East Entrance to Yellowstone

This entry is part 20 of 49 in the series All American Road Trip out West 2014

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The East Entrance to Yellowstone National Park is a mountainous entrance from the Shoshone National Forest and Cody, WY. One of the first things you notice is all of the dead trees standing everywhere! These charred and dead trees are largely still changing and were a result of a wildfire back in the 1980’s that swept through this area of the park.

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Watch for animals as you enter the park too! We saw big horned sheep and and elk on this section of the drive.

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It is also full of small waterfalls right next to the road. I don’t know if these are regularly seen or not. It had been raining just before our visit and this may have caused a lot of these roadside springs and falls. I suspect some of them are permanent because they had turn-off built by them as well as moss growing on the rocks, while others seemed to be rather fresh and new.

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As you wind your way toward Yellowstone Lake in the middle of the culdera, make sure you stop at Lake Butte Overlook. Not only was it a good rest break, it had panoramic views of the park. To the south you could see the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone Lake, and the mountains surrounding the caldera. You get a good feel for the overall caldera region from this vantage point. This is the last point of elevation above the lake that you can be on coming from the East and you will continue down right to Yellowstone lake after.

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Along the shoreline of Yellowstone Lake, you will enter Sedge Bay and drive by Steamboat Point, a picnic site. The lake is as pristine as it was 200 years ago. The road brings you along the northeast side of the lake until you reach the Museum and Visitors Center next to the mouth of the Yellowstone river lake village where you must now choose to head either north through Hayden Valley or south to West Thumb and the active geyser area around Old Faithful. 

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