Eight-and-a-half Hours in Yellowstone National Park

What up Road Trip Warriors!? So I spent 8.5 hours today driving around Yellowstone National Park hitting all the major attractions and stopping by at some of the smaller ones as well. I drove through forests, snowy mountain roads, rain, and by numerous bison and elk! It was a FULL day and I captured so many incredible photos. I was very fortunate and I am thrilled to share some of my experiences here with you all!

Gibbon Falls

First stop was Gibbon Falls! It is a wonderful waterfall, and definitely worth the stop. Get out of your vehicle and enjoy some of Yellowstone’s beautiful scenery.

Gibbons Falls

Beryl Spring

Under proper lighting, this spring shines like the gemstone, beryl. It spewed steam and the smell of the spring was unappealing. The temperature of the spring ranges from 188.5 degrees Fahrenheit to 192 degrees Fahrenheit. It is one of the hottest springs in Yellowstone!

Beryl Spring

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

This location was top priority on my todo list. I HAD to see Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. I had seen it many times on television and in pictures. The sight is much better in person. From the viewpoint, I was able to capture a photo of the canyon with a rainbow created from the mist of the Lower Falls. There was also an eagle’s nest in the canyon. If I had a better lens, I would have loved to get a picture of the eagles.

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone Sign

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone with rainbow

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone with trees

Before leaving the parking lot, I noticed a raven perched up in a tree above me and I thought it was a cool shot. There was a storm moving in and the contrast between the dark and light clouds was intriguing. I figured it was worth sharing.

Raven in tree Yellowstone

Lower Falls

These falls are beyond impressive. They roar like thunder as they pour down into the canyon. It is the largest waterfall in Yellowstone and the water falls 308 feet. I took a trail down to the top of these falls and that was where I was able to get the photo of the mist creating the rainbow. It was an experience I won’t soon forget. I then went to another location further down the road where I could actually photograph the entire waterfall. If you visit Yellowstone, Lower Falls is a MUST!

Lower Falls Yellowstone NP

Mammoth Hot Springs

Another noteworthy spot in Yellowstone National Park. There are many wooden boardwalks to check out the springs in this location. You also get a great vantage point of Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel below you.

Mound Spring

Minerva Terrace

Practicing with Sony a6000…

After leaving Mammoth Hot Springs and driving further through Yellowstone, I found a pull-off with amazing views. Using my left mirror, I wanted to practice some creative shots with my Sony a6000 that I have been using for the past few months. Here are a couple of the photos I liked…I’m a work in progress.

Mountain mirror shot

Cliffs, car mirror, my arm Yellowstone

Clearwater Springs

As it got later in the day, I saw some springs that nobody was parked at. I stopped to take some pictures and enjoy the serenity.

Clearwater Springs

BISON TRAFFIC

I have never seen so many bison walking down the road at once. There had to have been at least thirty of them. All of them were within feet of my car (was worried that one would hit me). Every time I have seen these creatures, they have behaved like gentle giants. I have also seen videos of them charging and I would most definitely not want to upset one…

Bison Traffic Jam Yellowstone NP

Baby bison in Yellowstone NP

Fountain Paint Pots, Silex Pool, and Earthquake’s Offspring

I saw more springs and I had to stop. They were all very active and fun to observe. Silex Pool was a beautiful turquoise and Earthquake’s Offspring was my favorite as it bubbled and tossed hot mud around.

Silex Spring

Earthquake's Offspring Yellowstone NP

Fountain Paint Pots Yellowstone NP

There was also a geyser at this location that shot water high out of the ground. I took pictures of it, but it was difficult to see due to all of the steam.

Opal Pool, Turquoise Pool, and Grand Prismatic

The last stop of the day were the three pools mentioned in the subtitle. By the time I got here, it was approaching 7:15 PM and it was raining. I could not live with myself if I did not try to get some photos of these pools, especially the iconic Grand Prismatic. I got some pics of them….they aren’t the best (it was thundering and raining by the time I got close to them), but I am thankful for having the opportunity to try.

Opal Pool

The Opal Pool is the pic above.

Turquoise Pool

Grand Prismatic

All Said and Done…

I just wanted to show how much you can see in a single day at this beautiful national park. Yellowstone has so much to offer, and a lot of the attractions can be hit by just spending the day driving around! If I had more time, I would have loved to hike one of the trails. I will have to plan a hike for the next time I am in Yellowstone! Anyway, thank you for taking the time to read this far if you have and for checking out my pictures. Don’t forget to hit the like button if you enjoyed this post, comment (I enjoy feedback), and tap the follow button if you love seeing nature photography and adventure photos!

-Ant

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