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.

An incredible canyon
An incredible canyon

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.

Sunset on the rim
Sunset on the rim

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.

Moody canyon
Moody canyon

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.

The mighty Yellowstone River has two waterfalls in the canyon
The mighty Yellowstone River has two waterfalls in the canyon

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.

Yellow canyon
Yellow canyon

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.

The canyon looked totally different during sunset
The canyon looked totally different during sunset

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?

Terry
I'm Terry, former cubicle-dweller, and now traveler, photographer, writer, and entrepreneur. I quit my job in 2014 to travel to US national parks, then to South East Asia. I write about independent, flexible, long-term, budget travel. Sign up to my newsletter to get the latest news on what I'm up to. I hope you join me on my trek around the world.

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