Recently Kyle and I had the opportunity to go down to Idaho for Kyle’s birthday. His parents flew in from California and Kyle even got that Friday off work! Kyle’s youngest sister and his brother – in – law are both attending BYU-Idaho, the same college Kyle and I graduated from last July.
BYU-Idaho is located in a small country town called Rexburg. When living in Rexburg, Kyle and I couldn’t wait to get out of there. However, coming back for a weekend made me miss that place we use to call home. Reburg is definitely a place where I have a continuous hate/love relationship. One of the best things I love about it though, is it’s only a 2 hour drive from Yellowstone!
We wanted to take full advantage of that for the weekend and got up early Saturday morning to spend a day at the park. Something I definitely regret is not spending more time at Yellowstone as a student when it was pretty much right next door to me for four years. I mean people spend thousands to travel and stay there every year. So I was excited to go back even if it was only for one day!
We entered the park at West Yellowstone (which, fun fact, is in Montana). Our first stop of the day was at the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. I had no idea that terrain existed like this in Yellowstone. You always see pictures of the gorgeous valleys, but this was breathtaking. I highly recommend you stop and come see this view. Also it has a great easy hike you can do that takes you down to the very top of the waterfall.
We definitely spent the biggest half of our morning at this location as well as driving one of the loops through Yellowstone. I really wish we had more of an opportunity to stop and see more of the sights, but we were dealing with time and weather. For those of you who don’t know, sometimes Idaho is not very warm in June . . . like at all! In just our one day there we had snow, rain and warm sunshine. So make sure you always dress for all four season when your there because you never know what your gonna get!
During part of our scenic drive we had the chance to see two coyotes eating a deer they had killed! I was very excited because I am a huge animal lover and so far we had not seen anything, not even a buffalo! This was really cool and we all were able to get out of the car and watch from the side of the road. Also when in Yellowstone if you come to a traffic jam, when you are stopped behind other cars that are hardly moving, this almost always means there is an animal up ahead (so get your camera ready).
We then made our second and last stop of the day at the one and only – Old Faithful. This was my first time seeing Old Faithful. I think that it is totally worth seeing if you have never seen it before, but it was definitely different then what I had expected. Old Faithful is surround by this massive boardwalk with bleachers on it that allows massive crowds to sit and wait for Old Faith to go. Also there is a massive restaurant, museum, and hotel/lodge only like 20 feet from the geyser. When you see pictures of Old Faithful it is definitely misleading as to what it actually looks like around the famous attraction.
It is fun though waiting for Old Faithful to blow with everyone around you. It is definitely a must do experience at least once in your life time. We then went for a walk around the boardwalks behind Old Faithful which was absolutely beautiful (where I was finally able to get warm because the sun was out and all the steam from the vents felt so nice! If you are cold, definitely recommend visiting all the areas that are steaming! It will warm you up real quick haha). Something I love about Yellowstone that you can’t really find anywhere else are the colors. These gorgeous hot springs and thermal vents are just these vivid blue and orange, yellow and green colors that are amazing to see.
One thing I was really disappointed about was not being able to go see the famous Grand Prismatic Spring. That was my only regret about this day trip and something I must see when I have a chance to go back.
We then headed on our way out of the park as dinner time was rolling around and had one last exciting thing to see – bison! Right on the side of the road, we didn’t have time to stop because people were extremely hangry (a character trait that runs in the Frye family haha) so I snapped a few pictures from the car window. I was so happy this was the last thing we saw as we left the park (there were even little baby bison as well).
We grabbed some delicious pizza from Petes Rocky Mountain Pizza (highly recommend) some home made ice cream from The City Creamery and walked around all the fun little shops in West Yellowstone. They reminded me a little bit of Jackson Hole or Park City’s main street if you have ever been there. It was fun to just window shop and stretch our legs for a bit before we got back in the car to head home.
This was definitely a huge highlight of my summer, getting to celebrate Kyle’s birthday with his family (Kyle hasn’t been able to celebrate his birthday with his parents in like ten years) and getting to explore the beautiful outdoors. I can’t stress how worth it I think it is to visit this national park at least once in your life. It is gorgeous and so different then many other national parks, such a unique and wonderful experience you really don’t want to miss out on.