Yellowstone

Our first day in Yellowstone we secured a camping spot at Lewis Lake. Yellowstone has two loops in the park, upper and lower. We spent the first day doing the west side of the lower loop. The west lower loop contains Old Faithful, Lower Geyser Basin and the Grand Prismatic Spring.

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Old Faithful ^

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Morning Glory Pool ^

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Chromatic Pool ^

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The second day we drove around the easter half of the lower loop. On this half we saw the upper and lower Yellowstone Falls. The picture below is of the lower falls.

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After seeing the falls we drove to Yellowstone Lake where we ran into a couple of guys from home! Dylan and Dillon are on a similar trip but going the opposite direction and our paths crossed in Yellowstone! We all hung out at the lake for a while and then the CruzeAmerica crew left for the Old Faithful Inn. My father bought us all a buffet dinner there. We were eating so much food that one guy asked us if we were bicyclists. After dinner we drove to West Yellowstone and slept in the car because we failed to get a campsite for the night.

Today we woke up around 7 and drove back into the park. This time we explored the northern loop. We went to Lamar Valley and Mammoth Hot Springs. Both were slightly a bust. The hot springs barely had any water flowing and Lamar Valley had way to many flies.

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Now we are on our way to Glacier National Park!

Rushmore/Devil’s Tower/Grand Tetons

CruzeAmerica wants to give a big thanks to my great aunt Sandy for being an awesome host in Deadwood. She was a great tour guide and an awesome lady!

I can’t think of a better place to be on the Fourth of July than Mount Rushmore. The mountain that idolizes the pioneers of freedom. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. These four men fought valiantly to preserve the great country they helped shape.

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After Mount Rushmore we spent one more night in Deadwood and then continued on to Devil’s Tower in Wyoming.

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From Devil’s Tower we continued our drive straight to Grand Teton National Park. We arrived around midnight and unsuccessfully searched for an open campsite. We drove to Jackson and slept in the car. In the morning we drove back to Jenny Lake and we discovered there was an open site! We claimed it and continued driving around the park.

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The rest of the day has been filled with rain and a massive amount of thunder and lightning. It even ruined our disc golf game in Jackson Hole!

Tomorrow we will hike around the Grand Tetons some more and then on Monday we move to Yellowstone National Park.

Bryce Canyon

We drove to Bryce last night after a ranger caught us in Zion about to set up camp just off the road. We ended up sleeping in the Dixie National Forest a few miles outside of Bryce Canyon National Park.

After exploring the upper rim of the park we took a break in the lodge, and headed back out for another round of hiking around this amazing national park.

Round 2 of exploring took us into the depths of the Bryce amphitheater where we hiked along the self proclaimed “worlds greatest 3 mile hike”.

We’ll get a good nights sleep tonight then head out for Flagstaff AZ in the morning with a stop at the monstrous Grand Canyon.

Zion National Park

From the never sleeping Sin City to the quiet hot desert of Zion we traveled yesterday. With temperatures over 100 degrees the Chevy Cruze powered through to our destination. Upon arrival we experienced these amazing views.

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We spent the night off the road and under the stars like I’ve never seen them before. The next morning we woke up before dawn and drove to the shuttle that took us to the Angel’s Landing trailhead. The trail up was no joke. No more than a couple feet separated us from safety and a 1500 foot drop.

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Once we got to the top we were presented an amazing view of the Zion valley. This picture was taken by our friends we met on the trail, Alex and Louse.

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After Angel’s Landing we made lunch and then headed out to The Narrows. A 6 mile hike through a river with nothing but hundreds of feet of sandstone on either side.
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Tonight we sleep in Zion and tomorrow morning we head out for Bryce Canyon!

Destination 2: Zion National Park

After we have soaked up the beauty of Yosemite we will be moving on to Zion National Park. Zion’s terrain is something I [we] have all been looking forward to. The high peaks and narrow trails bring us all thrill and we cannot wait to see these amazing views. Our plan is to wake up early on the first morning and set out to Angel’s Landing.

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From Angel’s Landing we will then set out for either The Subway (see earlier post) or The Narrows. Both offer trails that will satiate our need for adventure. I didn’t even know places like this existed in the US until we started researching the parks. I hope that with this blog other people will also realize what is in our own backyard.

A trail in Zion National Park where the trail is a river.

A trail in Zion National Park where the trail is a river.

We also have less than three weeks until departure!

 

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Rough Draft Itinerary

On a trip of this scale it is almost impossible to plan out exactly where we are going to go and how long we will be there for but it almost impossible as well to set out with no guidance whatsoever. Here is our rough draft itinerary, mostly used just to see how many miles we will be driving. It is planned out for 5 weeks right now but will definitely be moved out to the full six.

The Mighty Five

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJ-R0DKFvZU

Our trip is going to start off with many parks all very close by.

Yosemite -> Zion -> Bryce -> Grand Canyon.

All within a few states! It will be a busy, long and tiring first week or so but nothing can stop our excitement for these tremendous opportunities!