three states that it is located in weren't even states yet.  General Custer and his boys were killed at the battle of The Little Bighorn in 1874 which I think puts into perspective the wild nature of the territory. So construction of the inn began  in 1903 and it opened in 1904.  It certainly was the grand dame of accommodations for the park.  I think, and I believe it is obvious, that the beauty of the inn is the enormity of the materials and the space.  Everywhere you look there are logs, timbers, beams and boulders.

Everything is huge.  The engineering alone is hard for me to imagine.  So I babble enough.  I liked the building and we did a tour.  Our tour guide showed us one of the original rooms in the Inn.  For $98/nt you can still stay in these rooms. You have to share a bath, but you do get an in-room basin and a  fluffy bathrobe to wear as you stroll down the hall to the bathroom.  The rooms are small but have all the charm you could imagine.  

We left Old Faithful Village and headed home hoping to see wildlife.  We were not disappointed.  We saw elk along the river,

numerous buffalo and an impressive Bald Eagle.

Great day for the tourists!



  1. We have yet to be visit Yellowstone ourselves. So loved your pictures and narrative. Ya'll have fun!

  2. Love your your pictures! Let me know if you find my camera lens between Tower Fall and Mammouth Hot Springs! It will be whereever you see bears!!!