Yellowstone Lake

On this day, we took the scenic drive again through the North gate towards Roosevelt Junction and down to Canyon, but this time kept driving down to Yellowstone Lake.
On the way, we saw our first black bear sighting! He crossed the road one car in front of us and climbed a tree next to the road. I almost felt bad for the little guy because he seemed pretty afraid of all of the people, but it was awesome to see him up close.

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We also saw some quality buffalo sightings along the way. One was rolling around like a cat or a dog on his back in a dirt bath, which was pretty entertaining to see, and another two were very close to some nearby thermal features – they must not have seen the warnings to stay on the boardwalk…

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We also saw some very close to the road…

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And even once we got to Yellowstone Lake Lodge…

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Once we reached the largest high-altitude lake in North America, it was absolutely worth the two-hour drive to get there from our campground. Huge, bright blue, and surrounded by mountains and deciduous trees, it was absolutely stunning to see in person. We ate our packed lunches around the lodge, which was also very pretty, and went out to explore.

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We soon stumbled upon a stretch of beach area, where we walked around and relaxed on some logs for a couple of hours. Being a Jersey girl and missing the ocean so far this summer, this definitely hit the spot. I even ventured to stick my feet in the water for a few minutes, despite the fact that it was pretty cold despite there being a good amount of thermal activity beneath its surface. Having seen that the average summer water temperature was 45 degrees because it comprises of snow runoff, it was no wonder why!

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Chilly, but refreshing!

We drove around the Lake heading West towards West Thumb and stopped on a few other small beaches to take in the scenery.

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We then reached West Thumb, where there was another boardwalk surrounding thermal features. What was unique about West Thumb was that it was right near the water.

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It was getting late at that point and we had a long drive back. We stopped at Old Faithful just long enough to use the restrooms and get some ice cream to tide us over until our late dinner, and caught some elk up close on the way home.

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Then we got back just in time to catch yet another gorgeous sunset at our campsite! Montana and Wyoming really know how to do a sunset, it seems like every night is a “can’t miss”…

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