Disneyland may be the "happiest place on earth" but the motto "like no place on earth" undoubtedly belongs to Yellowstone National Park. This isn't just a proclamation from a Yellowstone fanatic and proud Wyomingite; the fact is that Yellowstone contains the largest area of geothermal activity and the most number of geysers than any other place on earth. What's truly amazing is that visitors can get very close to these features, often only yards away. A 1200 mile family road trip took us to nearly all corners of the park, enabling us (on our quest to visit All Fifty States) to set foot in Montana and Idaho, in addition to Wyoming, our home state. We stopped at most visitor centers and points of interests along the way which made for very long but enjoyable days. Yellowstone is extremely large and the roads are not always fast due to road construction and animal traffic jams. Despite the hours in the car, we were never bored because of the varying unworldly scenery and serene forests. The trip was amazing! My one disappointment was not seeing a bear in the park or a bald eagle. However, we saw raptors at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and a bald eagle and bear at the Wolf/Grizzly Discover Center. In the park we saw swan, deer and buffalo.
Our trip itinerary is below and the slideshow contains some of the most interesting photos from the trip.
Day 1: Drove from Cheyenne, WY to Cody, WY. Stopped at the dinosaur museum along the way in Thermopolis, WY. Spent the night in Cody, WY.
Day 2: Spent several hours in the morning at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Drove from Cody, WY to the to the east entrance of Yellowstone. Drove the east loop north and spent the night in Gardiner, MT, the town near the north entrance of Yellowstone. The kids got a new state!
Day 3: Drove the west loop south and headed to the west entrance of Yellowstone. Stayed outside the town of West Yellowstone and experienced our first time "glamping" at Yellowstone Under Canvas.
Day 4: Drove 5 miles east so we could put our feet down in Idaho (and get a new state!). Headed back and spent an hour or so at the Grizzly/Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone and then headed into Yellowstone. Drove south on the west loop and out of the park through the south entrance towards Grand Teton National Park. Spent some time in Grand Teton National Park sitting on the beach, lunch in Jackson, WY, and then stayed the night in Pinedale, WY.
Day 5: Headed home from Pinedale, WY to Cheyenne, WY.