2023AdventureAnimalsHighlightsLandscapesNord AmericaU.S.A.

From the high mountains of Glacier N.P. into the stunning Yellowstone N.P.

After the wonderful but also very intense days in Glacier N.P. we need some rest: we spend two relaxed days on the lonely Swan River in the Swan Valley and explore the extensive forests with Shujoo. At Lindbergh Lake, a little further south, we use our overnight place in the immediate vicinity of the lake to explore the tranquility of Montana’s mountain landscape with our kayak Flipper.

We are very happy with our two new investments that we have made to complete our travel gear in North America. Our kayak Flipper allows us a completely different, very contemplative way of getting around in a way that we have never experienced before… neither on foot, mountain bike or quad bike. Our Starlink satellite internet reliably connects us to the outside world even in the loneliest corners of North America – although we don’t have to or want to be online all the time, this is a clear gain in convenience, especially given the terrible network coverage in North America, and simplifies planning and organization enormously.

After three days of relaxation in the beautiful nature of northern Montana, we continue to the next highlight of our trip: Yellowstone Park. The high number of visitors at the main travel time of the year and the fully booked campgrounds make a certain planning necessary. Fortunately, all five park entrances are surrounded by National Forests that offer excellent boondocking opportunities… and the park entrances are open 24 hours a day, so you can drive in early in the morning and then – at least for the first few hours – escape the crowds quite easily. We start at the north entrance of the park at Gardiner and explore the grandiose Mammoth Hot Springs limestone terraces in the afternoon, before we start the intensive tour through the entire western part of the park with its main sights very early the next morning. The park is indeed breathtaking. We have never seen these colors and special occurrences in nature anywhere in the world.

After the geyser “Old-Faithful” keeps us waiting for almost a whole hour before it finally starts to spit shortly after 3:00 p.m., we realize that we still have almost 300 km to drive to Red Lodge, a small village on the mountain slopes outside the North-East corner of the park. We have received a nice invitation from Tracey and Kelly who saw Shujaa in northern Montana a few days ago and contacted us. We spend two and a half very enjoyable days full of activities (one mountain biking tour and one hike to an abandoned mine accompanied by a ranger/friend) and good conversations. Unfortunately, such invitations usually reach us too late when we are no longer in the area, but this time it was a perfect fit and we had a great time together. Also, without this invitation, we would not have experienced the beautiful scenery on the East side of the Yellowstone Plateau, we would not have walked in the footsteps of Buffalo Bill in Cody and would never have seen the lovely town of Red Lodge.

Over the almost 3,400 meter high Beartooth Pass we return to the north-east entrance of the Yellowstone N.P. Just before the entrance we spend two relaxing days in the lonely mountains above the former mining town of Cooke City. We explore the area on really challenging ATV routes. Sometimes Karin even has to dismount, it’s so bumpy and steep! We are all the more astonished when a jeep comes towards us… unbelievable in what type of terrain the Americans drive with their pimped off-road vehicles!

Very early we enter the much less touristy eastern part of Yellowstone: in the Lamar Valley we see hundreds of bison in the soft morning light – a very unique experience. The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone gives us a foretaste of the spectacular landscape that awaits us further south in Utah and Arizona in the coming weeks and with again visiting various mud and clear-water geysers we say goodbye to Yellowstone. There are many great national parks in this world, but Yellowstone is truly unique with its geothermal activity!

To the south, Grand Teton N.P, with its mighty 13,000-foot mountain backdrop, is nice to look at by comparison, but lacks the corresponding wow factor!

Then we meet Tabea and Werner with their 6×6 MAN from Fürstenfeldbruck, whom we have already met in Munich. We spend a great day together, chatting a lot and exchanging news.

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