Photo Friday: Yellowstone Lake, Wyoming

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When we were on our 5,800-mile, 13-state Western road trip last year, one of the biggest expenses we incurred—gas aside—was park admission. It’s not cheap if you’re visiting a different place every other day. Which is why National Park Week is such a genius idea; from April 21 to 29, all of the 397 U.S. parks are free of charge.

We visited Yellowstone last June, though judging from these photos, it might as well have been January for as much snow as still stood on the ground. 2011 was a wacky year as far as weather was concerned; our campsite at Canyon Village was flanked by 10-foot-high banks of ice and the park entrances via Beartooth Highway and Sylvan pass were still closed—and it was the first official week of “summer,” too!

Yellowstone Lake itself was a funny sight: Some parts were completely melted, while other parts were entirely frozen.

The resident bison didn’t seem to mind the drastic temperature changes. They continued to do their thing (i.e. pose like an American icon while chomping on grass).

According to the National Park Service, Yellowstone Lake covers 132 square miles and is the largest freshwater lake in North America above 7,000 feet.

It’s beautiful no matter when you go, in the height of summer or dead of winter—but since it’s free this entire next week, what are you waiting for?

COMMENTS
  • April 20, 2012

    I love America’s national parks, and the free week is an awesome thing. Hopefully it brings in lots of new converts to the park system. We invest in the America the Beautiful pass every year, which for $80 gets your entire carload into any national park for the year it’s valid. We almost always get more than our money’s worth from it, and even if we don’t, I consider it an investment in something I care about.

    The best idea, however, is to visit the park with someone aged 62 and older. At 62, you can get a pass good for the rest of your life (and again, for the entire carload of people you’re with) for only $10. It might be the best deal in all of America.

    • April 20, 2012
      SVV

      +1 on this! It’s an investment in incredible.

    • April 20, 2012
      Kristin

      We had the pass, but conveniently forgot it many times, meaning we had to pony up the fee anyway. I like the thought of taking a senior citizen along–my mom just turned 62; I should start inviting her on all our road trips to save on park admission! =)

    • April 30, 2012

      One feature of the blog is a much sought after item and wait for the other bloggers in bloggin used as a reference.

  • April 20, 2012

    These pictures are beautiful: the reflections, the snow, the bison… Love them!!

    • April 20, 2012
      Kristin

      Thanks, Catalina! It’s a gorgeous place–hard to take a bad photo there =)

  • April 20, 2012

    Great photos! I’ve been to Yellowstone Lake in late June, and it looked nothing like that! 🙂

    • April 20, 2012
      Kristin

      It’s because you weren’t traveling with me…where I go, bad weather tends to follow!

  • April 20, 2012

    I’ve actually picked up the National Parks Annual Pass some summers when I was going to a lot of National Parks. I think it’s around $80 and definitely pays for itself if you’re visiting some of the bigger ticket parks with expensive entry fees.

    • April 24, 2012
      Kristin

      We did have that pass, but we kept misplacing it, and NPS has no way to look you up by name/ID. Guess we’re not responsible enough to be annual pass-holders =)

  • April 20, 2012

    Your pictures are always so stunning!! I look forward to your Friday posts!

    Have a super weekend!

  • April 20, 2012

    I also have the American the Beautiful pass and it paid for itself in about 3 months. I loved visiting Yellowstone Lake, it’s such a gorgeous place!

    xox

    • April 20, 2012
      Kristin

      We have it, too, but never seem to have it in the right car/wallet when we need it! Blast.

  • April 20, 2012

    I’d love to visit Yellowstone someday – the bison photos are amazing!

  • April 20, 2012

    Wow! Thanks for the heads up on National Park week! I didn’t even know it existed. I need to start planning a weekend trip right now!

    • April 20, 2012
      Kristin

      Me, too! We’ll be in northern Virginia to see friends, but I’m going to have to do a search to see what national parks are in the area because I’m a sucker for free things =)

  • April 20, 2012

    I haven’t been to Yellowstone in years. And although the North Rim is closed to the public until May 15th the South Rim is open this week for free. Of course I’m enjoying the quiet pre-opening on the NR.

    • April 20, 2012
      Kristin

      I was thinking about you and how you were probably dreading this next week with all the visitors…little did I know you’re one of the lucky ones who gets to sit back and relax–for a few more weeks at least =)

  • April 20, 2012

    Too bad it didn’t coincide with spring break for us! Yellowstone is at the very top of our list of places to see!

  • April 22, 2012

    The bison pictures look like they should be made into postcards. If this whole being-a-world-traveler-writer-and-full-time-badass thing doesn’t work out, you should totally start your own postcard business.

    • April 24, 2012
      Kristin

      Well, funny you say that…I’m launching a new site next month (well, C&C 3.0) and am going to have some sort of e-commerce section for people who want to buy travel photos since I get occasional emails from readers wanting to buy some of the images I post here. Postcards, though, are a great idea!

  • April 23, 2012
    Steph!

    So much gorgeous!!! Your photos are fantastic! 🙂

  • April 25, 2012

    Yellowstone is on the top of my list of National Parks to visit. Mostly for the bison. And the mountains. And all the beautiful things.

  • April 25, 2012

    These pics are amazing!

  • April 26, 2012

    Love the pics! I had no idea about the passes until I read all the comments, I am going to have to look into getting one and taking a tour for one of our family trips. There are several parks on my list to see.

  • May 3, 2012

    you are so much cooler than me. that is all.

  • May 3, 2012

    Wonderful lake and wonderful pictures to confirm it!

  • May 7, 2012

    The pictures are great and also the description.

  • May 18, 2012

    Love the view! I didn’t know Yellow Stone is this beautiful during winter.

  • June 11, 2012

    This is really something great ! 🙂

  • June 13, 2012

    I can smell the scent of the pine trees and the cool breeze from the lake. Goodness! This is nature at its best. Love the photos, big time!

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