We first went to Yellowstone National Park back in 1990, two years after the massive forest fires overwhelmed much of the park. Twenty-two years later it was interesting to see how much of the area has recovered from the devastation. Many of the new lodgepole pine trees were reaching heights of 20 feet or more.
Very few places are worthy of a second vacation when there are so many scenic places in the US, and yet Yellowstone should be on top of everyone's bucket list. We elected to fly out to Wyoming this time, bypassing about 3,000 miles of driving. But many people do make the drive, coming from all 50 states and Canada. On our week-long trip, We saw license plates from every state, except Rhode Island. Not sure how two cars from Hawaii got there.
Summer is the peak travel season and tourists surrounded the geysers, hot springs and canyons by mid-day. It was best to get an early start or go out after dinner. This time of year it was light outside until 10:00 pm or so.
Yellowstone is rich in scenic landscapes. There is Old Faithful, which isn't even the tallest geyser, and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone which hosts perhaps the most beautiful waterfall in the country, the Lower Yellowstone Falls. You're likely to see a rainbow if there mid-morning.
Yellowstone is a favorite park among many because of its beauty and wildlife. And you don't have to go on long hikes to see good stuff. Most of the overlooks to the canyon, geysers and colorful pools are just a short walk from your vehicle. And if you're not looking for a Rhode Island license plate, you might see some terrific wildlife. We saw moose, mountain goats, coyote, fox, buffalo, elk and 5 black bears on this trip to Yellowstone and nearby Teton National Park, all from the safety inside our rental car.
One evening we had a close encounter with a buffalo while hiking on a boardwalk near Old Faithful. A park ranger wisely stopped us before getting too close, forcing us to backtrack about a mile. I guess that buffalo thought he owned the place :^)