Yellowstone National Park, Classic Road Trip Destination

I am saddened that our days of the classic summer road trip are over.  We had a good run of them.  Then our boys became involved in summer activities or jobs that made it increasingly difficult to schedule around, and they went on to create their own special memories with friends old and new, as it should be when your children grow up.  Since summer road trip season is not too far off (or so I like to believe as I watch the snow get blown about outside my window ….), what better time to dig into the photo archives and share some of my family’s favorite travel memories from over the years.

Our summer road trips usually involved a National Park destination or similar natural setting.  If you had to select just one classic U.S. National Park to visit for that summer adventure, you could not go wrong with Yellowstone National Park.

Old Faithful Inn and the Upper Geyser Basin

Yellowstone has an amazingly diverse landscape, from the colorful steaming pools and murky paint pots, to the geysers and rivers and lakes.  The glacial landscape results in some amazing scenery.

Glacial Boulder in Yellowstone National Park

While Old Faithful is a classic sight, it is in the center of the Upper Geyser Basin activity.

Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park

We found that sitting along the banks of the river on a hot day, watching the River Geyser go on for ages, provided a peaceful respite.

River Geyser, Yellowstone National Park

A person also could spend much of the day pondering the midnight blue depths of the Black Pool, alongside Lake Yellowstone.

Black Pool, Yellowstone's West Thumb Geyser Basin

Some water features of the park are hidden far below the surface, showing themselves only through the steam escaping from vents scattered about the Park.

Buffalo steam-bathing in Yellowstone National Park

Then there are the incredible moving bodies of water — both the Upper and Lower Falls are scenes straight out of a postcard, captured through the ages in paintings and photography.

Lower Falls, Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone presents the classic sight of buffalo letting drivers know who rules the road.

Buffalo on a Yellowstone National Park highway

Congestion is quickly escaped, though, by enjoying the vast rolling greens of Hayden Valley.

Hayden Valley, Yellowstone National Park

Even Hayden Valley meets with a traffic jam on occasion, as the herd moves to its evening grounds with the sunset.  What an awe-inspiring sight it was to watch buffalo after buffalo, mother encouraging their young, large bulls kicking up the dust, as the line of buffalo snorted and grumbled its way across the highway, down the bank of the river, across the river, and then off into the valley beyond.

Evening buffalo crossing in Yellowstone National Park

Buffalo herd crosses the river at sunset in Yellowstone National Park

The National Park Service’s website is your best starting point for planning a visit to Yellowstone National Park.  If you intend to stay inside the Park, plan your reservations far in advance, because lodging fills early during popular summer vacation dates.

Ciao! ~ Kat


14 responses to “Yellowstone National Park, Classic Road Trip Destination”

  1. […] It has been over seven years since my last visit to Yellowstone National Park, and I hope to return again some day to this fascinating place.  The diversity of geologic features, wildlife, and beauty is amazing; and each trip only begins to scratch the surface of what the Park has to offer.  Yellowstone National Park was one of our favorite family road trips taken with our boys as they grew up (which I recounted here). […]


  2. I’ve been to Yellowstone twice, Kat. It really is a jewel in our park system. Thanks for taking me back there. I’ve some wonderful memories that you’ve just refreshed.


    • I still hope to get there for a winter visit some day — over Thanksgiving was in West Yellowstone, but really not much in the Park proper, and it was before the snow tractors gear up for the season.


  3. Love your photos of the buffalo. We went through Custer State Park when I was young, and I will never forget people getting out of their cars to try to get better shots of them. There is a reason the signs are posted to stay away from them.


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