Continuing beyond Old Faithful, the majority of the thermal features are now in the rearview mirror. But what this area of Yellowstone lacks in geysers it makes up for in mountains, lakes, and waterfalls. The Firehole River flows through this area and a few small lakes dot the landscape along the main road. There is also a short detour to the Kepler Cascades.
Beyond Upper Geyser Basin, the main road through the park begins to climb. To be exact, it climbs up and over the Continental Divide. Twice. On a clear day, the Teton Mountains are visible from these high points.
After dropping down off of the Continental Divide, up ahead is Yellowstone Lake. Yellowstone Lake is the largest lake in Yellowstone National Park and one of the largest high altitude lakes in North America. One arm of the lake extends to the southwest – the West Thumb. Along the shores of West Thumb is the small West Thumb Geyser Basin. This basin doesn’t have many geysers, but is home to numerous hot springs. Some old thermal remains are also visible in the lake. I actually really love West Thumb – the contrast of the colors against the backdrop of the lake is really beautiful.
Beyond West Thumb, the main road traverses the lakeshore traveling north. For now, however, I’m going to head south towards the south entrance station. I haven’t spent nearly as much time in this area of the park because it’s so much farther from my house. However, I’ve spent a little bit of time in the Lewis Lake area. There is also a small waterfall on the Lewis River that can be accessed by a short hike. Further south is a second waterfall – Moose Falls. From here, the road continues out of the park towards Grand Teton National Park.
To be continued…