West Yellowstone, MT
This week we had an absolutely amazing week in West Yellowstone! It's safe to say this has been our favorite destination yet. We drove up from American Falls, ID and passed through a snowstorm as we were climbing the mountain! Since our fifth wheel is too long to stay inside Yellowstone National Park we stayed right outside the west entrance at the Grizzly RV Resort. Even though we were in the park most of the week, we really enjoyed our time at this resort. They offered coffee and hot chocolate every morning! On top of that their facilities were very clean and are conveniently located less than a mile away from the west entrance to Yellowstone. Carmen also loved the fact that resort was bordered on two sides by the Gallatin National Forest. We took her on long walks through the forest and she had a blast!
We also were able to experience the first snow of the season. It was the first time we had been in snow in the RV so we were excited to see how she did. We ended up finding out that our slides are horrible at keeping cold air out and we are horrible at conserving propane. At least the snow added to the winter vibes we wanted in Yellowstone!
There are plenty of restaurants to choose from in West Yellowstone but these were our favorites:
- Taqueria Las Palmitas: This Mexican restaurant is in an old school bus! You enter through the school bus doors and ordered in the back. Seating is a converted bar stool facing the windows so you can people watch while you eat. Not only is the food delicious (I think we ate here at least four times) but the environment is really fun.
- Wild West Pizzeria: We pre-ordered pizza from here after a long day exploring Yellowstone and it really hit the spot. We occasionally still think about this pizza and salivate.
- Slippery Otter Pub: We had dinner here twice and came mostly for the local beer. The food was good, but the beer was better. It's one of the more popular places so make sure you get there early to avoid a long wait time.
Yellowstone National Park
Where do I even start? This park is absolutely breathtaking! We tried to take in as much as possible during our week stay but missed out on the whole east side of the park. We will be back! What did manage to take in will forever be in our memories. On the first day entering the park, we wanted to see Old Faithful. We rushed down there to see the last eruption before sunset but missed it by one minute 🙁 It still made for a great drive and on the way back we stopped at the Grand Prismatic Spring for sunset. We weren't ready to call it a night even though the sun had set, so we took a small side route through the park. Being the only ones on this route in pitch dark was extremely thrilling. We rolled down the windows, filling our car with the smell of sulfur and drove slowly. We ended up seeing one of the geysers on this path erupt! I can't explain how cool this was. We headed home for the night feeling completely satisfied with our afternoon in Yellowstone.
We drove into the park every day (except one) after work. Each day was an adventure! One day we came across a huge herd of bison on the road. They slowly made their way across the path snorting and huffing at each other. One even shoved another bison into the back of our truck! Thankfully it didn't leave a dent. Another day we drove to the north side of the park and tried to spot wildlife. We were really looking for bears and moose, unfortunately, we didn't see either. We did see a ton of bison, deer, elk, a fox, and a variety of birds. Since we were there the first week of October, it had snowed for the first time in the park. This just added to the majestic vibe going on.
As we left the park one night, we came across some road construction. There was what appeared to be a one lane road and a sign that said to wait for the pilot car. It was 10 pm and we weren't sure if this was accurate since we noticed on previous days employees leaving at 5 pm. We waited for about 15 minutes with no sign of life. We figured everyone had gone home earlier in the day and since the park had been empty all week, we drove on. It was actually quite spooky driving through an empty construction site! We drove slow and kept a lookout for ghosts (I mean workers). After 20 minutes of driving, we approached the end of the construction site and saw headlights. It was the pilot car! Turns out there was someone working, oops. The driver told us we should have waited but we explained our thought process for proceeding to her and she drove on.
Grand Teton National Park
We spent our last full day in West Yellowstone driving south to Grand Teton National Park. Mountains have never impressed us much since we're from Southern California, however, these mountains took our breath away! We couldn't stop staring at them. We spent about 5 hours in the park taking pictures of the Teton from different angles. We were lucky enough for it to be a windy day, as it blew all the cloud coverage away from the mountains.
Overall, this week was one for the books. We can't wait to return to Yellowstone to explore the areas we missed. We packed up and headed south for Salt Lake City, UT.