After another great breakfast at the Wort Hotel we departed Jackson and proceeded to the Tetons Visitor Center where we learned more about the local animals that inhabit the area such as elk, bison, bear and moose among others.
From there we proceeded to Jenny Lake where we took a short boat ride across the lake and hiked up to Hidden Falls. It was a very scenic hike, not too rugged. The trail followed along a river that flowed from the falls down to the lake. We were amazed at how much snow we saw for mid June as we proceeded higher up the trail. What made this even more exciting, this was the first time that our teens, Sarah and Andrew had seen snow. So, not only did they see snow, they played in it, fell down in it and had a snow ball fight with it!
After our hike down from hidden falls, we took the boat back across the lake and had a short drive to a picnic area at String Lake. There we had a picnic lunch and enjoyed the beautiful scenery around the lake.
We proceeded up into Yellowstone Park through the south entrance. We drove up the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Parkway and boy did we see a lot of snow there! Having just been reopened in mid May, the road was freshly plowed and there were deep banks of snow in places along the side of the road and visible through the forest.
We stopped at an area along the way to view some of the thermal features of Yellowstone Park. We learned that there is more thermal activity in Yellowstone than anywhere else in the world! There are four types of thermal activity. Most people are familiar with geysers, the most famous in Yellowstone if of course Old Faithful. There are also hot springs, mud pots and fumaroles or steam vents. This stop was also where we got our first “up close” look at wildlife in the park, there were several elk there who seemed to care less that we were in their domain.
From there we drove on up to the Old Faithful village where we checked into our accommodations for the next two nights at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge. Also located here is the Old Faithful Inn, the hotel that Disney modeled the Wilderness Lodge after. We walked in for a visit, and were amazed at the striking resemblance. For a moment, it almost felt like we were back in Florida!
After dinner we walked over to see Old Faithful for the first time. Old Faithful erupts approximately every ninety minutes, give or take ten minutes. All the shops and hotels in the village have signs that display the next predicted eruption time for Old Faithful. This is truly one of the most incredible sights on our adventure. As someone said, this is truly a bucket list item that can be checked off, I know it was that for me. If you’ve seen pictures, or maybe seen it on TV, it really must be seen in person to appreciate it’s granduer.
After experiencing Old Faithful up close and personal, we headed back over to the Snow Lodge and got settled in and prepared to get some rest after a long days adventures and to rejuvenate for a new day to come.
Tomorrow we are going to have a local guide take us for a guided tour of many of the geysers, yes there are more than just Old Faithful, along with some of the other thermal features of this spectacular park.