Our third day in Yellowstone was a monster 12 hour day. I had my friend up before sunrise to start the day. We headed towards Mt. Washburn, and pulled over at a lookout to watch the sunrise (she’s a trooper). We met a wonderful family there, and they insisted on going above and beyond to get a good photo of us.
We then got an early start up Mt. Washburn, during which I reminded my friend the joys of getting up early/beating the crowd (I think she’ll now be a morning person :P). It was gorgeous! Unfortunately, it was also twice the length the guidebook led us to believe. My favorite animal ended up being a tiny squirrel like creature, which just makes me laugh.
After that extra time, we decided to cut out Canyon Village and head up to Mammoth Springs. My friend really wanted to go to boiling river, so despite the portion of the road between West Yellowstone & Mammoth Springs being closed making it a two hour drive back, we made sure to get there. So many elk! I also loved the contrasting textures and colors. Next time I go back, I also want to spend more time at boiling river, which is essentially a swimming hole w/ hot water running into it, making it nice and warm.
We ended the day heading to Lamar Valley to see the wildlife, and lucked out by seeing about 300 bison (give or take 200). Long day, but worth it! Let’s just say the next day involved a lot of lodge hopping/reading.