The geology and wildlife of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks are compelling and enormous. For that reason you need two 11 hour tours. See both parks in two days and take amazing pictures.
What to Expect
Upon leaving your hotel in Jackson Hole, you will stop at Big Thumb by Yellowstone Lake. For some of you that will be the first time seeing fumaroles, hot springs, warm springs and the huge lake on an elevation of 8000 feet. The magma underneath Yellowstone Park heats rain water and melting snow at about 8 miles below the earth surface. The water finds its way back to the surface of the earth, in the form of mud volcano, fumarole, warm and hot springs. Your tour route will lead you to Hayden Valley, home to wolves, Grizzlies, buffalo, and even bald eagles.
Further up the road is the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. There are two waterfalls in the canyon, upper and lower falls. It is one of the must-see locations in the park. The canyon must have been in the works, thousands of years ago. It is deep and its sheer massiveness will leave you awestruck. Its banks are yellow, probably due to large amounts of sulphur. Norris Geysers several miles away from the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone has magnificent hot and warm springs. One of them has greenish colored water, due to sulphur. The steamboat geyser and a huge furmarole are also some of the attractions of Norris Geysers.
Once you leave Norris Geysers, the next stop will be the Fountain Paint Pots. Here you will find mud with doses of chemicals bubbling, warmsprings and sky blue warm water. The deep blue water is as result of depth of the spring. You will stop at the Grand Prismatic Springs, where from a distance you will notice rainbow-like colors of hot steam rising up the in the usually blue sky. Bacteria and chemicals line the shores of the spring as well as the banks of the stream runoff. It is one of the five must sees in the lower loop. As you drive further in the park, south, before you reach Old Faithful Geyser, you may stop at the Black Sand Basin. It has an emarald hot spring, where a rare spidy subsists. You will also find sevral warm and hot springs spouting water intermittently and almost curriographed at times.
Old Faithful will be your last stop on your Yellowstone lower loop tour. The warm geyser shoots out water from its vent every 90 minutes, plus or minus 10. Watch the people around it and witness the relief, joy and amazement in their faces when the geyser erupts. Old Faithful perhaps draws more people than any other geological feature in Yellowstone National Park.
Grand Teton Park has the pacific tectonic plate crushing against the North American plate. You will hear about its story. You will look for wildlife, such as wolves, bears, antelope, elk and moose. Stop over at the historic Mormon Row, Oxbow Turnout, Jackson Lake, Jenny Lake scenic drive and the the backroads to Teton Village from Moose Wyoming.