Yellowstone – Firehole Lake Drive

Update: This post was completed before the Yellowstone flooding and closure.

One of the other side roads that we have been waiting to open up is Firehole Lake Drive, and one evening we were happy to see that it was open. Like every other side road we have been on this one was GREAT and it was one cool surprise after another. I don’t know what I was expecting but it definitely wasn’t this.

We were surprised to find the Great Fountain Geyser which is popular enough that it has seating. The sign said it wasn’t due to erupt until after 6pm so we just moved on to the next which was a super cool white dome geyser. These cones are formed by minerals from the geyser and will eventually close off. Lee and I both loved it and took some great pictures. Check out the sky…that is 100% what it looked like that day and it went perfectly with the dome.

After we checked out the dome we started to leave when suddenly it went off. I jumped back out of the truck and got some pictures, but they don’t do justice to how magnificent it was. There are people who track geyser eruptions like others who track animals and I always feel lucky when one randomly goes off when we are around. It’s like a gift from Mother Nature.

Super Cool!!!

Next was the lake itself that is an interesting mix of of hot springs, and the lake. You can see where cool water meets hot in the lake itself and the springs have little steaming waterfalls. It was very interesting and we spent a lot of time walking around.

After Firehole Lake we headed further east but most of the named geyser parking lots were full. Instead we stopped at Kepler Cascades for what I thought was a quick stop to look at rapids. Well there were rapids but also an amazing multi-level waterfall and I was once again shocked at the view. We have found there are so many unassuming corners of Yellowstone that can really blow us away.

Small parking lot and small walkway wasn’t expecting much
And then this is what we saw

After the cascades, we decided to popup to Old Faithful Inn so we could take a look. The old National lodges are really amazing and this was one of the best we have seen. It has three levels with open balconies to the inside. It provides free tours which I would love to take but unfortunately we were there at the wrong time. They also have a prime rib buffet ($39.99 per person) and at 5:00 the line was already really long. The lodge gift shop was nice though and they had unique items we hadn’t seen anywhere else. I bought some huckleberry flavored margarita mix 🙂

One of the most interesting things about the Inn is that the bison graze freely really close to the entrances and exits. Since the woman from Ohio was gored recently we saw several rangers watching the area, but despite their presence several people got too close. Lee and I kept a wide berth though when walking back to our truck just to be on the safe side.

These evening jaunts are turning out to be really fun even with the larger crowds. Getting back out of the park is still taking awhile but we just build that time into what we want to do. Next up I finally get to Big Sky and Bozeman.

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