Yellowstone National Park - June 2008

Lower Loop Road - June 8

NOTE: Click on any thumbnail except the map to view a larger image.

Map of Yellowstone lower loop road.We were up at 5:15 am next morning, and it was snowing. Drove to the Snow Lodge for breakfast, and checked on the latest forecast -- snow, rain, and bits of sunshine for the next SEVEN days. We began to wonder why we had chosen this particular time for the trip. But the snow made it beautiful and quite different from our past trips, which had been in the Fall. Somehow the snow added a special touch to everything.  The highway going south from Old Faithful was closed but expected to open later that morning.

So we decided to retrace our steps of yesterday and head towards Madison Junction and do the lower loop. Everything looked beautiful with snow clinging to the trees and on the grass. We decided to take the Firehole Canyon Drive, even though it was cold and windy and blowing snow. Quite a different scene from the fall when we were there, with the cars that lined the road missing and the swimmers in the river certainly not in evidence. The views however were spectacular. A beggar raven perched on the rock wall and posed nicely while we took his picture from the car window. We would meet his twin later on at another overlook. He did not seem to mind the cold.

Picture of the Firehole River Falls.  Picture of the Firehole River.
Firehole Canyon Drive and Firehole Falls

Picture of a raven.

Picture of one of the waterfalls in Yellowstone.

Picture of one of the many geyser areas.

A reminder to myself that next time I should take better notes on exactly where the pictures were taken. We headed on around to Norris Junction and then Canyon Junction. We had been advised to stop at the brand new Canyon Visitors Center. Which we did. Getting out of the car I spied a young family with two small boys. "When can I get my gloves," said one little guy, "my hands are cold?" The other one piped up with "my toes are cold!" None were dressed for the winter weather of  wind and intermittent snow showers. We were grateful for our winter apparel. Unfortunately, the Visitor Center exhibits were closed as there had been a power outage. Disappointing! So off we went to our next stop, the Fishing Bridge area, where we had camped in the past and where bears were known to be. Alas we saw no bears, but we were able to get a bowl of good hot homemade soup and some coffee to warm our bones. The road from Fishing Bridge to the east entrance to the park was closed.

Artist Point and the views of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone was our next stop. The road that led to Artist Point was not in good shape, with potholes that resembled small craters. We dodged them as we drove along. One of the rangers had told us this area had been recently redone. Maybe next they would work on the road itself. The trail from the parking lot was snowy and slushy and I sure did not want Jim to take another fall. It was also cold and windy, but the views were worth it. The photos speak for themselves.

Picture from Artist Point Overlook.  View of Yellowstone Falls from Artist Point.

Picture of Yellowstone Falls.  Picture of Yellowstone Falls.
Views of Lower Yellowstone Falls from Artist Point.

We tried to store up the memories of this beautiful place and this beautiful park We knew it would be our last visit, and we knew from past experience the pictures would in no way do justice to this magnificent panorama of the falls and the canyon. We trudged back to our car and headed off to follow the road around to Yellowstone Lake. We stopped once where a large crowd had gathered to see a speck that was supposed to be a bear in the distance. But the wind was blowing hard and we were freezing.  The lake was shrouded with fog and snow, so we headed back to the Old Faithful area and our cabin.

Picture of Yellowstone Lake.
Yellowstone Lake

We took naps and then a walk around the Old Faithful Geyser Basin, but Jim was tired and it was cold so we only went a short ways. We had toddies in our cabin then off to the Snow Lodge for dinner. Finally, we got smart. Since the portions were so large and we never each eat half a chicken, we split a chicken dinner. Much better, and we ordered one of Yellowstone sundaes for dessert --_ Huckleberry ice cream with a huckleberry/raspberry sauce and crumb cake. A fitting end to a nice day.


Yellowstone Grand Loop