I love the opportunity to take a fall vacation and have it work into our studies! I’m ever so thankful to my wonderful husband, who took most of the pictures while we were in Yellowstone.
Our second day in Yellowstone, we set out to explore the beautiful “Grand Canyon of Yellowstone”.
We started at “Brink of the Upper Falls” where we saw a bald eagle. We hiked a short way up the river before turning around.
We drove around to Uncle Tom’s Trail on the South Rim of the Canyon. Uncle Tom’s Trail has a 500 ft. elevation change down into the canyon for a spectacular view of the Lower Falls. It involves something like 300 metal grate stairs.
The views on the way down were exquisite! When we got to the bottom platform we saw a beautiful rainbow. The colors of the canyon were stunning! I thought the platform was vibrating, but it was just my fear of heights causing my leg to involuntarily shake! (Metal grate stairs are my nemesis.) The boys bounded up the stairs out of the canyon. I slowly climbed the stairs as they asked, “Mom, are you okay?”. I wish I’d had my heart rate monitor so I would have known how many calories I burned.
Once I finally got up to the top of the rim again, we headed off down the trail for Artist Point. The views along the trail were absolutely breath taking.
It was incredible. Pictures in the mountains can never seem to capture the vastness.
After what seemed like an incredibly long hike (it felt like at least 3 miles) we met up with the bus loads of tourists at Artist’s Point. A friendly ranger was taking family pictures!
We retraced our steps back to the car (minus the trip down into the canyon) and it was really only 1 mile!
In the afternoon we went to the visitor center at Canyon Lodge. They had a wonderful topographic model of the entire park. Upstairs was Thomas Moran’s painting of the Lower Falls. The painting is in 3 panels and 7′ x 12′. It’s incredibly beautiful. The visitor center also had a display that represented the amount of ash put out by Mt. Saint Helen’s compared to the amount of ash that is believed to have been spread by the Yellowstone Volcano. The boys got their Young Scientist papers and we made an afternoon visit along the Northern Rim to complete a couple of the activities in their packets.
It was truly a beautiful area. Even though there is some thermal activity in the canyon, the area is vibrant and full of life compared to some of the geyser basins.
Check out the Wildlife of Yellowstone and Thanks to Mary for Hosting: