As a preface to today’s photo post, head over to Think Save Retire, where Steve was kind enough to host a guest post I wrote about Five reasons we chose a minivan to travel the country. If the rationale laid out there doesn’t inspire you, perhaps these photos from Wyoming and Montana will.
After starting our second North American road trip in Montana and the Canadian Rockies, it was going to be difficult to match the awe-inspiring natural beauty in any future destination. Yellowstone, though, was up to the task.
We had each traveled to Yellowstone in the past, but never for this long, and never during the off-season. Late September and early October in the park were surreal: minimal crowds, vibrant fall colors, and the last traces of warm weather before the region’s first snowfall of the season. With a full week at our disposal, we were able to enjoy all the major perks of the park: geological wonders, majestic wildlife, and seemingly endless expanses of natural scenery.
While there’s no free camping in the park itself, we were able to find free dispersed camping on National Forest land outside most of the National Park entrances, including this stunning riverside spot outside the Northeast Entrance:
We rose before sunrise several mornings to explore the park at dawn. On one particularly awesome morning hike in the Lamar Valley, near the northeast corner of the park, we enjoyed the sounds of howling wolves in the distance along with close encounters with bison, pronghorns, and a coyote (always keeping a safe distance, of course). We saw only one other hiker all morning.
We drove south from Yellowstone into the comparably impressive Grand Teton National Park, where we camped for two nights. We had hoped to spend more time hiking in the Tetons, but winter rolled in on our second night, and it was time to head out for better weather. Had to save something for next time!