Two weeks prior to us leaving for this trip, Yellowstone National park experienced devastating flooding and was actually completely closed for a little bit. We were unsure what was going to happen for our time there, but figured there was enough all around that we could do just in case the park was totally closed. The trip was still on! The north entrance near Gardiner was heavily affected and that is where we were to spend some of our trip. We scrambled to secure different accommodations in other areas of the park, and rearrange our touring plans. Once the park did reopen, they instituted a license plate entrance system. Plates ending in odd numbers could enter on odd days and even on even. This split our group up but it ended up working out just fine.
We arrived at our lodging late the night of the 24th after leaving Jackson Hole. The drive was about an hour to get to Headwaters Lodge Flagg Ranch, which is located near the southern entrance to Yellowstone. It was dark and we couldn’t see a thing…but we eventually found our cabin through some trial and error!
Fun fact…the heat was not automatically turned on in our room, and we woke up in the morning with the temp around 46 degrees! The room was perfect for what we needed. There was no television or mini fridge. I loved the location and would definitely stay here again! Here are the girls on our cute little porch in the morning before we headed out to the park. It was COLD! High 30s I think in the morning??
We left around 7:30 a.m. Our plan for this day was to enter at the south entrance and go counter clockwise around the lower loop as far as we could get before reaching our physical limit. The lower loop was 96 miles. We were using the GyPSy Guide app for this park as well.
We couldn’t resist pulling over to catch some amazing views…and we weren’t even through the gates yet!
When we got to the entrance, they did have staff out checking license plates. There was no traffic back up for us to get in.
Our first real stop was West Thumb Geyser Basin. This area bordered Yellowstone Lake and the views were simply breathtaking! There were so many different geysers and springs.
(As a note, just recently someone died here. They found a foot floating in a shoe and that was all that was left of the body. So please take these signs seriously!)
It was COLD this morning! There were some slick spots on the boardwalk while walking around.
There were so many little “pools!” I tried to take a photo of the name in front so I would remember.
After leaving West Thumb, we continued our drive around the lower loop towards Lake Village and Fishing Bridge.
We finally spotted our first wildlife in the park!
This is one of my favorite pics from the whole trip!
We made a small pit stop, as suggested by our Gypsy app.
We saw some really neat looking ducks! The currents were pretty strong and they were just bobbing along like nothing was happening!
Up next…Yellowstone National Park Part 2!