Parked for a Day

Share your favorite thing to do in Yellowstone or Grand Teton national park that requires parking the car and getting just a bit (or more) off the beaten path. Your “Parked for a Day” activity must be something almost anyone can do in a single day, and it can’t involve sitting in a vehicle, by the side of a road or a parking spot.

Recent Posts

Hike Uncle Tom’s Trail for close-up view of Yellowstone’s Lower Falls

There are dozens of places in Yellowstone National Park where you can a great view of the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. But there's only one spot where you'll feel like you truly "earned" the view. Uncle Tom's Trail is a strenuous series of more than 300 steel stairs that drop 500 feet, descending about three quarters of the way form the canyon rim toward the river below. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,

Visit Cave Falls in the remote Bechler area of southwestern Yellowstone Park

Cave Falls is 250 feet wide, making it the widest waterfall in Yellowstone National Park. It is located in the Bechler area in the southwestern corner of Yellowstone. (Ruffin Prevost/Yellowstone Gate - click to enlarge)

Cave Falls in the southwestern corner of Yellowstone National Park is only about 20 feet tall, but what it lacks in height, it makes up for in width. At 250 feet wide, there is no wider waterfall in the park, and it's a short and easy hike from the parking area to view Cave Falls. The Bechler area of Yellowstone is a remote section that most folks have never heard of, much less visited. Unlike the five major entrances to the park, the vehicle entrance at Bechler gets you just inside Yellowstone's boundaries, but not much further. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , ,

A ‘moderate’ hike to view Tetons from Huckleberry Mountain Fire Lookout

Deb Ehlers tends to her dogs, Kirwin and Maggie, on the Huckleberry Mountain trail in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. (Tom Ehlers, Jr. - click to enlarge)

Once we made it to Huckleberry Ridge, we found evidence of recent bear presence, with numerous piles of bear scat filled with berries on and along the trail. The Internet description of the hike had indicated that when the huckleberries ripen, the ridge is a favorite feeding spot for grizzly bears, and to this we found evidence of truth! Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

A great day hiking and boating around Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park

Teton View. (Kim - click to enlarge)

For a great day hiking and taking in amazing scenery in Grand Teton National Park, the area around the southern part of Jenny Lake is hard to beat. It is understandably one of the most popular spots in the park. We started our day of hiking around Jenny Lake early by taking one of the first shuttle boat rides across the lake. There is a small fee for the boat ride, but you can select either round-trip or one way, depending on your plans. You can also walk around the southern end of Jenny Lake. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , ,

Take a leisurely stroll along Slough Creek in northern Yellowstone Park

Slough Creek meanders through the first meadow with Cutoff Mountain rising in the background.  Hi Ruffin-could you run that photo of me you ran with the wolf story.   I can't seem to find it.  Thank you so much!

For an enjoyable early or late season hike in Yellowstone, the Slough Creek Trail offers unparalleled scenery and great fishing. The trail starts near the Slough Creek Campground and travels 11 miles to the Park's northern boundary, following Slough Creek for most of the way. This excellent trail is actually an old wagon road leading to the Silver Tip Ranch, just north of Yellowstone. The road is still used by ranch residents to gain access to the Silver Tip, so don't be surprised if you encounter a few horse-drawn wagons on your journey. If you do, please follow proper trail etiquette and step off the trail to allow them to pass. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , ,

A backcountry bike ride to Yellowstone Park’s Lone Star Geyser

120705J3392

A day trip to Lone Star Geyser in Yellowstone National Park is a short and pleasant day hike or a fun bike ride, and a great way to spend some time off the beaten path. The path to Lone Star Geyser follows the Firehole River for the five-mile round trip, passing through green meadows and wildflowers that line the trail, an old road now closed to vehicles. Lone Star Geyser erupts about every three hours, with a few smaller, minor eruptions occurring before the major eruption. The major burst can last for up to 3o minutes, and ends in a strong steam phase. When you arrive at the geyser, check the log book to see if anyone recorded any recent eruptions so you'll know when it's likely to blow again, and feel free to enter details about what you see to help other visitors. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Yellowstone’s Kite Hill Cemetery at Mammoth is home to mysterious graves

kite-hill-headstone2

The Kite Hill Cemetery is not to be confused with a separate military cemetery in Mammoth near horse corrals. Kite Hill is a civilian cemetery for early park workers and non-military residents. It has 14 graves, but only one monument still stands, marking two graves. The identities of at least three people buried remain a mystery. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , ,

Midway Bluff in Yellowstone Park offers sweeping views of Grand Prismatic Spring and Excelsior Geyser Crater

Family picture on Midway Bluff

A hike up to Midway Bluff in Yellowstone National Park requires finding this well-hidden gem of a trail, which is strenuous, but well worth the effort, offering a view you'll never forget! If you take your time, have good hiking footwear and pause frequently, you will be rewarded at the top of this trail with a spectacular view of the entire Midway Geyser Basin. Grand Prismatic Spring and Excelsior Geyser will be visible in all their colorful glory! And you'll get a view of them that few visitors ever get to see first-hand. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Enjoy one of the best hikes in Yellowstone Park: “It’s a Hell roarer!”

Switchbacks near the Hellroaring Creek trailhead in Yellowstone National Park offer expansive views of Hellroaring Mountain, Buffalo Plateau and the Yellowstone River. (photo © Sandy Sisti - click to enlarge)

For a spectacular late spring hike in Yellowstone National Park, the Hellroaring Creek Trail is not to be missed. For some moderate effort, you will be rewarded with incredible scenery, wildflower-filled meadows and exceptional birding — as well as the possibility of encountering some of Yellowstone's famed large mammals. Hellroaring Creek was named in the 1860's by A.H. Hubble, part of a group of prospectors searching for gold in Yellowstone country. During their expedition, Hubble ventured ahead of his party to scout the area. When he returned to his group, he was asked what kind of creek lay ahead and he replied: "It's a hellroarer." The name stuck, and for good reason. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,

Grand Teton serenity, history and philanthropy at the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve

The Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve Center in Grand Teton National Park features unique exhibits and hiking trails, including routes leading to Phelps Lake. (Elisabeth Rohrbach photo - click to enlarge)

My favorite place to visit in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem is the Laurance S. Rockefeller (LSR) Preserve, a refuge of slightly more than 1,000 acres within Grand Teton National Park, located on the southern end of Phelps Lake. The area belonged to the Rockefeller family and was called the JY Ranch, and was donated to the National Park Service in 2001. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , ,