I was excited to finally have made it to Yellowstone National Park. But the weather was terrible: cold and rainy. I’d been lucky with the weather so far on #TerryTreksUSA, so I didn’t know what to do in a National Park while it rains. The parks are all about being outside, but being outside in the rain isn’t fun. I killed some time in the tiny town of Cooke City drinking coffee hoping it would stop.
It became clear it wasn’t going to stop, so I put on my rain gear and drove into the park. It turned out not to be that bad. Yellowstone is gigantic, and I still had a long drive to Canyon Village, where I was staying tonight. I drove through the Lamar Valley, a huge plain, stopping at the viewpoints to walk around a little and take pictures. The viewpoints where free of people.
After setting up camp in the Canyon campground, I went to see the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. It was incredible. I got to see a lot of canyons on #TerryTreksUSA, and this one was one of the most impressive. It was strikingly yellow. This canyon alone could be its own national park, but it’s just one small part of the wonderland that is Yellowstone National Park.
I photographed the canyon during sunset. Nobody was around because of the rain. The next morning I came back before tour buses started disgorging loads of Chinese tourists. Protip: get an early start in Yellowstone to avoid the crowds. It was a foggy morning, which made the canyon look moody. It’s always worth revisiting sites to see them during different light.
I thoroughly explored the canyon. I walked, not drove, the south rim trail, went to Artist’s Point, and climbed down and back up Uncle Tom’s trail.
After my busy morning I did a long day hike to Clear Lake. It was a spectacular trail past backcountry geysers and views of the canyon. Most people only drive to viewpoints, so I didn’t see many people on the trail.
There’s so much to see in Yellowstone and I was only going to be here a week. Would it be enough time to see everything?