We were passing through eastern Nevada and took the opportunity to stay at Great Basin National Park for a couple of nights. With uncooperative weather, we decided to do the tour of Lehman Caves which is weather independent. We were pleasantly surprised.
Lot's of HUGE alligators, a nice paddle, solitude, and sleeping in the woods to the sound of nature. Just what I was looking for.
Known for bear sightings, the Cades Cove Loop in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a very popular drive. In peak season, you can expect the 11-mile, one-way loop to be packed with cars, and you might get stuck in a "bear jam" for quite some time. On this rainy day, we saw a few deer, no bears, and plenty of humans and their tail-lights.
By getting a last-minute reservation at the back-country Granite Park Chalet in Glacier National Park, we were able to make this wonderful hike the first part of a two-day spectacular combination hike using the Swiftcurrent Pass Trail on the second day. The scenery and some wildlife encounters made this one of our favorite hikes.
We were camped several miles east of Yellowstone National Park, but today we were going to make a long drive into and around the park solely to look for wildlife. In addition to elk, bison, pronghorns, otters, marmots, beavers, muskrats, and more, we finally got to see bears (which eluded us last year).
We arrived in the area of Yosemite National Park in November and were treated to lovely Fall colors on this day-trip. However, it was a little too late in the year, and after this visit, snow closed many of the park roads for the year. So, while we intended to do more exploring of the park, it will have to wait until another time. Still, we're glad we go to see so much of this iconic park in this one day.
Grand Prismatic Spring, Fairy Falls, Imperial Geyser, & Wolves - Yellowstone National Park - Wyoming
The main goal for today, was to find a great view of the spectacular Grand Prismatic Spring. Walking around the spring doesn't give you the perspective of the massive, colorful spring, so a little scrambling up a hill is in order. Also included in today's sights were elk, bison, a waterfall, more beautiful springs and geysers, and we ended the day with wolves.
Boiling Springs Lake & Devil's Kitchen Trails - Warner Valley Area - Lassen Volcanic National Park - California
Lassen Volcanic National Park isn't a highly visited park to begin with, and today we hiked in an even less-visited section. It was another beautiful day to explore some remote thermal features of the park and see a little wildlife with no one else around.
Mammoth Cave National Park is Kentucky's only National Park and it's worth a visit if you are in the area. It's not the prettiest cave, but it is by far the longest continuous cave system in the world. There are several tours available, but the Grand Avenue Tour encompasses a few of the other tours. Note, however, that the Grand Avenue Tour is more strenuous than other tours, and it's four hours or more, so it's not for everyone.
Great Sand Dunes National Park wasn't on our radar, and we really knew nothing about it. However, we were be passing close by in our travels, so we thought we'd check it out. Who knew the largest sand dunes in North America were in the mountains of Colorado?