The mild summer sun had just begun to rise over the wilderness. The rushing white water gushed down the deep fall amid the tall green pines. Down in the valley in the distance, surrounded by grey hills and mountains, the serene lake water shimmered in the warm Idaho summer sunlight.
The thrilling drive along the beautiful Snake River against the wild wind in Wyoming and beneath the blue Montana sky turned into a short joyride. It was a two-month long sojourn to the breath-taking Tour of the Grand Teton National Park and the Yellow Stone National Park. But one could spend a lifetime here amidst the almost pristine beauty and breath the crisp, clean air in bliss.
Spread over three US States of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, both the parks cover an area of over three million acres. One of the nearest airports to the parks is the Billing Airport. So soon after we Landed at the Billing Airport, we hired an SUV and began on a five-hour drive to the Grand Teton National Park in northwestern Wyoming. The park is named after the Grand Teton, the tallest mountain peak in the Teton range.
Deep in history, the Grand Teton park covers parts of popular holiday destination Jackson Hole and the Teton Mountain Range. One must know a little of the wild west country to soak up the goodness of the place here and truly enjoy the backcountry activitiesâ€¦ floating the river, hiking, trekking, fishing and camping. One can explore over 200 miles of mountain trails in the Grand Teton.
After the much-needed good long refreshing holiday here, we decided to visit the neighbouring Yellow Stone National Park. From Teton National Park, our drive through the Yellow Stone National Park was awe-inspiring. We were spellbound by its amazing beauty in the wilderness. Yellow Stone is the first National Park in the world, notified in 1872.
Set amid a volcanic hotspot, the huge Yellow Stone National Park is famous for hot springs and geysers. The park lies mostly in Wyoming but it also spreads over parts of Montana and Idaho.
Here, in Yellow Stone, you can see nature in its entirety. Here, you can have it all... Lush green pine forests, lakes of different colours, Alpine rivers, amazing canyons, the great canyon waterfall, mud spots, the unique colourful hot springs and gushing geysers. There are more than 300 geysers small and large in the park. All of it lie barely three to four miles above molten lava flowing below the ground.
If you are at the Yellow Stone geyser basin this time, you must not miss the beautiful eruption of the Old Faithful. It does not erupt all the time. This time, it is predicted to erupt today (Agust 1, 2018) at 8:46 pm.
This Yellow Stone National Park is also a haven of hundreds of animal species, flora and fauna. The ecosystem here is heaven for wildlife enthusiasts. One can watch the bears, bison, elk and other rare animals in their heavenly bliss, safe from their outside world.
After seeing it all, we drove to our beautiful Pine Lodge down in the valley amidst the greenâ€¦ filled with the splendid beauty and wonder of nature. Itâ€™s a marvel of a travel destination one must visit.
Spring and summer months are a good time to visit. Thousands of travellers visit the parks in June, July and August.
1. Plan your trip early and book lodges and a place to stay in advance as thousands of people visit the great national parks every year.
2. Prepare to meet thousands of visitors that throng Yellow Stone to watch the hot springs and geysers. Check out traveller blogs and the websites on Teton and Yellow Stone for different travel experience and travel tips.
3. Do not get too close to animals to take pictures of them. Look up safety tips.
4. Check out the temperature and carry your clothing accordingly.
5. Plan a long trip as a good visit to the place may need a long holiday.
(The writer is former Managing Director, Kribhco)