Loop-y Road trip

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Yellowstone Up Close and Personal Chat Page Version 1.60 ] [ FAQ ]

Posted by Beej ( on 14:17:44 06/15/15

Yesterday I got my schedule screwed up and headed for West Yellowstone to view the stagecoaches. Sorry, friends, I guess that's next weekend! Traveled by way of the Gallatin Canyon, supremely beautiful, great weather, geologically scoping to see where the Middle Fork of the Gallatin entered the landscape, because the last time I drove the road in 2012, t'was in a blizzard, and one couldn't see much. The Gallatin is a pretty substantial river within the canyon, but the highway continues due south, while the river heads up to the east below Bannock Peak. By the time you reach Grayling Creek, you're in the Madison watershed. Traffic reasonable, but there are very few passing lanes for south-bound travelers.

Wandered around West hoping to pilfer a wagon show poster, but only found one, and didn't think I should snitch it. Even the museum didn't have any, and worse, didn't know what I was talking about...though they did try to sell me a Gary Carter print of different modes of travel to West Yellowstone. I bought the post card version.

When I arrived in West, traffic intending to enter the park was backed up beyond the museum, so I took my time and wandered, though I found the perfect parking place in front of Smith and Chandlers. Several of the older and more rustic curio shops are for sale, and had the windows draped in sheets. But the shops on the the other main drag were going great guns, and the bookstore is still there, somewhat redecorated.

When I headed east, later in the afternoon, the traffic jam was gone, and the roads were open to Madison Junction. From there to Norris, the only hold up was some type of animal den near a large boulder, and whatever used it must have been out and about. Although the road was signed "No Stopping", people were pulled off in all directions, standing along the road, peering into the borrow area between the boulder and the road.

Immediately after the turn to the Norris Ranger museum, the pavement has been scraped up, and is mostly missing between there and Beaver Lake. While nothing was blocking the turnoff to Norris, it didn't look like a fun place to be, heavy equipment on both sides of the entrance. The next fifteen miles are undergoing major modification. I was very glad it wasn't raining, the dust was thick. Traffic was flowing in both lanes over the weekend, though the signs advising thirty-minute delays were still up. Most of the location signs are missing from this stretch, so one needs to know one's landmarks. The pulloff for the Solfatara trail didn't seem to be in use for equipment storage, but I didn't investigate. Roaring Mountain is blocked by equipment and supplies, and so are several of my favorite overlooks just north of Norris.

The bridge over the Gardiner just north of Indian Creek Campground has a two lane paved detour, so is not a problem. Construction on this bridge looks to be much more substantial than the former edition.

A few bison held forth on Swan Lake Flats, but the Plaza elk herd wasn't being obvious. The Museum at Mammoth is open, but I'll have to save that for another visit. And so, home to Deadrock, no impacts to the deer this time!

Follow Ups:

Post a Followup

Optional Link URL:
Link Title:
Optional Image URL:
Please enter the following value as your Submit Key:     
Submit Key:
Note: The Submit Key is Case Sensitive. Do not Copy and Paste!

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Yellowstone Up Close and Personal Chat Page Version 1.60 ] [ FAQ ]