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Saturday, July 4, 2015

U.S. Trails - You Gotta Have Faith

For the visually oriented, skip straight to the pictures here.

A flight to Salt Lake City and a road trip up north to Rexburg, Idaho later, I was on my way to Yellowstone National Park. Like Yosemite, Yellowstone required a lot of driving - to get there from Rexburg, and then to the actual trails. I had a list of trails I wanted to do at Yellowstone, but failed to do the proper Google Mapping ahead of time. The day before I left SF, a quick check on the maps made me realized that some of the hikes are about four hours away from Rexburg. Heck no. Instead, I decided to concentrate my time in the Old Faithful area (2.5 hours from Rexburg), with a detour to the Grand Teton (1.5 hours from Rexburg).

My first morning drive to Yellowstone began at 5:30AM, with the sun gently rising in the horizon and lighting up the farmlands to either side of the road. It's a rather easy drive that's accompanied by gorgeous landscapes so I didn't mind the drive.

When I got to the Old Faithful area, the parking lot was about 80% empty (but a couple hours later there were wheels everywhere). After waiting for Old Faithful to blow its steam, I drove north to the parking lot to Kepler Cascades, took a quick walk to the Cascades, and then found the trailhead for the Lone Star Geyser. Round-trip, the trail was only 5 miles, but once I got to the end of the trail I had been turned into such a mosquitoes pin cushion that I didn't bother waiting for the Lone Star to blow. Instead, I hiked back out as quickly as I could and went back to the General Store at Old Faithful to get some insect repellent.

Lucky I did go back to Old Faithful, because I overheard a ranger saying that the Bee Hive was about to blow (which only happens once every 24 hours). Longer and larger than Old Faithful, the Bee Hive gave quite the show. I only had my phone with me at the time, so that's where the pictures came from.

I then drove back up north to Biscuit Basin, which holds a collection of thermal pools. Behind these pools was also the trailhead to Mystic Falls, a short hike that leads to a 70-foot tall waterfall off of the Little Firehole River.

See photos of my day 1 at Yellowstone here.


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