A Day in West Yellowstone
By Afton Owen
One of the most famous places in the western part of the United States happens to be just an hour and a half drive from Labelle Lake, and that is Yellowstone National Park!
There are many reasons why Yellowstone is the perfect destination to go to. In Yellowstone you will experience seeing many different kinds of hot geysers and hot springs. You will also see lots of wildlife such as buffalo, elk, and different majestic birds. There are lots of beautiful sites that you will be able to see while in Yellowstone.
There are many different places to see while you and your family are in the park yourself. It can seem hard to know what to go see and visit while you are vacationing, especially if you are staying at Labelle Lake and don’t have much time to spend lots of time just in Yellowstone.
I had the opportunity to do some research, and after going into the park myself and talking to some park rangers, I figured out a good route and different sites to see when you only have one day to visit Yellowstone. There are many different entrances to the park and many sites to see, so this is just one example of a trip that you and your family can take.
Again, credit goes to the help of workers in the park and different blog posts and online research like this website: http://rexburgfun.com/yellowstone-national-park/
From Labelle Lake, the entire trip will take about 360 miles, with about 170 miles of that being spent in the actual park. Start at the West Entrance near the small-town West Yellowstone, and start on your journey to see the following spots.
1. Grand Prismatic Spring
2. Old Faithful
3. West Thumb Geyser Basin/Yellowstone Lake
4. Grand Canyon
5. Tower Falls
6. Mammoth Hot Springs
It will be best to leave early, around 7-8 in the morning. This way you can get to the park between 9:30-10 am. Fourteen miles from the West Entrance, you’ll come to “Madison Junction.” Take a right here (turning South), which will take you towards Old Faithful. For the entire day, follow “Grand Loop Road,” which will take you to most of the main attractions in the park.
Ten miles from Old Faithful, you’ll see a sign for “Midway Geyser Basin.” This is the place you’ll want to stop. As you park and get out, you’ll see a bunch of wooden boardwalks leading up to giant plumes of steam. At the top of the hill, you’ll come across the Grand Prismatic Springs.
From here, after driving another ten mile you will reach Old Faithful Geyser. Old faithful has lots of things to do. The very first thing you should do when you arrive is head into the visitor’s center and see when the next eruption is going to take place. On average, Old Faithful goes off every 90 minutes. Judging by how much time you have, you can explore the visitor’s center, go see the Old Faithful Inn, or go grab a bite to eat across the street. This is definitely something that you don’t want to miss!
You’ll want to head next to West Thumb Geyser Basin. This is also where Yellowstone Lake is at. It’s roughly a 20 mile drive. Once you get there get out and start walking towards the water. There are two different routes that you can take. The “inner” route and the “outer” route. If you’re feeling lazy, you can take the “inner” route which is about 1/4 of a mile walking along the boardwalk. I’d say it’s definitely worth it to take the outer route, as it’s only 1/2 mile long, and takes you right up against the water.
After getting back on the highway going towards Cody, Wyoming, Follow the signs that lead you off the highway to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. After parking, you walk a few hundred yards to the beautiful view points.
Continuing on the highway you will then hit Tower Falls. It is similar to the Grand Canyon, but it is beautiful and is worth to go check out really quick before heading to the last stop, which is Mammoth Hot Springs.
Once you get to Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming, it can be a little confused as to where the Hot Springs are. When you come to the “T” in the road, go to the left, and a little ways down the road, that’s where they will be. You can either walk or drive up to the top of the hot springs.
If you keep heading through Mammoth, it’ll wrap you around in a big circle that will take you straight back to the West Entrance, which was where you entered the park. If you’re looking to do Yellowstone in just one day, this is just one idea on the best way to do it. You will be able to see many sites and feel fulfilled after just this one-day trip!
Those are just short summaries of the beautiful places around the park, it’s definitely up to you to make sure to go visit the ones that you want!
Now of course, the best place to stay while visiting Yellowstone is Labelle Lake! Now why is that? Well, Labelle Lake is near other little vacation spots that you and your family can go visit as well as the park, therefore giving you a good central location to beautiful Eastern Idaho. Some of these places include Yellowstone Bear World, Mesa Falls, Warm River, and Island Park.
Come enjoy a beautiful trip to Yellowstone today!
All photo credit goes to rexburgfun.com
Also...If you find yourself being there for more than another day, or have extra time on your hands, these following places will be worthwhile to go visit as well!
Norris Geyser Basin
Lower Geyser Basin
Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center
Picture below is a map of the route that was taken above with those pictures.