Posts filed under Adventure Tuesday

Take a Swim in the Boiling River

Adventure Tuesday

Yellowstone National Park - Winter Edition

Hot Springs in the Wintertime

If you are adventurous enough, especially in the wintertime, you can take a swim in the Boiling River. Another benefit of soaking in the wintertime is the lack of people. Try going here in the summertime and you’ll be in for a surprise. It is also the ONLY place you can soak in a hotspring in the park. The Boiling River is a hotspring that flows into the Gardner River. The park has established, with the use of larger stones and boulders, small pools in the intersection between the river and the hotspring. Like other parts of Yellowstone, the tectonic plates constantly shift. Not long ago those tectonic plates right under the boiling river shifted again, and an even warmer temperature arose. Last time I swam in the boiling river I was way too hot and had to lean over to the ice cold river to cool off my arms, W on the other hand seemed perfectly fine in the Boiling River.

Primitive Chic

If you drive from Gardiner the Boiling River is only about a quarter mile from the entrance. There is a limited number of parking spots by the Boiling River (to the left), and this is mostly a problem in the summertime. There is another parking lot on the other side of the road too, you just have to cross the road then to get to the trail that takes you to the hot spring. We have never had any problems finding parking in the wintertime. We usually go to the Boiling River in the morning, so that might also be why we usually don’t see that many other people here. After you find your parking you will have to walk for about 10 minutes before you get to the actual boiling river. There is a bathroom by the parking lot, but no changing rooms available by the river and the hot spring. We always bring our towels and such in a backpack on the short hike down to the hot spring. Don’t forget to bring a pair of Chaco’s or Tevas, you will be walking a short distance on snowy and cold stones to get down to the hot spring pools, and the stream bed is rocky so we always bring our Tevas. You gonna have to trust the other people using the area, or just don’t bring any valuables. One thing worth noting when swimming in hot springs that contain sulphur is that sulfur and silver react. If you are wearing any silver jewelry it might get stained. It’s just a chemical reaction and it’s reversible so just soak the jewelry in water with aluminum foil on the bottom and add some baking soda.

Have you ever taken a swim in any hot springs?

Where the Wildlife Is

Adventure Tuesday

Yellowstone National Park - Winter Edition

Lamar Valley is a safe bet for wildlife

In the wintertime you can see almost all the animals you can in the summertime. The big difference of course are the bears. You’ll probably wont see any bear if you go in December or January, unless something is very very wrong. Lamar Valley is a safe bet for a lot of wildlife. The snow white open plains makes it easier for you to spot just about anything, including large boulders that looks like large wildlife :) You’ll always see large herds of bison here, especially in the wintertime since the bison move down in elevation during this season. Of course as always this is the prime spot to see coyotes or wolves. I haven’t seen many wolves in Yellowstone National Park, actually I haven’t seen many wolves at all, anywhere. Wolves do exist in Yellowstone of course, but they are more rare to see. What you do see a lot of are coyotes. I have seen countless of coyotes in Yellowstone. If you don’t have any binoculars or a very good zoom lens it will be impossible to say if you are watching a wolf or coyote. Wolves are very big, and the coyote is a lot smaller, and since wolves are a bit more rare we tend to lean towards coyotes.

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Animals Everywhere?

Of course, if you screen the landscape well enough, you will see animals almost everywhere. One winter we ended up seeing close to 10 lone Coyotes, all close to the road or on the road. That was a weird year I would say. Not sure why they all were congregating along the road that year, but to me it seemed odd. Right after you enter Yellowstone National Park through Gardiner, there will be a somewhat narrow road that takes you through some cliffs on both side of the road. That is a prime location to spot for Bighorn Sheep. Of course any place in the park where the road passes some cliffs are prime location for Bighorn Sheep. Other animals you should be on the lookout for are elk and whitetail deer.

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Have you been to Yellowstone? What is your favorite animal you have seen there?

All the Roads Lead to Yellowstone?

Adventure Tuesday

Yellowstone National Park - Winter Edition

The Park

We have traveled to Yellowstone many many times the past few years. Mostly in the wintertime, but lately a bit more in the summertime. Well, lately as in last summer of 2017, when we went there twice. Yellowstone is divided up into East, West, North and South Yellowstone. It's impossible to do it all in one day. It takes quite some time to drive from one end of the park to the other, especially if you include bisonjams and tourists. I have driven through all the entrances in the park over the years. From the northwest entrance in Gardiner, to the northeast entrance in Cook City it is about 56 miles. From the entrance in Gardiner to the west Yellowstone entrance its about 54 miles, and to get to Old Faithful from Gardiner it is also about 56 miles. From the northwest entrance in Gardiner to the south entrance (the one that takes you into Grand Teton National Park) its about 94 miles. On the website of Yellowstone National Park you find all sorts of maps, gps coordinates and brochures about how to plan your trip. There is even an app nowadays.

Christmas Celebrations

W is from Bozeman, and he has been in Yellowstone many many times. He has done research there, and his dad does research there. So, both of them knows the ins and out of all of Yellowstone. Ever since the first Christmas I spent with W in Bozeman, we have visited Yellowstone every time we go there. In the wintertime we always enter through the North Entrance, the one in Gardiner. Not all the roads are open in the wintertime, but it is possible to get to most places if you go by snowmobile or snowcoach. Of course there are restrictions on where you can drive your snowmobile or not. You can also go on snowmobile or snowcoach guided tours in the park, but we have never done that. We usually ski, or drive around looking for wildlife. You can drive from the northwest entrance to Mammoth hot springs, but not farther south unless you go by snowcoach or snowmobile. Different years have different closing and opening days of roads, so the best thing to do is to check the website for up to date information.

Have you ever been to Yellowstone in the wintertime?