Yellowstone – Hayden Valley

I have been trying to group these posts into areas, but on this particular day we traveled a wide circuit starting at Norris Basin and ending back in West Yellowstone. I have taken a map and highlighted below to show you where we went.

Our first stop was Artist’s Point, which is on the Yellowstone Grand Canyon’s south rim. This spot is where many beautiful pictures have been painted and it did not disappoint. It was very crowded though and I am glad we went so early in the season. I took a ton of pictures and here are my favorites.

It was really great but we had more places to see so we headed towards Fishing Bridge. Along the way we passed through Hayden Valley and got some pictures of a coyote. We have seen several foxes and coyotes hunting during mid-day which is kind of cool. With one sighting Lee even had time to set up the tripod and got a great picture.

My pictures weren’t as good, but I got to see the coyote poke his head in a hole and grab some sort of varmint and eat it. It was pretty neat to watch and the coyote could have cared less about us watching.

Next we stopped at LeHardy’s Rapids to see the Harlequin ducks. Lee learned at work that these ducks are only viewable at these rapids and they are here for a very short stint in the spring. They are very rare in the United States and we were so glad we got to see two small groups of them. These ducks actually hang out on the rocks right in the middle of the rapids and are famous for completely immersing their bodies in the water to catch fish. All we saw that day was them hanging out, but it was still really cool. As an FYI it’s kind of hard to find the boardwalk. As you face the pit toilet, it is to the far left.

Here are Lee’s pics

Next up was Fishing Bridge where we stopped and got some lunch. They had a lunch counter open in the gift shop and we had a simple but much needed meal. The waitress was really nice and talked about how much she liked doing something a little different in the park.

The lake itself was a little disappointing because it was pretty grey and almost completely iced over. Definitely want to go back when the ice melts. Jack liked it though.

Next up was Grant Village and we took a quick look at the gift shop. Not sure why Grant and Fishing Bridge are so close together, I can only imagine the lake is crazy busy when it gets hotter.

We started home and then we saw that the side road to Firehole Canyon was open. Casey had mentioned that was pretty cool so we took the side trip. Wow was that a pleasant surprise because it was an awesome canyon drive with a beautiful waterfall along the way. We got out and walked Jack around and spent almost an hour exploring this area.

Absolutely gorgeous

Lee is always getting Jack to walk in crazy places and Jack is totally up for it. I don’t mind so much because I can hang back a bit and take pictures!

It was a great end to a wonderful day and even though it was a long one was totally worth it to take advantage of the great weather. I took so many pictures here are a few more of my favorites.

Oh and one last thing. Along the river we saw a bear cave with bones right outside it. No bear but still VERY cool.

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5 thoughts on “Yellowstone – Hayden Valley

  1. I haven’t been commenting on every post – but I have been reading and loving your pics! Seriously – what great shots! LOVE the duck ones! So happy you are having such a great time!

    • We are lovers of Yellowstone and have been several times. I also have followed your journey for several years…..but following along on this one is extra special! Last fall my husband worked in Yellowstone at The Lake Hotel through the Helping Hands program. I was unable to go with him due to caring for my elderly Father. He loved every minute of it …..we hope to return to work this year. We are familiar with West Yellowstone and know exactly where Lee is working. If we get the opportunity to return we will stop in and say Hi. You are definitely being smart to get to the park every minute you can before it turns crazy! Thanks for letting me tag along to this amazing place and all your past journeys!

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