Of course I was sad to leave Glacier National Park, but there were more adventures to be had! It was about a 6 hour drive from Glacier to Yellowstone, so we got to the park around 5 p.m. First stop, Old Faithful!
Obviously, if you visit Yellowstone it’s practically written that you must see Old Faithful. It’s basically it’s own park! They have a visitor’s center, a gift shop, you can even stay in a hotel right at Old Faithful (if you can afford it). There are several benches surrounding the area so you can grab a seat and take in the view.
Yellowstone differs from Glacier in that you essentially drive through the park to see everything. There are hikes you can do, but we spent the majority of the time in the car. The sights are great though. We even got into a traffic jam because of a Buffalo that just said “IDGAF” humans! Thanks for finally pulling over for us, Mr. Buffalo!
Luckily, we got there with about 20 minutes to spare before Old Faithful went off, right on time! Literally. Within a minute of the predicted time. Crazy!
We had time to check out one more waterfall before it got too dark and it was time to head to the hotel. It happened to be right at sunset, so that was pretty great. This is the Upper Brink Falls.
Unfortunately, we ended up getting lost while driving through Yellowstone at night during a thunderstorm. Not ideal. We were so excited to finally get to our hotel, which was about 45 minutes from the park. Anywhere right near the park was way out of our price range.
The 320 Ranch sure was a sight for sore eyes. I loved it there! I wish we could have spent a little more time there, but the time we did spend was pretty great. The ranch is set up with cabins that each have a cute name, like ‘Grizzly’. They were so nice and clean too, which was a HUGE step up from the first hotel we stayed in (see previous post for horror story).
Book your room at their website Here.
Another perk: THE STARS! OMG if you’ve never seen the stars that far out, you need it. They were breathtaking. I so wish I could have gotten a photo, but my photography skills aren’t quite up to that par yet. We saw a minimum of 5 shooting stars within the 20 minutes or so we were outside. So unreal.
I also could not believe how great their FREE breakfast in the dining center was. It was exactly what we needed for another long day of driving and adventures. We got fueled up and headed back to Yellowstone for one more sight.
Grand Prismatic Spring was one thing at Yellowstone that I really wanted to see, so I’m so glad we got to make another trip out in the morning. Hot springs are one thing, but this was really something else. As soon as we got out of the car, you could feel the steam that comes off of it. It felt like we were walking through a sauna-such a cool experience. We snapped our pics, took in the gorgeous colors, and off we were to our last adventure.
We had about an 8 hour drive to Deadwood, SD. We got there in time to have a nice dinner at the Deadwood Lodge. Food was great, service was awful. (Sorry Trudy, but you need to get it together.) Nothing too notable about our stop here. We had a few drinks and got some rest before heading out for the short drive to Mt. Rushmore the next morning.
Mt. Rushmore was pretty cool. Definitely one of those things you have to see once in your life. We spent some time taking it in and checked out the gift shop where I bought yet another souvenir that I probably didn’t need. Oh well.
I also decided that we needed to see Crazy Horse. You know, since we were there and everything. Well it turns out that it costs $11 per person or $28 per car to get in to see it and get in to the visitor center. I am here to say, that you definitely do not need to do this. You can see the monument from the road, and it looks exactly the same as it did in 1998. So, my bad.
And that was our last stop! We trekked the rest of the way back to good ol’ Minnesota and got back to reality. This really was such a great trip that I never thought I would have been able to do. There’s so much to see in this country and I can’t wait to keep exploring!
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