According to Kathy, the only thing better than a cup of coffee is two cups of coffee!
The Grand Teton Mountain Range
Today we will take in some vistas of the Grand Teton Mountains as we make our way north to Yellowstone.
The Tetons are part of the Rocky Mountain Range. They are quite different from most other national parks in this country having sharp, jagged peaks that resemble mountains in Switzerland.
I could have done two posts on this day but I'll try to cram it all into one. We had so much to see on this day that by the end of the day we were two hours behind schedule.
What makes these mountains so unique from others is they rise straight up from the valley floor. There are no foothills so this creates a stark contrast from flat land to striking peaks.
The tallest and most recognizable mountain in the range is Grand Teton. This peak is 13,770 feet. Mount Owen to the right is the second highest at 12,928 feet. Middle Teton to the left is 12,804 feet and South Teton on the far left is 12,514.
The Teton Glacier is tucked in between the peaks of Grand Teton, Mount Owen and Teewinot Mountain know as the Cathedral Group.
Middle Teton and the Black Dike.
Jenny Lake lays at the base of the main Teton peaks. Jenny Lake is one of seven lakes in the park and the beautiful blue color comes from melting glaciers.
Mount Moran from Jenny Lake elevation 12,605.
Now we are entering Yellowstone. Yellowstone gained it's National Park status on March 1, 1872 making it the first and oldest park in the US and covers 3,400 square miles.
Since we are only here for one day we can only hit a few of the highlights in this area. Unfortunately for me I could spend a week here!
We entered Yellowstone at the south entrance at an elevation of 6,886 feet. The road follows the scenic Lewis River and Canyon which is still showing forest fire damage from 1988.
Duck Lake in foreground and Yellowstone Lake in the background.
No visit to Yellowstone is complete without seeing Old Faithful Geyser but unfortunately rain was moving in leaving a cloudy background which makes the geyser hard to see.
Yellowstone's iconic geyser shoots up to 180 feet in the air releasing steam that is 350 degrees. The amount of water discharged from Old Faithful ranges from 3,700 to 8,400 gallons depending on the duration of the eruption.
The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone is an amazing, must see feature in the park. It is roughly 20 miles long, depth 800 to 1200 feet, width is 1500 to 4000. The canyon was formed by erosion rather than by glaciation.
Iron and Oxides in the rocks have painted the canyon various shades of yellow, orange and red.
Lower Falls is one of hundreds of waterfalls in Yellowstone. I love waterfalls and hiking and that is why I could spend a week here. There's so much to see you can't do it justice in one day.
After the canyon we entered a part of Yellowstone with rolling hills and wide open views and occasionally a wildlife sighting.
Mostly bison but we also saw elk, pronghorn, and bear.
Our last stop in Yellowstone is the Mammoth Hot Springs. Our time is very limited here because somewhere during the course of the day we got two hours behind our schedule.
Hot water bubbling up from the ground, has formed terraces and covered them with calcium carbonate. The water travels underground from the Norris Geyser Basin by a fault line that runs through limestone. The superhot water has cooled to about 170 degrees before surfacing here at Mammoth Hot Springs.
The landscape looks like you are on another planet.
"For The Benefit And Enjoyment Of The People"
This is the arch at the northern entrance/exit. It was dedicated when Theodore Roosevelt laid the cornerstone. I certainly did enjoy it and it is on my bucket list to do an extended trip to this area.
As soon as we exited Yellowstone we arrived in Gardiner Montana and this is where we spent the night.
Up next Montana.....Big Sky Country