Yellowstone National Park

My weekend in Yellowstone.


Yellowstone National Park

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by starvingactor on September 23, 2007

Yellowstone National Park gets its name from the Yellowstone river. The National park which is the United States’ first national park, is partly located on the caldera of an active volcano. But just as I was about to pack my bags and hitch-hike my way out of the park, I was assured by our tour guide that the last eruption happened over 600,000 years ago and that there are all sorts of scientists, geologists, etc studying the volcanic activity at Yellowstone. I decided to stay on for a little longer. I sure am glad that I did!${QuickSuggestions} ${BestWay} You will definitely need some sort of transportation to get around the park.

Grant Village Lodge

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by starvingactor on October 29, 2007

Grant Village Lodge is located in Grant Village, about a 45 minute drive from Old Faithful Inn. It really is a very basic hotel, similar to a lodge. The room was spacious, clean and had basic furniture 2 beds, a table, a chair, a coffee maker. No TV, air conditioning or anything really luxurious. We never really needed an air condition as it was quite cool when we stayed in June. The bathroom was clean and basic but had a blow dryer.

The lodge is set in a somewhat wooded area, and is comprised of about 5 or 6 separate buildings. The building we stayed in was a 2 storey one and there was no elevator. There is separate building that houses the reception desk. The staff were all friendly and knowledgeable. There are two restaurant/dining rooms on this campus. The restaurant served a pretty good breakfast.

The spartan rooms and wooded setting gave a feel of actually staying in a lodge. Don't expect a whole lot of luxury, but if you are looking for basic and clean accomodations in the park, this would work.
Grant Village Lodge
Old Faithful Bypass Road
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, 82190

Old Faithful Inn Dining Room

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by starvingactor on October 24, 2007

The Old Faithful Dining Room is located in the Old Fatihful Inn in Yellowstone park. The inn and the restaurant are both modeled after a glorified lodge - very rustic in appearance, yet modern in amenities. Although the dining room is very large, it still manages to have a very cozy atmosphere.

Dinner is served from 5 to 10 pm. There is a dinner buffet for about $26 and even featured Elk meat. It seemed alright. But our party of eight was more interested in ordering from the menu. The menu is fairly small, but there were even vegetarian options. Most main course items were in the $17-$25 range. I ordered Crab Cakes for appetizers and Alaska Salmon for the main coures. The portions were quite large so we all struggled to finish our main course. I also tried some of the Tofu and Soba noodles and the Pork Chops. Of the 3 main dishes, I thought the Salmon was the best.

This restaurant is somewhat upscale in its presentation. But they manage to do that without being snooty. When in Yellowstone, I would definitely go back.



Old Faithful Inn Dining Room

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
307/344-7311

Circle of Fire tour

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by starvingactor on October 24, 2007

The best part of one day was spent on the Circle of Fire tour. This tour travels along the lower portion of Yellowstone's figure eight road system. The major sights include the Upper and Lower Geyser Basins, Yellowstone Lake, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, and Norris Geyser Basin. The tour bus stopped at each of these locations, allowing for time to enjoy the sights, take pictures, take restroom breaks. The tour guide was also nice enough to pull over when there were wildlife sightings.

The tour costs USD 55. It started at around 9 am and concluded around 445 pm, in time for an eruption of Old Faithful geyser. There was also ample time for a lunch break at one of the stops.

The tour guide was a fountain (geyser?) of information. He obviously was very familiar with the park and was well versed in its history, wildlife and geothermal features. His knowledge combined with his sense of humor made for a very entertaining few hours.

Old Faithful Geyser

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by starvingactor on October 28, 2007

Yellowstone National Park is apparently the home of over 50% of the known geothermal features on this planet. I know a geyser when I see one, but I could not tell you accurately what triggers this natural phenomenon or why they are in such abundance at this park. It all has something to do with volcanic activity and abundant surface water.

The most famous of the geysers is Old Faithful Geyser. This geyser is the star, the demigod, the mack daddy of all geysers in Yellowstone National Park. Just like clockwork, it erupts roughly every 90 minutes or so which equates to about 15 eruptions per day. The geyser is located in the Upper Geyser basin, just outside the Old Faithful Inn.

The eruptions can last from 2 to 5 minutes, projecting hot water up 200 feet. You may have seen the commercial on TV in which a park ranger pours a glass of Metamucil into Old Faithful to help the geyser stay regular. Yeah, we should all be so regular! Ha!

There are benches about 200 feet away around the geyser and there always seemed to be a fairly large gathering in time for the eruptions. I was lucky to catch this natural phenomenon in two occasions.
Yellowstone National Park
Headwaters of the Yellowstone River
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, 82190
(307) 344-7381

Wildlife Spotting at Yellowstone

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by starvingactor on October 28, 2007

Yellowstone is home to many species of animals: elks, antelopes, wolves (reintroduced into the park about 10 years ago), buffaloes, and even grizzly bears make Yellowstone their home. The most common of the big animals are bison. When we spotted our first bison, we were so excited. Pulled the car over, took pictures and just stared at it for a while like tourists gawking the Statue of Liberty. But after our 50th bison or so, I noticed a few yawns. In all, there are an estimated 4000 bison in Yellowstone. I think I got to meet about 2000 of them in one day!

We also caught sight of a few elks, buffaloes, antelopes and sadly just one lousy grizzly! The grizzly was so far off, grazing away in the fields. For a while I was not sure if it was just some hairy ranger tending to the grass. But our diligent tour guide assured me that it was a grizzly and the fairly large crowd of 200 or so viewers with their telephoto lenses out convinced me that indeed, we had spotted our first grizzly.
Yellowstone National Park
Headwaters of the Yellowstone River
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, 82190
(307) 344-7381

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