The Park That Started It All: Yellowstone National Park

Our obsession with national parks started with Yellowstone. There’s something special about this place that we experienced almost immediately upon arrival. It feels old. It feels important. It was a feeling we did not experience at any of the other parks we had been to up until this point. When we got out of the car and stood there staring at Yellowstone Lake we just thought, “wow”. We knew we were in for an adventure.

“Road trips required a couple of things: a well-balanced diet of caffeine, salt and sugar and an excellent selection of tunes—oh, and directions.” – Jenn McKinlay

You could spend weeks exploring Yellowstone and we only had four days. We crammed our days full by visiting popular spots like The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Grand Prismatic Springs and Old Faithful. The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is a must see while exploring the park. There are so many different viewing spots around it and various hiking trails. We hiked down to one of the waterfalls and listened to the roar of the water. Grand Prismatic Springs is something you truly have to see to believe. The rings of color are so vivid and pictures just don’t do it justice. This was definitely Cory’s favorite part of Yellowstone. Old Faithful was incredible to experience. Being a part of something that millions of people from around the world have come to witness is unforgettable. We also took a tour of the Old Faithful Inn and learned about Yellowstone’s earliest visitors. (Fun fact, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge was inspired by the Old Faithful Inn)!

“Yellowstone is a place where you can feel the beating heart of the planet… And gaze into its eye.” – National Parks Adventure

Our favorite thing to do each evening was to attend one of the ranger programs. You’re able to pick up so much information about the park’s history, animal safety and anything else going on in the park. In our first ranger program we learned about the history of bears in Yellowstone. Of course this was our first night in Yellowstone and our first night camping ever. To make matters worse, on check in at our campsite that afternoon the attendant warned us on being “bear prepared” and said the night before the campsite loop next to ours had a grizzly sighting. (We now think that she made that up, but at the time we believed her!) Cory cried the first 20 minutes after getting into her sleeping bag and I had nightmares of a bear ripping through our tent! Once we lived through the first night, the rest of the nights were a piece of cake. The second ranger program was held under the stars in an amphitheater. It was about wolves in Yellowstone and their long history. Luckily (or unluckily) the only wolves and bears we saw were at the Grizzly and Wolf Discover Center right outside the park in Montana.

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