Posted by: Cross Country Couple | August 20, 2008

Day 7 … Swimming in the Boiling River

Today we slept in until 9:00 AM before waking up to the crystal clear blue skies above us.  As we broke down the tent and repacked the car, Matt boiled water for oatmeal.  Just before hitting the road, a coyote passed right through the empty campsite next to us.  Luckily, he seemed very docile and we were able to follow it for a few minutes to get some good pictures. 

A curious coyote that greeted us in the morning right next to our campsite at the Indian Creek Campground in Yellowstone, WY.

A curious coyote that greeted us in the morning right next to our campsite at the Indian Creek Campground in Yellowstone, WY.

 

 

Our first stop of the day was at a gas station in Mammoth, where we reluctantly paid $4.40 per gallon for two gallons for gas.  At the gas station we asked the clerk where to go swimming and he gave us directions to the Boiling River.  This swimming site is located where a hot thermal spring flows in to the cold Gardiner River.  Although it was a bit of a hike to get to the spot, it was well worth the effort.  The water flowing in from the thermal spring was over 130 degrees, and when it mixed with the cold water from the Gardiner River it made for a natural hot tub.  While relaxing in the river, we met another couple visiting WY from Worcester, MA. 

Matt by the thermal spring in the Gardinier River, also know as the Boiling River.
Matt by the thermal spring in the Gardinier River, also know as the Boiling River.
Danielle in the second thermal spring at the Boiling River in Yellowstone, WY.

Danielle in the second thermal spring at the Boiling River in Yellowstone, WY.

 

 

 

After swimming in the Boiling River, Matt and I dried off and drove to Tower Falls in the northeast portion of Yellowstone.  On our way to Tower Falls, we took a scenic off-road drive through the Blacktail Plateau.  This six mile dirt road was a great way to check out some of the amazing landscapes Yellowstone has to offer.  It also gave us the opportunity to see an entire heard of elk traveling along the mountainside.  Before making it to Tower Falls, we stopped again to see the Petrified Tree. 

Matt standing in front of the Petrified Tree at Yellowstone National Park in WY.

Matt standing in front of the Petrified Tree at Yellowstone National Park in WY.

 

Once at the falls, we saw a beautiful waterfall and took a trail down to the beach.  At the general store Matt overheard the clerk speaking with someone about a closed portion of the trail that was supposed to be absolutely beautiful at the bottom of the falls.  Of course, Matt and I had to make sure we traveled the entire trail and hiked the closed area anyway.  The falls were absolutely gorgeous- well worth the risk. 

What "Trail Closed" sign? We didn't see a sign.

What Trail Closed sign? We didn't see a sign.

 

Tower Falls

Tower Falls

 

The time had come to make our way out of Yellowstone.  Our next stop is Glacier National Park, which we will tour by way of the Going to the Sun Road.  The park is a seven hour drive from Yellowstone and we want to be starting the tour early in the morning so the sun is behind us.  This will give us time to make a few necessary stop this afternoon at a Wal-Mart Supercenter and a rest area for some sleep.

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