Friday, April 20, 2018

Roosevelt Lodge - Yellowstone National Park



The Wild West lives on at Roosevelt Lodge. The rustic lodge building was built in 1920 and, aside from the modern cars in the parking lot, you'll think you've gone back in time. Cabins surround the lodge and offer an affordable lodging option. The most popular things to do in the area all involve horses. You throughout the day you can go on a stage coach ride or a horse back ride. The signature activity in the area is a wagon ride to an Old West style cookout dinner. 

Location: Roosevelt Lodge is located in the Northwest corner of the park at Tower Junction where the Grand Loop intersects with the North East Entrance Road.

Hiking Distance and Time: There are a few hikes in the area.  Lost Creek Falls is only .02 miles.  The Lost Lake/Petrified Tree trail is a 3.5 mile loop.

Open Season: Roosevelt Lodge has the shortest operating season in the park. Most amenities are only offered during June, July, and August. Check the official website for exact dates.

Cost: Check the official websites for prices of activities, dining, and lodging.

Official Websites: Activities, Dining, Lodging

Date of Visit: July-August of 2017

In the summer of 2017 I received a job with Xanterra Parks and Resorts in Yellowstone National Park. I moved there with my husband and our four young children. We lived in a 25 foot RV and spent all our free time exploring the park. This is the 24th of many posts that I will write about specific features within Yellowstone National Park. At first these aren't going to be in any particular order, but in a few months I'll start grouping them into lists. This one would probably fit into a list such as most relaxing areas of the park.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Artist Paint Pots - Yellowstone National Park


Many features in Yellowstone are known for putting on big shows. There's the height of Old Faithful, the size of Grand Prismatic Spring, or the volume of Lower Falls.  But one of the most memorable features in the park is a humble little hot spring that shoots up spurts of mud.  Watching mud bubbles form and then pop in unpredictable patterns is always a joy at Artist Paint Pots.

Location: Artist Paint Pots is located on the eastern side of the lower loop of the Grand Loop Road. The parking lot for Artist Paint Pots is located 4 miles south of the Norris Geyser Basin.  And 10 miles northeast of Madison Junction.

Hiking Distance and Time: The trail is 1 mile round trip. Plan for about an hour or longer depending on how long you watch the Paint Pots.

Open Season: May through October (Though the trails can be very muddy in May.)

Date of Visit: Friday August 11, 2017

In the summer of 2017 I received a job with Xanterra Parks and Resorts in Yellowstone National Park. I moved there with my husband and our four young children. We lived in a 25 foot RV and spent all our free time exploring the park. This is the 23rd of many posts that I will write about specific features within Yellowstone National Park. At first these aren't going to be in any particular order, but in a few months I'll start grouping them into lists. This one would probably fit into a list such as best boardwalk hikes in the park.

Tower Fall - Yellowstone National Park


Tower Fall is often billed as being a feature on par with Yellowstone Falls and Old Faithful.  But that is not the reality.  The viewpoint for the waterfall has two huge flaws that mar the experience of visiting this waterfall.  1. You can't see the full waterfall from the viewpoint. and 2. The parking area is often over-crowded.  Save yourself the headache and skip this waterfall.

Location: Tower Fall is on the eastern side of the upper loop of the Grand Loop Road.  It is 1 mile south of Roosevelt Lodge and 16 miles north of Canyon Village.

Hiking Distance and Time:  The viewpoint for the waterfall is only 100 yards down a paved trail.  The whole hike could take as little as 5 minutes.

Open Season: The road between Roosevelt and Tower Fall generally opens the second week of May. In 2018 it is scheduled to open May 11. The road between Canyon Village and Tower Fall opens the end of May.

Date of Visit: Monday, June 12, 2017

In the summer of 2017 I received a job with Xanterra Parks and Resorts in Yellowstone National Park. I moved there with my husband and our four young children. We lived in a 25 foot RV and spent all our free time exploring the park. This is the 22nd of many posts that I will write about specific features within Yellowstone National Park. At first these aren't going to be in any particular order, but in a few months I'll start grouping them into lists. This one would probably fit into a list such as, most overrated features  in the park.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Calcite Springs - Yellowstone National Park

Calcite Springs themselves are small thermal springs at the base of a cliff.  You view them from far away and they aren't all that interesting. But the whole landscape on display at the Calcite Springs View Point is interesting. You can look into a section of the Yellowstone river canyon and see millions of years of geologic history displayed in distinct and prominent layers.

Location: The Calcite Springs Parking Area is located on the eastern side of the upper loop of the Grand Loop Road.  The area is 1 mile southeast of Roosevelt Lodge.  And 1 mile from Tower Fall.

Hiking Distance and Time: This is a short boardwalk trail that is less than 1000 feet.  You can walk the whole distance in about 15 minutes.

Open Season: The road between Roosevelt and Tower Falls generally opens the second week of May.  In 2018 it is scheduled to open May 11.  It closes again in mid-October.

Date of Visit: Monday June 12, 2017

In the summer of 2017 I received a job with Xanterra Parks and Resorts in Yellowstone National Park. I moved there with my husband and our four young children. We lived in a 25 foot RV and spent all our free time exploring the park. This is the 21st of many posts that I will write about specific features within Yellowstone National Park. At first these aren't going to be in any particular order, but in a few months I'll start grouping them into lists. This one would probably fit into a list such as most interesting boardwalk trails in the park.


Suspension Bridge on the Hellroaring Creek Trail - Yellowstone National Park


The northern section of Yellowstone appears to be nothing but wilderness. So it's quite surprising to see a suspension bridge spanning the Yellowstone River in this area. The bridge was constructed to give hikers and equestrians access to Hellroaring Creek. The bridge is located 1 mile down the Hellroaring Creek trail. Don't let that distance fool you. The hike to the bridge requires descending 600 feet down multiple switchbacks.

Location: The trail head is located in the middle of the northern part of the Upper Loop of the Grand Loop Road. It is 4 miles west of Roosevelt Lodge and 14 miles east of the Mammoth Hot Springs Area.

Hiking Distance and Time: The full trail is 2 miles one way so 4 miles round trip.  The bridge is one mile down the trail.  But that first mile is hardly easy.  There are multiple switch backs that take you down 600 feet.

Open Season:  The trail is open mid-may through October. But keep in mind that the trail will be very hot during the day in the summer months.

Date of Visit: Friday July 14, 2017

In the summer of 2017 I received a job with Xanterra Parks and Resorts in Yellowstone National Park. I moved there with my husband and our four young children. We lived in a 25 foot RV and spent all our free time exploring the park. This is the 20th of many posts that I will write about specific features within Yellowstone National Park. At first these aren't going to be in any particular order, but in a few months I'll start grouping them into lists. This one would probably fit into a list such as best day hikes in the park.

Natural Bridge - Yellowstone National Park


Geysers and waterfalls aren't the only interesting natural features in Yellowstone National Park.  The park also has a natural stone bridge.  The bridge is 51 feet high and 29 feet across. You can reach the bridge via an easy 1.5 mile trail along an old road. The trail starts at the aptly named Bridge Bay.

Location: The trail head for the hiking trail is located at north side of the Bridge Bay Marina Parking lot. A bicycle trail starts just south of the Bridge Bay Bridge on the Grand Loop Road.  Bridge Bay is on the eastern side of the lower loop of the Grand Loop Road.

Hiking Distance and Time: The trail is 3 miles round trip.  Plan for your hike to take about 2 to 3 hours.

Open Season: Late June through September.  The trail is closed in the spring due to bear activity in the area.  Check with the park visitor centers to make sure the trail is open.

Date of Visit: Friday June 23, 2017

In the summer of 2017 I received a job with Xanterra Parks and Resorts in Yellowstone National Park. I moved there with my husband and our four young children. We lived in a 25 foot RV and spent all our free time exploring the park. This is the 19th of many posts that I will write about specific features within Yellowstone National Park. At first these aren't going to be in any particular order, but in a few months I'll start grouping them into lists. This one would probably fit into a list such as best day hikes in the park.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Mud Volcano Area - Yellowstone National Park


The Mud Volcano area is the most popular geyser area on the east side of Yellowstone.  The features here are mud pots made from sulfuric acid that breaks down rock into sticky clay. The violently churning mud makes this area feel much more wild than other thermal areas in the park.

Location:  Mud Volcano is located on the east side of the Lower Loop of the Grand Loop Road. It is 12 miles south of Canyon Village and 6.5 miles north of fishing bridge.

Hiking Distance and Time:  The Lower portion of the boardwalk is just a couple hundred yards that you can walk in less than 10 minutes. The full boardwalk is less than a mile long and is steep in areas.  Plan for about an hour to fully explore this area.

Open Seasons: May through October

Date of Visit: Many times throughout the summer of 2017 as well as single day visits in May of 2008, July of 2010, and July of 2015.

In the summer of 2017 I received a job with Xanterra Parks and Resorts in Yellowstone National Park. I moved there with my husband and our four young children. We lived in a 25 foot RV and spent all our free time exploring the park. This is the 18th of many posts that I will write about specific features within Yellowstone National Park. At first these aren't going to be in any particular order, but in a few months I'll start grouping them into lists. This one would probably fit into a list such as under-rated areas of the park.

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