Darlene and I enjoyed an extended road trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks this summer. While in Yellowstone, we spent most of our time in safari mode, scouting the prime bear and wolf habitats (Lamar and Hayden Valleys) in the mornings and evenings. Our perseverance paid off with many sightings: black bears, grizzly bears, wolves, coyotes, fox, elk, moose, bighorn sheep, beavers, marmots, rabbits, geese, cranes, storks and various other birds and rodents.
We did some day hiking but only on busy, populated trails (like the Canyon trail) since there was only the two of us (a minimum of three are recommended for backcountry trails to avoid bear encounters) and we rode our mountain bikes up the north side of Mount Washburn. After enjoying many days in the north half of the park (Canyon, Hayden Valley, Tower-Roosevelt, Lamar Valley, Norris and Mammoth), I was pretty shocked when we approached the Old Faithful area. It’s so busy and built-up with parking lots and lodges that it felt like going to a theme park, not a national park. The geysers and geothermal pools were wonderful and beautiful to see but we were both anxious to escape back to the quieter areas. If you’re not going to be camping or backpacking, I strongly recommend staying in the Canyon lodge area instead!
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