I check out of West Yellowstone and have found a cabin at Mammoth Hotel & Cabins ($94, 1nght), bargain price compared with other accommodation around.
In the park early, of course, to make the most of chances to spot wildlife early morning and I’m rewarded with a lone coyote in the long grass. Then it’s off to the south rim of Yellowstone Grand Canyon to descend the 328 steps down Uncle Tom’s Trail, named after Tom Richardson who , in the early 1900s, used to take visitors down the steps and rope ladders into the canyon.
As I hike to Artist Point I’m met by a screeching chipmunk in the trees above, the views from the south rim in the morning light are fantastic.
After a burger & fries in Canyon Village I end up on Firehole Lake Drive at the Lower Geyser Basin with bubbling boiling waters and lots of steam rising from the water’s surface, just an amazing scene.
Then in the late afternoon it’s off to the Mammoth Hot Springs area where I’m spending the night an a delightful little cabin with toilets & showers just a few plots down.
These features are quite different from thermal areas elsewhere in the park. Travertine formations grow much more rapidly than sinter formations due to the softer nature of limestone. As hot water rises through limestone, large quantities of rock are dissolved by the hot water, and a white chalky mineral is deposited on the surface.
I’m very impressed by the value for money accommodation that the cabins offer compared to the price of hotel rooms within and outside the park, would deffo come back for a couple of nights here!