I did the Mount Washburn hike on my first full day in Yellowstone as part of my redemption from my last trip with my mom when I hadn’t been able to summit on our quest to find a pika. On that trip we took the Chittenden Road which I could see from the top was completely snow free and a fairly easy grade up to the watchtower. The trail I took from Dunraven Pass was completely covered in snow, sometimes higher than my head. It was a serious calf workout and I realized I timed it poorly because as I approached the top around noon the snow was getting softer and softer. Hiking alone in grizzly territory I mastered the art of catching up to hiking groups and then awkwardly lurking behind them so I wouldn’t actually be alone.
The hike ended with a walk along a snowy knife’s edge and the company of several mini bears, aka marmots. The peak was incredibly windy but there was a fire watchtower where I could relax out of the wind and carb up with nature valley bars dipped in nutella. Totally worth it.
South Rim Trail
On my second full day I did a grand tour of the park, stopping for short hikes along the way and to check out wildlife and hot springs. The first small hike I did was the South Rim Trail along the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Part of the trail was under construction so I only hiked up to the Lower Falls. The rock colors made my photographs look surprisingly like watercolors, and also made me realize for the first time why the park is called Yellowstone…
I’ve talked about Trout Lake quite a bit already (here) but here are more pictures. The drive out to the lake went through Lamar Valley where there were literally hundreds of bison, and in addition to the views Trout Lake had amazing wildflowers.