2011 Southwestern USA travel blog

West Yellowstone, MT - Baker's Hole Campground - Site 37

West Yellowstone, MT - Baker's Hole Campground - Site 37, another view

West Yellowstone, MT - Baker's Hole Campground - Site 37, and another

West Yellowstone, MT-Baker's Hole Campground - Site 37 - don't know what...

Deer Lodge to West Yellowstone, MT 0 - our route - 183...

Deer Lodge to West Yellowstone, MT 1

Deer Lodge to West Yellowstone, MT 2

Deer Lodge to West Yellowstone, MT 3

Deer Lodge to West Yellowstone, MT 4

Deer Lodge to West Yellowstone, MT 5

Deer Lodge to West Yellowstone, MT 6 - wind breakers I believe

Deer Lodge to West Yellowstone, MT 7

Deer Lodge to West Yellowstone, MT 8

Deer Lodge to West Yellowstone, MT 9

Deer Lodge to West Yellowstone, MT 10 - fly fishing for trout...

Deer Lodge to West Yellowstone, MT 11 - downtown West Yellowstone

Deer Lodge to West Yellowstone, MT 12

Deer Lodge to West Yellowstone, MT 13

Deer Lodge to West Yellowstone, MT 14

Deer Lodge to West Yellowstone, MT 15 - some painted Bison from...

Deer Lodge to West Yellowstone, MT 16

Deer Lodge to West Yellowstone, MT 17

Deer Lodge to West Yellowstone, MT 18

Deer Lodge to West Yellowstone, MT 19

Deer Lodge to West Yellowstone, MT 20

Deer Lodge to West Yellowstone, MT 21 - a cabin with a...

Deer Lodge to West Yellowstone, MT 22

Yellowstone NP 0 - our route - 170 miles, 147 of it...

Yellowstone NP 1 - the buffalo warning sign just after entering the...

Yellowstone NP 2 - part of the small herd of Elk on...

Yellowstone NP 3

Yellowstone NP 4

Yellowstone NP 5

Yellowstone NP 6 - one of the springs at Terrace Springs

Yellowstone NP 7 - another one - you can barely see it...

Yellowstone NP 8 - this is what Terrace Springs looked like as...

Yellowstone NP 9 - one of the many steam vents we encountered...

Yellowstone NP 10 - Gibbon Falls

Yellowstone NP 11 - one of the hot springs at Artists Paint...

Yellowstone NP 12 - another

Yellowstone NP 13 - some wildflowers along the trail to the Paint...

Yellowstone NP 14

Yellowstone NP 15 - one of the two stags we saw in...

Yellowstone NP 16 - the other

Yellowstone NP 17 - the first of several hundred bison

Yellowstone NP 18 - the Upper Yellowstone Falls - this is the...

Yellowstone NP 19 - closer

Yellowstone NP 20

Yellowstone NP 21

Yellowstone NP 22

Yellowstone NP 23 - this is the Lower Yellowstone Falls from the...

Yellowstone NP 24

Yellowstone NP 25 - some of the canyon

Yellowstone NP 26 - we're on the North Rim now looking down...

Yellowstone NP 27 - a little farther down the North Rim

Yellowstone NP 28 - some of the formations in the canyon

Yellowstone NP 29

Yellowstone NP 30

Yellowstone NP 31 - even farther down the canyon rim

Yellowstone NP 32 - this doesn't really do justice to the colors...

Yellowstone NP 33 - looking farther down the canyon

Yellowstone NP 34 - starting to climb up to Dunraven Pass (8,859...

Yellowstone NP 35

Yellowstone NP 36

Yellowstone NP 37 - headed back down

Yellowstone NP 38 - lots of wildflowers

Yellowstone NP 39

Yellowstone NP 40

Yellowstone NP 41 - our first grizzly feeding on the mountainside

Yellowstone NP 42 - taking a break - eating is hard work!

Yellowstone NP 43

Yellowstone NP 44

Yellowstone NP 45 - an alpine horse trek

Yellowstone NP 46 - Bighorn Sheep ewes we encountered

Yellowstone NP 47

Yellowstone NP 48 - need I say they stopped traffic for awhile?

Yellowstone NP 49 - see ya later

Yellowstone NP 50 - construction encountered on the way to the Northeast...

Yellowstone NP 51

Yellowstone NP 52

Yellowstone NP 53

Yellowstone NP 54

Yellowstone NP 55 - one of the bison herds

Yellowstone NP 56

Yellowstone NP 57 - a Pronghorn Antelope - we saw a lot...

Yellowstone NP 58

Yellowstone NP 59 - another herd of bison

Yellowstone NP 60

Yellowstone NP 61

Yellowstone NP 62

Yellowstone NP 63 - one of the two Marmots feeding alongside the...

Yellowstone NP 64 - the other one - sorry, they wouldn't pose...

Yellowstone NP 65 - Tower Falls

Yellowstone NP 66 - the Petrified Tree - still in the ground

Yellowstone NP 67

Yellowstone NP 68

Yellowstone NP 69 - one of the many, many ground squirrels we...

Yellowstone NP 70 - Wraith Falls

Yellowstone NP 71 - some of the scenery along the trail

Yellowstone NP 72 - an unusual wildflower

Yellowstone NP 73 - more wildflowers along the trail

Yellowstone NP 74 - part of the trail

Yellowstone NP 75 - a small Elk herd as we neared Mammoth...

Yellowstone NP 76 - some of the local residents near the Mammoth...

Yellowstone NP 77 - more of the local herd with a fawn...

Yellowstone NP 78 - the Mammoth Hot Springs from a distance

Yellowstone NP 79 - view of the hot springs terrace from the...

Yellowstone NP 80

Yellowstone NP 81

Yellowstone NP 82

Yellowstone NP 83

Yellowstone NP 84 - views of the hot springs from the top...

Yellowstone NP 85

Yellowstone NP 86

Yellowstone NP 87

Yellowstone NP 88

Yellowstone NP 89

Yellowstone NP 90

Yellowstone NP 91

Yellowstone NP 92 - leaving Mammoth for Norris

Yellowstone NP 93

Yellowstone NP 94 - lots of work to build this road!

Yellowstone NP 95

Yellowstone NP 96 - our second Grizzly - can you find him?...

Yellowstone NP 97

Yellowstone NP 98

Yellowstone NP 99 - more horse riders

Yellowstone NP 100

Yellowstone NP 101 - a particularly rocky section of road

Yellowstone NP 102

Yellowstone NP 103

Yellowstone NP 104

Yellowstone NP 105 - Roaring Mountain - lots of heat inside there!

Yellowstone NP 106

Yellowstone NP 107 - Norris Geyser Basin - Porcelain Basin

Yellowstone NP 108

Yellowstone NP 109

Yellowstone NP 110

Yellowstone NP 111

Yellowstone NP 112

Yellowstone NP 113 - Emerald Spring

Yellowstone NP 114

Yellowstone NP 115 - one of the meadows between Norris and Madison

Yellowstone NP 116

Yellowstone NP 117 - this shows you the reforestation after a fire

Yellowstone NP 118 - a wolf that crossed in front of us

One of the Grizzlies at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center


The trip from Deer Lodge to West Yellowstone, MT was an easy 183 miles of which about half was on Interstate. West Yellowstone is located just outside the West gate to Yellowstone National Park. It is a big time tourist town in season and the prices reflect that. We ate at McDonald's shortly after arriving and spent $16 on just two sandwich meals so even it reflects the tourist atmosphere.

We are staying at Baker's Hole Campground about three miles North of West Yellowstone. We had originally tried to get into Grizzly RV Park which is the most popular and probably the best RV park in West Yellowstone but they couldn't give us a reservation for the full week we wanted, even at 59.95/night plus tax. Baker's Hole is a National Forest campground and we have 50 amp electricity with no other hookups and it has worked out very well. we had to use the tripod to get the satellite through the trees and Verizon is usable but weak. At a savings of $46/day plus tax we are very happy that Grizzly didn't have room for us!!!

We wound up spending three of the days touring the Northern loop of Yellowstone and put about 460 miles on Libby doing that. Yellowstone has to be one of the best National Parks in the system as well as the country's first National Park. We would probably compare it to Denali for wildlife though Denali has more fantastic scenery in our opinion. The scenery in Yellowstone is great just not quite as incredible as Denali. I guess Yellowstone makes up for it in the remarkable geothermal activity present in the park. We only saw the Northern half and will catch Old Faithful and the rest of the Southern half in about a week after our daughter Misty meets us in Billings, MT and we head for Cody, WY and the Grand Tetons.

We did see lots of wildlife. Funny, but our first day we went out we saw more wildlife than the rest of the time we were here. Altogether we saw: 52 elk, 2 grizzly bears, 3 big horn sheep, 9 pronghorn antelope, 3 chipmunks, 2 marmots, 1 golden mantle squirrel, 1 wolf, many ground squirrels and we estimate over 600 bison in several large herds. It was wonderful and well worth going into the park at 6:30 in the morning!

We also went to the IMAX theater for a Yellowstone movie which was so-so. It covered more of the history of the park and we would have much rather seen what we should be looking for in the park. We also visited the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center next door to the IMAX and it was a complete bust. Maybe we are getting jaded with all that we have seen in other places but these two just seemed touristy and not worth the money at all.

Today, Sunday, I have spent most of the day culling through 447 photos we took for the 147 I wound up using and then getting them uploaded on our slow connection. Tomorrow we head for Livingston, MT for three nights of not doing much but relaxing and maybe touring the small town.

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