America’s First National Park
America’s first national park is named after the river that runs through it. Yellowstone National Park is a nearly 3,500-sq.-mile wilderness recreation area atop a volcanic hot spot. Within the park’s massive boundaries, visitors can find mountains, rivers, lakes, waterfalls and some of the most concentrated geothermal activity in the world. The park has 60% of the world’s geysers, as well as hot springs and mud pots. It is also home to diverse wildlife including grizzly bears, wolves, bison and elk.
The Lower Loop
The Grand Loop Road is a figure 8 that can be divided into the upper and lower loops. When I picked up my Gaperguide I was told that some people have driven the whole loop in one day but it was not recommended. I might only get here once in my life so I didn’t want to rush through it.
Once again I was up at dawn. The ever helpful Valet brought my car around and I headed out with Yellowstone my plan for the day. First I would have to retrace some of my drive from yesterday. It’s approximately 60 miles From Jackson to the South Entrance to Yellowstone National Park, most of it through the beautiful Grand Teton National Park.
The Tetons are so beautiful. I should have put the pedal to the metal and booked it to the South Entrance to Yellowstone but I couldn’t do it. I had to keep stopping for more scenic photos. The Jackson Lake area is another spectacular location. I was also a bit nervous about what the scents would be like in Yellowstone. I’ve been to hot springs before and the smell of sulfur (rotten eggs) can be almost overwhelming. What would it be like in a super volcano? I’d never read anything about smells but I’d read a lot about the geysers and thermal vents.
My Gaperguide warned me to slow down. The entrance to the park was coming up. I stopped for the Yellowstone sign and got out. I looked out over the Snake River Basin and spotted my first puffs of steam . The wind was in my face so I sniffed cautiously. It wasn’t bad. I had to really concentrate to pick up any sulfur order at all. That made me feel much better about this excursion.