Padinago's trip to the USA and Canada in 2011

Day 15 - From Kalispell to Yellowstone-West, Montana and Yellowstone NP

Today we have an early breakfast and leave for Yellowstone. We do not stop too often as it is a long drive.

About 75km before Yellowstone we see a nice picnic area at the water. It is beautiful and the view is breathtaking but very cold! We eat our lunch in a record pace so we can get back in our warm car and drive on.

At Earthquake Lake (this area is very subject to small earthquakes so when you take your time you can see lots of spots where the ground is about a meter higher or lower) we see a bald eagle on a branch. We stop for a picture. Then suddenly we see a pelican flying over the water, nice! A bit further we see a photographer in camouflage suit waiting for the bold eagle to leave the branch so he can take a picture. We drive on.

Just after Grayling Arm (a fork of Hebgen Lake) we see an osprey sitting on its nest. Always very nice to watch.

When we drive on the West Entrance Road of Yellowstone NP we see our first herd of bisons. A bit further, at Harlequin Lake we see a Sandhill Crane.

We drive into the park and want to take the loop to the south but for some reason there are lots of cars queuing. We turn back and drive to the north, to Gibbon Falls, a 26m high waterfall. After about 5 minutes we are the only ones there and we take our time to get some nice pictures.

We drive back and look for our hotel. On our way we have to wait for a herd of bisons crossing the road. Still impressive to see these wild animals walking in between the cars. This is a ritual that repeats itself twice a day, mornings and evenings.

When we almost exit the park we drive on a parallel road, taking us to Madison River. There we see a marmot watching us.

We find our hotel in West-Yellowstone and check in. A bit later we look in town for a nice place to have dinner and there we see the Outpost Restaurant where we had dinner a few years ago. We all have Elk burgers.

We walk back to the hotel and enjoy a good night's rest.

Daytrip approx. 694 km

A cold picnic @ the Madison River @ The parking lot of our picnic Bald Eagle @ Earthquake Lake Osprey near Hebgen Lake Road Bison @ West Entrance Road A Sandhill Crane @ Gibbon Falls Trafic jam... A Marmot @ The Madison River Overlook A Western Tanager near the Madison River