Did you know Grand Teton National Park is included in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem? Yellowstone National Park is only 40 miles away from Jackson Lake Lodge, and is connected to Grand Teton National Park. The Bus Tour to Yellowstone National Park is the perfect way to see and explore the northern part of Grand Teton National Park and the lower loop of Yellowstone National Park. The tour begins at Jackson Lake Lodge and leaves at 8:30am. (You do not have to worry about lunch, because a boxed lunch is packed and already waiting on the bus.) The tour bus is cozy with large windows so one can easily spot wildlife and see the awesome sights of this unique and awesome terrain. Warren, the tour guide and driver greets all of his guests, and the journey takes off. Be prepared to soak up some great knowledge, because while on the road Warren goes into detail about the landscape, wildlife, and interesting facts about both parks.
The first stop along the way is the entrance to Yellowstone National Park. This location offers views of the Snake River, as well as a possible Grizzly Bear sighting. Warren mentioned he had seen the bear twice here before, and you never know when the bear may be back. No bear at this stop, but it did have the iconic Yellowstone sign which is ideal for pictures! After, the entrance and photo shoot it was on to the West Thumb Geyser Basin.
West Thumb Geyser Basin is only thirty minutes from the entrance of the Park and offers terrific views of Yellowstone Lake, and a variety of bubbling steaming geysers. These unique water features occur when there is a hot spot of lava near the surface of the earths crust, and Yellowstone National Park is full of these pockets of geysers. The first geyser is a deep sapphire-green color which is caused from bacteria found only in water with constant hot temperatures. Makes for some awesome photo’s! The second geyser pictured formed a cone along the shores of Yellowstone Lake, it was neat to see it bubble under the water. (boardwalks encompass the entire basin to ensure one is safe when walking around.)
The second scenic location the tour travels to is known world-wide as Old Faithful. This geyser basin is famous because of the Old Faithful geyser and its predictable time of eruption every 90 minutes. What people do not know is that there are more awesome geysers there to see and discover if one just takes ten minutes to hike the surrounding area. Old Faithful was a great stop to experience an awesome geyser, and eat a delicious lunch! After Old Faithful, another famous stop was next on the list known as Grand Prismatic Springs. This hot spring has been featured on the cover of several magazines due to its amazing colors when seen from above. It was awesome to witness the brilliant colors in this spring, although hard to capture on film from eye level because the geyser was so large!
It is hard to believe but there is still more scenic views to this tour! The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone as pictured above was by far one of the most favorite and picturesque locations of the tour. Yellowstone River flows through this canyon, and tour stopped at the lower falls, and upper falls of this river. It was an excellent way to see the falls up close and from a distance. A fun-fact learned from Warren was that this canyon is the reason Yellowstone National Park received its name, look at the yellow rock along the walls.
What about the wildlife? The drive through the beautiful Hayden Valley on the way back to the Tetons held many herds of Bison scattered across green fields. Elk were also seen along the roadside, and as the bus returned to Grand Teton National Park a young adult Grizzly Bear was seen only ten feet from the road! It was so close to the highway it would have been dangerous to leave the bus. It is amazing to think how many wonders of the world can be experienced in just one day! This tour was a day trip filled with geysers, waterfalls, and wildlife in a remote yet astonishing place known as the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Looking for inspiration, its only a day tour away!