Sunday, October 7, 2012

Yellowstone National Park

Have you ever been to Yellowstone? I know a lot of Americans who make it a tradition to visit Yellowstone with their families. A lot of people hire RVs and park it right inside Yellowstone Park and camp out. Sounds brilliant to me. So one Friday night, I was watching a documentary on Yellowstone National Park and telling my husband how I wish to go there someday. He pulled out his laptop and started looking at hotels. Unfortunately, everything was booked. He told me people booked in advance because usually it's very crowded and during peak times, the prices are high. In a matter of minutes, I saw he'd found an overpriced motel (something outside the park, about 10 minutes away) and booked it for the very next day. Omg! My heart leaped with joy but I tried to sound chilled out, smiled at him and said "Thank you."  :) 

That very night, I packed our bags for the weekend and in the morning we set out for Yellowstone. On our way, we stopped at Idaho Falls.

Here is me, trying to keep my hair from flying away.

They were series of mini waterfalls all around. And on the side, there were people jogging or taking their dogs for a walk. Quite nice and windy.
Idaho Falls
Next stop was Yellowstone National Park. It wasn't too far from there. It took about 4.5 hours to drive from Utah to reach Yellowstone. So, it's not too far. Yellowstone is primarily in the state of Wyoming, but extends into Montana and Idaho.

Ankit and I, just before entering the park. 

You have to buy a ticket for $25 before entering the park. It is valid for one private vehicle (1-6 passengers). The fee provides a 7-day permit to both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. The price of the ticket becomes higher for bigger vehicles that carry more passengers. 

The moment we entered the park, my eyes were popping out in every direction. The place is soooooooo pretttttttyyyyyyyyyy!!

This was the first picture I clicked after entering the park.
I think it was here where I wasn't sure if it was the immense beauty of the nature that surrounded me or my husband singing romantic songs for that brought tears to my eyes. All I can remember is...bliss.
Notice how the water is steaming. This is because half of the world's geothermal features are here in Yellowstone. It is covered by boiling hot springs, fumaroles, mud spots, and geysers. 
It is said that about 640,000 years ago,  this area in the center of the park suddenly exploded. I heard in a documentary that this eruption was so huge that some  of its ashes fell all the way in Canada. They say now that at the center, a smoldering caldera remained, a collapsed crater, 45 by 30 miles.

Old Faithful Geyser
This is a picture of the most famous geyser in the world and America's greatest natural wonder called "Old Faithful." It is called that because it has the most predictable geographical feature on Earth. It erupts about every 91 minutes. This place was the most crowded. A lot of tourists come here to see this phenomenon. Ankit and I were here waiting for over an hour to see the geyser erupt. There is a lodge here, too, for the tourists, called Old Faithful Inn and inside the lodge, there is a huge clock that predicts the time of the next eruption. 

Yellowstone National Park has more geysers and hot springs than anywhere else in the world. Most of the park is resting over a slumbering volcano, but they say that it is not expected to erupt anytime in the near future.

Lower Falls
Now here is something spectacular. I truly feel lucky to be able to experience something so beautiful. This place is called the "Lower Falls." We hiked down a mountain to experience this place. The walk was long but totally worth it. The moment we got there, the sun came out and as soon as the sun came out, there was a huge rainbow shining over the waterfall below our feet. Now how many people can say they stood over a rainbow? :)

Check out the rainbow. This picture was taken from above, right next to where the stream of water fell from the mountain. It is also called the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. This place made you feel like you were flying in the sky, maybe even heaven :) Of course the hike back up almost killed me, but it was totally worth the experience we got. 

This is the Yellowstone Lake. It is said that it is centered over the Yellowstone Caldera which is the largest supervolcano on the continent. The caldera is considered an active volcano. Freaky, huh? 

What looks so peaceful and serene above is actually raging and violent. If this were to erupt again, half of the US could be wiped out. 

But that's not happening in our lifetime or our children's, so who cares? At least, I hope :) I think we should enjoy the tremendous beauty of our time and live life to the best of our abilities. I could click a million pictures but the experiences are just priceless. God is truly an artist. Such places are a proof of that.


Yellowstone doesn't only just have lakes and forests, but has many types of ecosystems. Hundreds of species of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles are found here. 
My show-off photography skills

We had the privilege of seeing some beautiful animals while we were there. We saw the grey wolf (who eventually got chased away by a bison), two baby black bears climbing a tree, a heard of elks, deer and bisons.
Grand Prismatic Spring

This is a picture of the Grand Prismatic Spring, the largest hot spring in the USA. The colors you see here in the spring are the result of pigmented bacteria in the microbial mats that grow around the edges of the mineral-rich water. I clicked this picture from in front of the spring.

Source: Unknown
This is the top view of the spring. People hike up a long way to see this view from the mountain on the opposite side. I don't think the view would be this perfect because I think this picture was clicked from a helicopter right above it. I think it's quite spectacular. Had to put this picture in my blog. The water in the center is sterile because of its extremely hot temperature. I have another picture of the hot blue water. I clicked it because it was just so crystal clear. They say its the heat that causes it to be so clear and blue.

Check it out! It's incredible. I'm so proud of this picture. It was actually my husband who pointed it out. The sky reflecting in the blue water; looks fantastic. What do you think?

Mammoth Springs

This is another very popular attraction, called Mammoth Springs. It was created thousands of years ago as the hot water from the spring cooled and deposited calcium carbonate. You can call this a natural sculpture. There are usually elks grazing near the edge of the springs. There are numerous boardwalks encircling the springs for tourists to get better views.

Well, these are not even a tenth of the pictures that I took while I was there. There were so many more things to do and see, including the Norris Geyser Basin, Mud Volcano, Paint Pots, etc.. But you get the idea. So if you have not visited Yellowstone, yet. Now you know you need to. Trust me, it'll be worth it. 

I think of all the places I've visited, the trip to Yellowstone was my most favorite and memorable. I would go back again, anytime :)

Here is a link to a short movie I created of all the videos I took at Yellowstone. Do check it out.

I thank my husband, Ankit, for showing me such wonders. I would've never seen all this if it hadn't been for him. 



  1. I love all of your pics! We had a great time at Yellowstone this past weekend. I think my favorite things that we saw were the hot springs- the colors were so unreal!

    1. Heyy! I'm glad you had fun. I love Yellowstone. Every time we go, it's always great. The Grand Prismatic Spring --wow! There were more colors the second time I went there. Got some awesome pics. If you're on Facebook, I'll show you.