Yellowstone National Park: Paint Pots to Mammoth Hot Springs

Two Ribbons Trail:

Heading in from West Yellowstone, MT follow US 20 E,  through the trees, to Two Ribbons Trail.  1.1 miles from the west Yellowstone entrance is a non marked, left hand turn into the parking lot for Two Ribbons Trail. We were pleased to find a raised, wooden plank boardwalk, snaking it’s way down by the Madison River. Benches sat overlooking the peaceful river and I recall thinking that I’d love to sit there and write. Losing myself to the rhythmatic nature of the river, while the words flowed. Sadly I was over ruled, as this was our first stop after a long wait at the entrance. We took a stroll down to the Madison River where Lily and I enjoyed laughing at a pair of chipmunks racing thru the sandy shrubs, kicking up little puffs of dirt. A pair of men fly fishing a little ways down the river caught Fred’s attention as we wandered back to our car.IMG_8195 (2)

Fishing in Yellowstone:

If your interested in fishing in Yellowstone, start off by checking out this site:

https://www.nps.gov/media/video/view.htm?id=004C6759-155D-451F-674FAF509AF1F8B6

The site offers a video presented by Yellowstone all about fishing in the park.  A downloadable guide of fishing regulations, which Fred strongly suggests you download and read in advance, is also available on this site.

It’s important to remember that all of Yellowstone is Lead-free. The official fishing season in Yellowstone begins the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend (usually the last weekend in May) and extends through the first Sunday in November. Anglers 16 years and older must be in possession of a valid Yellowstone National Park fishing permit. State fishing licenses are not valid in the park and aren’t required.

Purchase any of the following fishing licenses at the Visitor Centers, Back Country Offices and Yellowstone General Sores. Licenses are as follows;

  1. Three-day permit: $18
  2. Seven-day permit: $25
  3. Season-long permit: $40.

Anglers 15 years of age or younger have two options for fishing in the park;

  1. Children 15 years of age or younger, may fish without a permit if they are fishing under the direct supervision of an adult who has a valid Yellowstone Park fishing permit.
  2. Children 15 year of age or younger may obtain a free permit that must be signed by a responsible adult; with this permit, a child can fish without direct adult supervision.

From our family to yours: Please be mindful of the conservation efforts of the native cutthroat and it’s habit while enjoying the river and all it has to offer! 🙂WYS.jpg

Harlequin Lake Trail Head:

Crossing over the Madison River Bridge, you’ll come into a lush clearing. Here you’ll see animals like Deer, Elk, Bald Eagles, Swans, Bison, Bears, and Antelope. Or like us, maybe you’ll spot a coyote stalking a Sand Hill Crane. Fortunately for the crane the coyote aborted his mission, as herds of photographers flocked to the potential scene. IMG_8270 (2)

Artists Paintpots Trail:

Next stop on our tour is the Artists Paintpots trail. A short walk along the boardwalk allows you to enjoy the colored pools of mud as they boil and bubble. Fred and Lily hiked the trail to the top of Gibbon Hill where they were surprised with an amazing view!IMG_1289.JPG

Norris Geyser Basin:

Continue on to Norris Geyser Basin, where several crystal clear, brilliant blue pools sit right off the road. Walk the 2 1/4 miles of trails to discover the location of the world’s tallest active geyser! Experience the colorful hot springs, and microscopic life in one of the most extreme and unique environments on earth!

From our family to yours: Areas around hot springs and geysers STINK! They have an almost sickening smell of sulfur. Some areas were worse than others.IMG_8255 (2).JPG

Golden Gate and Glen Creek Canyon:

Tall rock formations line the road as you drive towards Golden Gate. Make sure to stop at the overlook as you enter the canyon. Take a moment to read the sign and learn about this amazing section of roadway know as Golden Gate. While you’re there make sure to check out this almost hidden waterfall! Strap in and prepare to drive over the Golden Gate roadway as it hugs the walls of Glen Creek Canyon. As you round the corner and come off the hanging section of roadway, a large, 23 ton pillar rock stands tall. Welcoming you to solid ground once again. Have the camera ready while passing through Silver Gate or pull off the road to really take in the massive boulders that make up the landscape. IMG_8273 (2)

Mammoth Hot Springs:

Liberty Cap,  Snow Pond, Angel Terrace, Orange Spring Mound, Bath Lake, and New Highland Terrance are along the way to Mammoth Hot Springs and each is worth looking at. Stop in at the Terrace Grill for some fast, decent food. Next door is Yellowstone General Store housing gift items and an ice cream shop. Follow the road past the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel to Fort Yellowstone. Established in 1891 as a U.S. Army Fort, known as Fort Yellowstone, where the Army administered the park from 1891 until 1918. Today 35 structures remaine from 1890s and early 1900s.

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All our best and safe travels!

Jenny, Fred and Lily

 

 

 

 

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