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Yellowstone/Grand Teton Trip

Day 5 of 11

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Tuesday, July 26th
Cascade Lake

At around 2:15am, we were woken by the sound of distant thunder. I could see the flashes and counted out about 6 or 7 seconds between the lightning and thunder. There was no rain where we were. I figured it might be coming, though, so I got out of the tent and put all our firewood and chairs under our shelter. After returning to the tent, I could later hear a slight drizzle, but it never really rained on us.

In the morning, it was again hot and dry. Thankfully, our new neighbors packed up their stuff and left this morning. After they left, I had to decide between a hike to Cascade Lake and a loop hike at the South Rim of the Canyon including Wapiti Lake and Clear Lake. I eventually decided that I'd prefer a loop to the out-and-back of Cascade Lake, and the canyon hike also looked to have more variety -- lakes, but also views of the Yellowstone River and falls.

So we drove to the Canyon area, about 40 minutes away. Unfortunately, when we got there, the parking lot at the Wapiti Lake trailhead was completely closed off. The signs said that the entire area, including the Clear Lake area, was closed due to bear activity. It wasn't until I got back home that I realized that this (the Wapiti Lake Trail) was where the hiker had been killed by the grizzly bear. I'm sure the rangers didn't want another incident and were playing it safe by keeping it closed for a while.

We parked in the nearby very large Uncle Tom's parking area and walked over to the overlook of the Upper Falls. It's an impressive sight, but we could see people even closer -- near the top of the falls, as there's a path leading down to a much closer overlook right near the brink of the falls.

Upper Falls

Upper Falls

We're not big waterfall people, though, so we didn't go to any of the other viewpoints. Instead, we left the masses behind and made the short drive north and hiked to Cascade Lake.

After the hike, we drove to the Canyon village area, where we picked up some supplies, ice, and ice cream. The Canyon village area provides access to groceries, a gift shop, an outdoor supply store, and laundry services.

On our drive back to camp, we saw 2-3 more bison sitting in the grasses near the road. After we returned to camp, we met our new neighbors, a family of 4 from Minnesota with kids (a boy and a girl) just slightly older than ours. The kids (mainly the boys) instantly started playing with each other. We walked the boys down to the creek, where we saw fishermen and even some evening swimmers. One of them claimed there was a hot spring under the water that kept it warm. After enjoying the creek, we returned to camp and then later went to the campfire program for the second night. Tonight's program was on wolves. The last wolf in Yellowstone was killed in the 1920's, but they were recently (1995) re-introduced to the park.

Madison River

Madison River

Fishing in the Madison River

Fishing in the Madison River

Madison River; Madison information center is small building in the distance


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