Posing near the cutest Joshua Tree at the @nationalparkgeek
meet up, watching sunset and stars on Geology Tour Road.
Day five at Yellowstone we slept in and had a big pancake breakfast. We were so glad we got geyser crazy and did the old Faithful area in one day. This gave us this day (our last in Yellowstone) to sleep in and do what we all love to do: find a quiet hiking trail to a lake or pond and sit and enjoy the views. We stopped at the volcano mud area to see the mud volcano and dragon’s mouth. Bison were all around right next to the boardwalks along the walk. This was worth the stop being in the area. The dragons mouth is so wild to see and hear. You can tell where the name comes from. From there we were done with crowds and sight seeing. We were ready to just enjoy the park in it’s natural state. We got the kayaks approved by the rangers and our small watercraft license. Thanks to the ranger he led us to Gull Point Drive and another perfect spot off the beaten path. We sat and enjoyed the beautiful views of the mountains and kayaked the shoreline of lake Yellowstone. There was even a little area for the kids to kayak on their own in calm water that was encircled by land. The “beach”’is made of tiny pebbles and rock made from lava. The colors are black browns and even glass looking. Sometimes it is sharp on your feet so make sure you wear water shoes. Also, the mosquitos are there so bring bug spray and set up your spot away from the trees and grass.
Day four at Yellowstone we decided to take on Old Faithful and everything surrounding. We prepared ourselves and kept joking that it was like going to Disney. So many things to do and so many people. We were an hour away from the area and decided to start at the Grand Prismatic and midway geyser Basin. One the way there we saw a beautiful young male elk right on the side of the road. We safely viewed the elk unlike other people trying to get close. We can not believe how close some people get to these wild animals! The line was so long to get into the small parking lot (for such a popular spot) so we decided to head to the lower basin area. The fountain paint pots were so fun to watch bubble and pop. I think the boys could have watched that all day. Clepsydra was also stunning and worth the stop over. There were many crowds here but it seems as if everyone clusters at the front and doesn’t walk to the back. We then drove back to Grand prismatic and the line was better. Excelsior greats you with steam and haunting views of its size. Watching the water run off into the river is amazing. As you walk up to Grand prismatic you can see the vibrant colors off the surface, all shades of blues and oranges. We liked the view but wanted to see it from the top! Next we planned on doing the fairy falls hike to overlook the Grand prismatic. The bathroom line was so long at Grand prismatic that we assumed there would be one at fairy falls. Well there is not nor at biscuit basin or black basin. With kids with camelbacs on and adults that drink coffee this is an issue. So we headed to Old Faithful. We actually got there 40 min before old faithful performed. So we had a picnic lunch and waited. It was so exciting and surreal to see Old Faithful. The kids loved it and squealed with excitement. After we headed back North to Black Sand Basin. This is a short walk with a ton of character. Totally worth a stop to see all the lively hot springs geysers and basins. We listened to a ranger talk about all the scientific and medical advances and discoveries that have been done because of the bacteria and organisms found in Yellowstone’s hot springs and basins. Continued in comments below
Day three at Yellowstone we moved camp south to Fishing bridge, the drive was beautiful and filled with wildlife. We set up camp and decided to do something nearby. Right down the street from the campground is Pelican Creek Trail. We took this short trail through the woods and ended up on our own private beach on Yellowstone Lake! Gorgeous views of the mountains and pines all around us. The kids ran so fast and screamed with excitement. The water was freezing but the kids and adults did not mind. We were able to walk out really far and still the water was only waste deep. It was so amazing to swim in the largest alpine lake that was also the center of the volcano 640,000 years ago. We hung out here for a will sitting and enjoying the views while the kids played.
Day two in Yellowstone we explored the Norris geyser basin. To say you have to see it to believe it, is an understatement. This unearthly place is filled with geysers, basins, and bubbling mudpots of multiple colors and sizes. The noise of the wind and geysers, hot springs, and basins was haunting. The smell and heat coming from the area was unreal. Ava loved just looking over the the entire area for above, she said it looked like the moon and mars mixed. Owen loved waiting to see vixen geyser explode and that some of the basins were stinky. We highly recommend taking the time to walk the back basin trail. Every basin and geyser is so much different then the next. Vixen geyser is predictable and often so you can get up close and personal to her exploding performance. A few from our group actually got sprayed a little and were surprised to feel that the water was cold. The emerald and basin were jaw dropping. The colors were so vibrant. Hot, bubbling, smelly, vibrant, geysers, hot springs, and basins all in one location. Standing by a geyser you really get a sense of how small and fragile we are. Standing on a caldera of a super volcano will do that to you. My two favorites on back basin trail were Echinus Geyser and Emerald Spring. We hit this area before lunch time and did not have a crowd issue. Next we went to Canyon village for ice cream (obviously ) and to pick up the scientist jr ranger books. This is where the crowds were cray cray. Could have been the time of day or that the sights to see here are all in a very close area. We started at Lower falls and hiked to get a better view. It was stunning and a moderate hike with elevation changes. Inspiration point and uncle Toms trail were closed so we headed to the South rim and saw a black bear along the way a little of the road grazing in a meadow! We went to Artists point which is another must stop. The view down the canyon is iconic. The Yellowstone Grand Canyon is amazing and Artists point gives you a spectacular view of it. Highly recommend making that spot and take the time to sit and stare at the beauty and colors of the canyon.
After seven years of traveling to national parks as parents, we’ve mostly learned three things: how to ignore crying and whining on hikes, how to get a kid to clap (and nap) when he goes in his hiking backpack, and how to complete a junior ranger program in under 24 hours. #findyourpark #everykidinapark #archesnationalpark
Headed back down to Lawn Lake after our 8 mile hike up to Crystal Lake @rockynps.
“As a Junior Ranger, I promise to learn all I can to help preserve and protect Shenandoah National Park...When I return home, I will continue to learn about and teach others how to protect the natural world.” The young visitors we meet today will be the protectors of our public lands for years to come. The Junior Ranger program is a great way to connect kids to nature and help them reflect on their time in Shenandoah. Ask a ranger for a free activity book and program schedule on your next visit.
How will you pass on your love of the outdoors to future generations? Share what the Junior Ranger pledge means to you in the comments, or show us your favorite Junior Ranger moments! #ShenNPS #JuniorRanger #everykidinapark
The Babe had lots of big plans for swimming in the lake on the hike down. Then he put his feet in, screamed it was too cold and proceeded to sun himself on a rock. ——————————————————————- know before you go 1) there is only one way to legally and safely access the lake from the rim of the crater and that is via the Cleetwood cove trail. A trail of 9 steep and dusty switchbacks from the rim down to a small stretch of rocky shore, a boat dock where you can take a guided tour boat ride, and a cliff you can jump off into the lake at your own risk. The hike down is not too bad but what goes down must come back up again! it’s a strenuous hike with 1000ft elevation gain the surface of the lake is just over 6000ft and the rim 7000ft. I may or may not of had some chest pain getting back up. Thanks to @pathfound
for hauling the babe up and out. 2) swimming for those who dare to brave the frigid ice /snow melt water, is permitted, as is fishing no license needed and no catch limit, artificial bait only NPS doesn’t want anyone adding additional foreign organic matter to the water. No private water crafts or wetsuits are permitted. 3) there are portapotties at the top and bottom of the trail. 4) the rocks are sharp edged basalt scramble with care. 5) the water gets crazy deep ( America’s deepest lake) just a few feet from the shore watch your weak swimmers like a hawk. #makingmemories
Dead Horse State Park.
West World anyone??
Got her new Junior Ranger badge and we used our daughter's free 4th grade National Park pass to get in. Don't forget if you have an upcoming 4th grader you are eligible to get a free #everykidinapark
pass to all the National Parks. (https://www.everykidinapark.gov/get-your-pass/fourth-grader) We absolutely love the Junior Ranger program too!
I said I want to ride a dolphin. I was talking about a real dolphin. Quit telling me I’m too little. I’m big!
Did you know??
If you have a fourth grader you can get a free national park pass that gets your entire family + friends in for free!!! https://www.everykidinapark.gov/get-your-pass/
#getyourpass #everykidinapark #nationalparkgeek
"Who sees the human face correctly: the photographer, the mirror, or the painter?" ~Pablo Picasso
This week's Art in the Park theme was portraits. Kids learned how to make portraits with crazy hair, Picasso inspired faces, and 3D! #FindYourPark
through art at Hopewell Culture National Historical Park. Learn more about this program and others, on our website: https://go.usa.gov/xUKjj
NPS photo: M.Vick
#hopewellohionps #nationalparkservice #artsafire #artinthepark #summerart #everykidinapark
: Exploring the nation’s history in the founding cities, like Philadelphia, is so educational and makes history come alive for the boys. I’ll be honest, I’ve always found history so boring, but traveling and visiting these places surely changed my perspective. Now, I find history very interesting. What’s the most historical place you’ve been to?