Yellowstone October 2017

Discussion in 'Hiking & Camping' started by swmalone, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. swmalone

    swmalone Member

    Messages:
    140
    Location:
    Northern Utah
    My wife and I have had a trip planned to Yellowstone in early October. My in-laws had offered to let us use their time-share in West Yellowstone, little did we know that this would later mean that my Mother-In-Law would decide she wanted to join us.

    The only time previous to this that I have visited Yellowstone was almost exactly 8 years ago when we took my parents. My mom had terminal cancer and she had wanted to visit a bunch of National Parks so we snuck Yellowstone in right before they closed down the roads. The trip this year was also a bit of a remembrance trip for me.

    Day 1 - We arrived in West Yellowstone around noon and decided that we would visit the Canyon Village area. We mostly visited overlooks and hiked sections of the North Rim trail to view the Upper and Lower falls. One the way back we stopped at Artists Paint Pot and did the boardwalk tour as it was getting dark.
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    Day 2 - They had just re-opened the road from Norris to Mammoth, but what we didn't know was that there would significant delays and that the road was not really present. We were in our Jetta and as we were being guided through by the pilot car we could hear scraping along the bottom. We made it through but decided we were going to try to go back a different route. We wanted to go up this way for a couple of reasons. I really wanted to check out the Roosevelt Arch in Gardner, Mt and my wife found a hike in a guidebook that she wanted to try. After getting through the construction we pulled off and started up our hike to Bunsen Peak. A storm was moving in so the temperature had dropped a bit into the high 30's low 40's and we were getting wind gusts up to 40mph. The trail rises about 1500 feet in a little over 2 miles. We ran into a few people on the trail but considering that we were in Yellowstone we were pleasantly surprised at the amount of solitude. At the top the wind was blowing like crazy but we spent some time in the shelter of the communications shack at the top. We did hit some patches of ice and snow on the way but overall a very pleasant hike.
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    We then drove through to visit the Roosevelt Arch in Gardner, MT. I was the one primarily interested in visiting this. My wife showed a bit more interest once we arrived and she actually saw it. My Mother-In-Law had absolutely no interest in it what-so-ever. I find it a little disappointing that visitors from other countries show more interest in our history that members of my own family that have lived in the area their entire life.

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    We then drove back to visit the Mammoth area. I was hoping to do the historical walk through the barracks and other military buildings but we were getting crunched on time. We did walk around a little and look at the Elk that hang out in the yards around the buildings. Then we walked around the board walks at Mammoth.
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    We decided that since they just re-opened Dunraven pass we would drive that route back to West Yellowstone instead of going through the construction back to Norris. It was starting to get dark so we didn't stop and look at much but we did get to witness a large Bull Bison chasing around a smaller one. It was making this deep grunting sound and tossing its head around. When the smaller one took off it emitted a pretty impressive projectile spit.
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    Day 3 - My wife said we broke her Mom with the hike up Bunsen Peak. So when we woke up that morning my Mother-In-Law said she had to leave right after breakfast to get to Twin Falls for a golf tournament. It turns out the tournament wasn't until the following day at noon and it was only a 4 hour drive to Twin Falls. It had snowed the night before which made the park have a very different look than the previous days. We decided to swing towards Old Faithful and do the boardwalk hikes around Midway and Biscuit Basins. We went to Old Faithful and then decided to call it a day and head home. Overall a very enjoyable trip. In addition to visiting the park we did swing by The Slippery Otter pub for dinner Saturday night. They had a great selection of beers and the food was pretty good. As a bonus I discovered they had a shuffleboard table and I ended up teaching a few guys from Manchester, UK how to play shuffleboard.
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  2. Rockskipper

    Rockskipper Member

    Messages:
    733
    Location:
    W. Colorado
    It is somewhat sad that so many Americans don't seem to appreciate what we have here in terms of national parks and wilderness, as well as the history behind the parks. It would be very frustrating for me to hang around with someone who had such little interest.

    Nice report, I was just wishing I could be in Yellowstone and wondering how much snow was there.
     
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  3. swmalone

    swmalone Member

    Messages:
    140
    Location:
    Northern Utah
    They closed Dunraven Saturday night. There is a pretty good amount of snow on Washburn.
     
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  4. Pringles

    Pringles Member

    Messages:
    69
    I was there last weekend, and I'll be going this weekend, and your report made me want to go tomorrow, too. Nice pictures. Thanks for sharing.
     
  5. swmalone

    swmalone Member

    Messages:
    140
    Location:
    Northern Utah

    We should try to get up there more often. We only live a little over 4 hours from West Yellowstone. I have only been twice and both times in October. I have never seen grand prismatic without a dense cover of steam. I am just not sure I want to go in the summer and deal with the crowds.
     
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  6. Absarokanaut

    Absarokanaut Member

    Messages:
    448
    Thanks for sharing your trip. I understand why you chose West but I'm just gonna interject an opinion here. I am not a big fan of West Yellowstone because other than the Bechler it makes my favorite parts of the park difficult for day trips. Now I go to Yellowstone rarely and when I do Silvergate is my out of park lodging of choice because it is so convenient for the Lamar and the Lulu-Daisy Pass loop is exquisite.

    I hope you get back and do Avalanche Peak, Slough Creek, etc. Thanks again and let me know if you ever need a fat fifty something to hike with across the Southern half of the GYE.
     
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  7. Rockskipper

    Rockskipper Member

    Messages:
    733
    Location:
    W. Colorado
    I spent last fall in Livingston. It's not super close, but is a pretty easy drive to the Lamar, which is open in the winter.
     
  8. swmalone

    swmalone Member

    Messages:
    140
    Location:
    Northern Utah
    Is Silvergate up by the NE entrance? We might have to look into that. It still might be easiest for us to go through West Yellowstone, I would have to look at the times and mileage. The reason we used West Yellowstone this time was a free condo, well free with the exception of my mother-in-law tagging along. I will have to check out the Lulu-Daisy pass. My wife wants to spend more time up there and try to do some longer day hikes or possibly an overnighter although the thoughts of wolves and bears makes her want to stick mostly to the day hikes.
     
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