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July 19, 2015

Yellowstone National Park–West Side

Entered Yellowstone via the West Entrance appropriately named West Yellowstone, MT.  This is the last opportunity for supplies, Internet access and cell phone service.
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We had a nice spot in Madison Campground on the Gibbon River, which was to be home for the geothermal side of Yellowstone.   There is easy access to the river and it’s trails throughout this campground for a morning walk.
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The traffic I did anticipate, the scooter is a great option for travel and sure allows more options in finding a parking spot.  The first trip is south to Old Faithful via Firehole Falls.
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Going this route we will stop at Lower Geyser Basin, Midway Geyser Basin, Biscuit Basin, Black Sand Basin before arriving at the Old Faithful complex and access to Upper Geyser Basin.  A few pics from the highlights
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Midway Basin is not to be missed with the Grand Prismatic Spring (GPS) and the hike to Fairy Falls.  With the scooter we had access to both parking lots, but if it’s crowded park between the two along a street turnout and walk to both.
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And a look back at the crowds at the boardwalk at GPS and the ‘secret’ trail to the overlook:
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OK – a few more ….
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Old Faithful is probably the best known iconic landmark of the park.  We arrived on an overcast morning with the eruption against a grey sky.   Later in the day we hiked up to the overlook under a blue sky.  This would be better done in the opposite order.
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A little off the path is a Solitary Geyser and worth the detour.
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The return trip included the loop around Firehole Lake.  While walking to the Great Fountain Geyser the White Geyser erupted.  Then on to Firehole Lake.
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And what’s Yellowstone without a Bison Jam … or two … more?
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Going north from Madison the Gibbon Falls are an obvious demarcation that separates the caldera from the rim of the ancient volcano.
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The Virginia Cascade is well worth the trip on the way to the Norris Geyser Basin.
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Going north and over to the east side in the morning …
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