Cowboy Country: A Day in Yellowstone

It may seem weird to have old style guitar strumming in your head as you venture into the caldera of a massive super volcano, but Yellowstone’s beautiful terrain fits the bill perfectly. My buddies and I first set foot into America’s oldest national park for a day trip in Fall 2017. We expected droves of tourists and we found them. More importantly, we found out why the first explorers fell in love with this land.

The roadside bison doesn’t hurt the case either.

The plan was to make Colter Bay by nightfall while taking in the sights of Yellowstone. Rivers filled with fly fisherman casting their lines weaved through the park. Roadside geysers spewed steam. We got a true sense of how powerful the system below us was and how it fed life on the surface.

After walking over boardwalks and seeing several geysers, we felt the need to get away from the crowds and do some hiking. We decided on the Fairy Falls and Imperial Geyser hike. Short but just long enough to strike away from most people. The trailhead can be found off of US Highway 191.

A short hike up a partially groomed trail leads you to the trail for the falls. Fairy Falls is the highest waterfall in Yellowstone’s front country. It doesn’t disappoint.

Fairy Falls

After snapping some obligatory shots at Fairy Falls, it was off further into the hike to see some geysers. At this point we were the only ones on the trail. The way we liked it. We soon came across imperial geyser tucked into a scenic setting.

The Imperial Geyser is more of a grower and not a shower these days…

We sat and enjoyed the quiet with the geysers bubbling in the background. A much more peaceful experience than the droves of tourists clogging up the boardwalks at the bigger basins. We began our hike back just as another group hit the trails.

Time was winding down but our friend, Nick, insisted we had to stay to watch Old Faithful since it could be years before we were back. Old Faithful showed up late but was worth the wait.

With the day completed, we hit the road towards the Tetons. America’s Oldest National Park is worth the stop, even if it’s only for a day.

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