Living so close to Yellowstone Park, we have visited, hiked, floated, boated most sections of the park and surrounding area. However, there are always those hidden gems that we passed by, due to lack of time or lack of knowledge. So when a friend, Clark, asked us to spend a few days at his cabin near the Idaho-Montana border, we thought it would be a good opportunity to explore some different places.
First, we had to help with some chores at the cabin. Cindy helped trim the bottom of the trees, while Jim reinforced the deck to hold the winter snow load.
With the chores all done, we headed to Yellowstone National Park, the West Entrance. We drove to the Grand Prismatic Overlook parking lot. This is about 1/2 mile past the main parking lot if coming from the west side of the park.
The overlook as scene from the highway…
From the parking lot, the trail is very flat, with interesting scenery.
As the trail divides, it becomes a bit steep in some places but is a short hike to the overlook.
You will not be disappointed by the view!!!
What a different perspective of Grand Prismatic Spring. We back-tracked to the parking lot and headed toward Madison Junction. Just before the junction is the turnoff to Firehole River Drive. We have taken this side road many times, but only stopped to view the falls. Past the falls turnout, is the Firehole River Swimming Area. There are changing rooms at the top of the hill and stairs leading to a overlook area. If you want to get to the river to swim, then you will need to traverse a short but very steep path. This swimming area, is one of the few legal areas that you can swim in Yellowstone NP.
Even though the river is called the Firehole, the water is still cold. After the initial shock, it was very nice. We walked the shallow water to the “hole”.
This is where you can jump in and float to the swimming area. Life jackets are suggested if you float from the “hole”.
Even though it was cold, it was a blast. For sure will put on the list of things to do in Yellowstone. We ended the day with a snack of Huckleberry and Huckleberry-Rosemary turnovers at a bakery in West Yellowstone and foil pack dinners back at Clark’s cabin.
The next day, we loaded up the kayaks and headed just across the border in Montana. There are 2 lakes located in a valley about 7 miles off of State Highway 287. We went to Wade Lake.
There is a boat dock where you can launch boats, as well a small shoreline for picnicking, beaching the kayaks, and playing in the water.
Our friends, Clark and his exchange students, Tony and Lucas, and our other friend Brenda, headed out to explore the lake in the kayaks.
We set about getting lunch ready. It is a family speciality known as a Shoup Slaw dog.
After lunch it was time for us to head out on the lake. We paddle to the far end and up a small cove. We beached the boat and walked up the hill for a better view. The colors were beautiful.
It was a great weekend of firsts. They were all adventures that we will definitely repeat.