Posted by: bikedave | July 13, 2010

July 9, West Yellowstone, MT to Grant Village, Yellowstone National Park, WY

We left our campsite early in the morning to drive to West Yellowstone, MT.  Just after leaving we saw an elk grazing on the side of the road.

Elk through our windshield

Because it was early, and the temperature was still low, a great deal of steam could be seen rising from the various geysers, hot springs, and fumaroles.

On the road, Midway Geyser Basin, Yellowstone N.P.

We drove into West Yellowstone MT, and filled up on groceries, gas, and lattes.  I got on my bike and we headed back into the park.  Our plan was to meet up at the Old Faithful Geyser.  About 2 miles into the park you cross the boarder into Wyoming.  Soon after the boarder traffic started to back up.  I stopped at a pullout for a few minutes and watched some fishermen.

Fishing in the Madison River

When I got back on the road, traffic was still moving slowly.  I rode the shoulder passing all the cars that had earlier passed me.  A little over 4 miles into the park there was a ranger directing traffic.  I could see Vicki up ahead passing the ranger.  I nearly caught up to her.  I’m sure I would have if I had not stopped by the river.

Mt. Haynes above the Madison River

Madison River

At Madison, I turned south on the Great Loop for a few miles, then turned off on Fountain Flat Drive.  At the end of Fountain Flat Drive is the old dirt Fountain Flat Freight Road, which I followed around the west side of the Lower Geyser Basin until it rejoined the loop near the Grand Prismatic Spring.

Goose Lake, on the Fountain Freight Rd

Looking south on the Fountain Freight Road

Steam rising from the Grand Prismatic Spring, seen from the Fountain Freight Rd

Morning Glory Pool

It was a short ride to Old Faithful, where I met up with Vicki again.  While waiting for me, she was able to do some shopping in the gift shop, and watch the geyser blow.  After my arrival she was nice enough to accompany me to watch old faithful’s eruption one more time.  More amazing to me than the geyser, was how many people gathered to watch it.

Gathering to see the geyser

About an hour after seeing Old Faithful, Vicki left to return to our campsite, and I resumed my bike ride.

I stopped at the overlook of Kepler Cascades.  There was a viewing platform that jutted out over a deep gorge over the Firehole River.  There is a series of waterfalls that can be seen from the platform.  Anyone who is afraid of heights would be challenged on this platform.

Kepler Cascades

I briefly crossed over to the Pacific side of the Continental Divide at Craig Pass, but soon returned to the eastern side when I crossed over an unnamed summit at 8391 feet, the highest yet on this trip.

Third time crossing the Continental Divide

There was a nice downhill into West Thumb.  Just before returning to our campsite, I went through another animal traffic jam.  There were two elk grazing about 20 feet down below the road shoulder.  I wonder if they were the same elk we saw in nearly the same spot when we left early this morning?

After returning to our campsite and taking a hot shower, we went to dinner at Grant Village Dining Room.  We were seated next to the wall length window overlooking Yellowstone Lake.  Nice!  The food and service both exceeded my expectations.

Miles today: 53   Total miles: 1,211

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Responses

  1. Hi Vicki and Dave, We just finished looking at the beautiful picture you posted of Yellowstone we really enjoyed them. So gald you are having a good time. we sure miss you! Can’t wait to hearfrom you again! Lots of love from Mom and Peggy!
    love you mom


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