Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Day 6 - Jack and Amy's Yellowstone Vacation

Jack and Amy’s 2009 Vacation to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons

Day 6 - Thursday, September 10th, 2009


Day 6 Photos:
http://travel.webshots.com/album/574774176hLOGqZ

For today, amy wanted a break from hiking and exploring around the park, but I just couldn't spend a day in Yellowstone without hiking. So while Amy's plan for the day would be to relax at our cabin with some good books and explore around the various Canyon Village gift shops without feeling rushed, my plan for today was to pick out a nice long solo hike.

For the first morning of this trip I actually slept in well past sunrise. Since I knew I would be leaving Amy alone for most of the day, I at least wanted to spend the morning with her. So after some morning snuggle time and a nice breakfast together I ventured out on my own.

I had planned about a 10-mile Loop hike:
  • Starting from Artist Point
  • Hike to Point Sublime
  • Backtrack to the Ribbon Lake Trail
  • Ribbon Lake Trail to Ribbon Lake and Silver Cord Cascade
  • Backtrack back to the Ribbon Lake Trail
  • Wapiti Lake Trail to the Clear Lake Trail
  • Clear Lake Trail to the South Rim Trail
  • South Rim Trail back to Artist Point
Artist Point was already getting crowded when I arrived, so I quickly snapped some obligatory shots before beginning my hike.


 Lower Yellowstone Falls from Artist Point

The Ribbon Lake Trail starts out by following the South Rim of the Canyon downstream from Artist Point with some spectacular viewpoints along the way. The side trail to Point Sublime also has some great views. However the actual view from Point Sublime is no better than what I had seen along the way.



 The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

There was also no good viewpoint to safely check out Silver Cord Cascades. I decided that the best view would be from the other side of the Canyon. Hopefully I would get to check that out later.

From there the hike was uneventful and nothing that pops out as being extraordinary. However the constantly changing landscape made for a very interesting and enjoyable hike.

I went through thick groves of pine, past scenic mountain lakes and ponds, across wide open meadows where only the Bison roam. Through dry creek beds, past thermal features, over rolling hills, all the time just enjoying my solitude. In fact the meat of the hike from Artist Point to the South Rim Trail I only encountered two other humans.


 Along the Wapiti Lake Trail


Since it was mostly flat and all the trails were well marked and easy to follow I hiked at a quick pace and finished up a few hours before I thought I would. Therefore I decided to explore a little on the North Rim before meeting back up with Amy.


The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone from the North Rim Trail

I moved on to the parking area at the Brink of the Upper Falls and hiked the North Rim trail from there. I passed by Crystal Falls on Cascade Creek which is a nice waterfall on it's on, but since it falls into the Canyon between Upper and Lower Yellowstone Falls it doesn't get a lot of credit compared to the other two Falls.

A steep series of switchback leads to a viewpoint right at the top of the Lower falls where a nice rainbow awaited me. Didn't find any gold, just crowds of people here!


 Rainbow at Lower Yellowstone Falls


Once back away from the more crowded areas, I saw dozens of Deer including some impressive Bucks with some very nice racks.






By now it was getting close to the time I told Amy I would meet back up with her, so I returned to our cabin. We had an early dinner together and then I was out for some more solo hiking.

I drove over to Inspiration Point on the North Rim and hiked the Cascade Overlook Trail to see the view of Silver Cord Cascade from the North Rim. It's a distant view across the Canyon, but good enough that you can clearly see why it's called Silver Cord Cascade!


Silver Cord Cascade

Plus there are plenty of other great view of the Canyon from this trail. I then hiked the North Rim Trail past some of the popular roadside overlooks and took the steep Red Rock Point Trail.

The view of the Lower Falls from Red Rock Point is awesome and the sun had just descended below the ridgeline offering up some excellent lighting to photograph the falls.




 Lower Yellowstone Falls from Red Rock Point

I took a few more photos along the North Rim Trail and from Inspiration Point before calling it an evening and rejoining Amy in Bed. The day ended just how it started!



 Jack at the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone


Additional Photos from Day 6 of our vacation are located here:
http://travel.webshots.com/album/574774176hLOGqZ



2 comments:

HemlockMan said...

Where are the grizzly bears?

Jack said...

I saw my one and only Grizzly Bear on Day 8. Unfortunately I didn't get a photo. That story will be in the Day 8 report coming soon!