Sunday, August 15, 2010

Fern Trail

Zak and I went for a hike on our full day at the Old Faithful area. The Howard Eaton Trail to Lone Star Geyser sounded good, but when we couldn't find the trailhead some kindly Park Service employees pointed us to nearby Fern Trail, which they said led right to Howard Eaton. So off we went.

An interesting thing about Yellowstone is how many burned trees there are. But given how they manage fires in the park, I suppose it makes sense.

Fern Cascades rushed below us at one point. We considered walking down to check it out, but realized that meant walking back up and thought better of it.

It was nice to get away from roads and other tourists for a bit. We didn't see another person the entire way.

Finding a pond covered in lilies was neat, but also necessitated getting out the mosquito wipes.

Zak decided to see if he could walk back to the trail from the pond by only stepping on fallen trees. Almost made it, too.

Here he gives his Zoolander pose.

The farther away from lodging areas you got, the leaner and warier of people the chipmunks became.

After about an hour and a half we finally reached the Howard Eaton Trail...right at the trailhead for it. We didn't realize Fern Trail was a loop and not a direct route.

By then we weren't interested in undertaking the 5.9-mile loop to the geyser and back we had originally planned. The 2.5 miles we'd already done were enough.

It was a pretty hike, though. Wildflowers like this fireweed (complete with pollinator) were a common sight.

And we were close to Hamilton's Store again by now, which we'd been told had the best (and only) milkshakes in the park. Why Zak didn't want the public to know about his mint chocolate chip indulgence I'm not sure.

Really not a bad stretch of the legs, and like I said it provided a little solitude without requiring too much of a time investment. I'd recommend it for folks with a couple of hours to kill who don't want to spend them waiting to see Old Faithful blow again.

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