Switchback Kids: Yellowstone National Park
Their journey is almost over, but their desire to travel is stronger than ever. The adventure-seeking twosome with desires to visit all 59 US National Parks is back with another trip update. With their year long mission almost over, the happy-go-lucky couple only has a few more parks to visit, but here’s Cole describing their latest and maybe most exciting adventure to date, at the infamous Yellowstone National Park.
“Yellowstone created an entirely new concept as the world’s first National Park created in 1872. The millions of annual visitors are evidence to the wisdom and popularity of protecting this one-of-a-kind place on Earth. Most come to see the legendary Old Faithful, but few realize the park is home to an astounding two thirds of the world’s geysers. The “super-volcano” under the park fuels the 10,000 total individual thermal features, which include all four types: geysers, hot springs, mud pots and steam vents.
The park takes up the entire northwestern corner of Wyoming and spills into Idaho and Montana. Its immensity may be the biggest challenge for visitors… it certainly was for us. We came into the park from the north. Unfortunately we couldn’t complete the renowned Grand Loop because one side of the road was closed. However we realized that despite having no cell service we could determine the directions and drive time from one area of the park to another with our Garmin Drive Assist. Factor in plenty of spontaneous traffic jams for the buffalo, elk, pronghorn, black bear, grizzly and other wildlife we saw along the road and our driving I Yellowstone was always an exercise in patience. We had plenty of time to experiment capturing footage of wildlife out the window with our VIRB.
Beyond scoping wildlife in northern Lamar Valley, we spent three of our five days in the park solely visiting the geothermal features. The Upper Geyser Basin alone (which includes Old Faithful) took us a full day to visit. But we loved running from geyser to geyser to catch their predicted eruptions. Riverside, Castle, Grand and Grotto geysers – each one was different. And of course, Old Faithful lived up to its name. It was right on schedule! By the end of the day we’d walked over 10 miles solely along the maze of boardwalks.
The only downer was the constant overcast clouds washing out our pictures and then dumping rain and snow on us whenever it pleased. We still managed to explore the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone area with Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls. The vibrant, fiery colors of the canyon walls and the steam pouring from vents on the sides were fascinating. It was also cool to hike right down to the edge of the falls and watch it plummet beneath your feet into an explosion of mist.
Plus, the snow that I mentioned earlier did make for some entrancing drives. We just stuck the VIRB out the window and got great footage of bison wandering the snow-frosted meadows as snow flew past us. I’ve always heard how awesome Yellowstone is in winter and I feel like we got a glimpse of it.
After 5 full days we felt like we only got a glimpse of what Yellowstone itself has to offer. But it was a glimpse that reminded us exactly how incredibly unique and special the park is and made us understand why it definitely deserved the title of the world’s first National Park.”
For more videos, posts, pictures and stories of the Switchback Kid’s adventures through all 59 National Parks, visit SwitchbackKids.com or search Switchback Kids on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Don’t forget to also share with us on social media using #HaveNoLimits.
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