CDT Days 84-85: Yellowstone National Park

Day 84: 33 Miles

We had a great day today walking through Yellowstone. The trail was well maintained and well graded, as usual for a National Park. Because we were far from the roads, there were very few people out.

We walked past steaming vents, boiling springs, a stream flowing with hot water, and primitive geysers in the thermal basin.

Because of the easy terrain, we made decent time. Our campsite for the night was near Lone Star Geyser, which erupts about every three hours. We decided to try and make it for the 6:00 pm eruption, and we did!

The geyser is smaller than Old Faithful, but its major eruptions last over 20 minutes, ending with a loud steam venting phase. We had the place mostly to ourselves, plus an employee from the lodge who told us all about the geyser. We set up camp and ate dinner, then returned to the geyser to watch the 9:00 pm eruption as the sun was setting.

We’re just a few miles from Old Faithful and the breakfast buffet at the lodge. Tomorrow will be a good day too.

Day 85: 14 Miles

We got up early this morning and headed toward Old Faithful Village, where breakfast (and crowds) awaited.

We stuffed ourselves at the buffet, and the staff showed us where we could take free showers if we were discreet. We charged our devices and picked up a package before heading to the General Store to grab a few more snacks and a new stove since ours broke a few days ago. Since we only had 10 miles to camp at Summit Lake and it’s my birthday, we packed out some wine. The trail passed through all the highlights of the thermal basin in the frontcountry.

Geysers, hot springs, and thermal vents everywhere, along with countless tourists. There were some pretty cool sights to see, not to mention all the funny looks we get from the park visitors who don’t know what to make of us.

I was hoping today might be our first day with dry feet, but it wasn’t meant to be. We got a steady rain on the walk to camp and soon the ground was saturated, along with our shoes and socks.

Eventually the rain let up and we were able to enjoy the lake at sunset and get a fire going. We said goodbye to our friend Z as he is taking alternate and getting off trail for about a week. It was a pretty good day today.