Ever since I watched Yogi Bear stealing "pic-a-nic baskets" in 'Jellystone' (which I think is actually Yellowstone), I've wanted to go here! Read on to find out if I got to see him or not...
We stayed for two days in West Yellowstone (just outside its West entrance!), which I think was just perfect because this way you could slowly start with the meh (kids talk for not so amazing) things and then build up to the big wowzers.
One weird thing was that it was supposed to be warm-ish at this time of year... but unusually, it had snowed!!!!! Snow was everywhere 😐! I even managed to build a massive snowball and throw it at my dad 😏. Luckily, we had winter coats with us... Unluckily, no snow-boots! So our shoes and socks got very wet (luckily again, we had extra pairs of socks) and we had to use the air-con vents in the car to dry them (Genius 👽).
As you can see on slide 6, there are two road-loops; we started with the upper loop and then the following day did the lower loop. I found this very efficient because then you don't make your jaw numb (:O) from all the dropping in the same day.
Clearly, Yellowstone is one place that is very good at making your jaw drop... mostly because of all the bison (buffalos) slowly shuffling, as they do, across the plains and sometimes the roads (causing traffic jams) and the geysers which splutter up in the air and then slowly fade down again, steam EVERYWHERE (like I'd imagine Jupiter would be!).
Did you know that the reason for all the geysiring is that there is a humongous (and I mean epic) lump of magma bubbling under the American plate, making the whole Yellowstone area bulge up by several hundred meters. Some day this whole powder keg is supposed to blow up again like it did 650,000 years ago. My dad said that that eruption was 250x bigger than Krakatau, which caused a year of winter across the planet in the late 1800s. So I'd rather not be anywhere near when this happens!! 😐 Ok now you know.
Back to the happy stuff again. One thing I really liked is that everything of interest had its own little board to explain what it was (most of it anyway 😉), plus there's learning boards, films, diagrams, pictures, models etc inside the visitor centres!
I did the park ranger booklet (it cost three dollars here! 😒), which helped me learn a lot more about the park and earned me the junior ranger badge (yes, I had to do the oath again).
Definitely one of the big attractions is the Old Faithful geyser. It's one of the biggest geysers, too! Approximately every 68 to 94 minutes it erupts and after that it keeps spluttering up like it's about to erupt again but then dies down again. When it finally does erupt again, it goes at least 50m into the air!
So make sure that you go see Old Faithful erupt (they have the expected next eruption time displayed at its visitor center) and while you're there, go and have a drink or ice-cream and chill on the settees in the gallery in the Old Faithful Inn (a beautiful wooden inn built in 1904, designed to create an indoor forest). You can even stay there overnight but be sure to book well in advance, we wish we had!
You could call Yellowstone the Big Momma of all National Parks (quite literally 😯), because it was the first National Park in the world...ever!! 😳
It is very good for all ages. It has a WOW factor for everybody.
That's it from me, the only slight disappointment with Yellowstone was that I didn't see Yogi Bear... or any bear! 😭 But all in all it was definitely worth every second!