Waterfall Hike plus a Scenic Drive to and through Yellowstone National Park
With the Yellowstone River flowing alongside and the Paradise Valley as a backdrop, we had a lovely introduction to “the West” in Livingston and enjoyed our first day in Yellowstone National Park.
This 7-day itinerary we mapped out with Yellowstone Country Montana helped us unplug and explore the region within AND beyond the park, through the diverse landscape for daily adventures and plenty of small town charm. If you’re considering a trip to the region they would be happy to send you a free travel packet by mail.
Day 2: Philly Family Explores Yellowstone Country Montana
After a delicious breakfast at Gil’s Goods, we swung by Yellowstone Sporting Goods for bear spray and set out for our first hike to Pine Creek Falls. This was a great first hike for the kids, about two hours to the falls and back, with a clear path, gentle slopes, and small streams with step stones to cross. The falls are worth the time and they have a scenic log bridge across them for the perfect photos.
We grabbed lunch (to go) at Follow Yer Nose BBQ, a gem of a restaurant with delicious food beside the Wildflour Bakery where I grabbed an espresso and enjoyed their watercolor gallery before heading into Yellowstone.
Yellowstone National Park is home to pristine and dynamic landscapes with unique geological features and a vast array of visible wildlife. It gives hints of what this great land was before the frontier overcame it: vast prairie, hills, and forest unmarred by fence or structure, open space where animals simply roam. Beneath the park is an ancient uprising of magma that produced some of the largest eruptions of the last few million years. This active hotspot fuels the largest collection of such features in the world. The views along the road from the North entrance were spectacular! We visited Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces and Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, two sights that must be seen: the hot springs give some hint to the churning heat far below, and the Canyon houses dramatic falls and lots of yellow stone. On our drive between these scenic attractions, we saw a herd of bison with so many baby bison, and we saw a brown bear casually grazing on a hillside!
Traveling Tip for Exploring Yellowstone: Get ready to go off the grid (without wifi or cell reception) by printing out your itinerary with addresses and downloading your favorite tunes or audiobooks to your phone before your trip. We had to rely on our car’s GPS and the park map we were given at the entrance to the park. Also: drive times in Yellowstone are subject to tourist delays: when someone spots something, many pause to look, and this can create slow and stopped traffic without warning.
Accomodations and Eatery: We found a delicious pizza dinner and got to know some of the friendly staff at Petes Rocky Mountain Pizza, and we stayed at Yellowstone Lodge in West Yellowstone for our second night. The kids loved the pool!