By Travel with Kate, on December 16, 2016

Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons in photos

As you may have heard, this year the bureau of the National Parks Service turns 100. And do you know which park was the first? Yellowstone National Park.

The over two million acres of the park span three states, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. They are home to bubbling hot springs, cascading waterways, and wildlife like brown and black bears, herds of bison, elk, and packs of wolves. And just south of this magnificent stretch of protected land is yet another—Grand Teton National Park with the most beautiful mountain peaks in Wyoming.

To commemorate the centennial, I took a road trip from Bozeman, Montana, to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Along the way I journeyed through Yellowstone National Park as well as the Grand Teton National Park. And I wasn’t alone. I took my dad along for the ride too. Here are just a few of the humbling sights along the way.

This is Gardiner, Montana, a town sitting right at the North Entrance of Yellowstone. There we picked up sandwiches and snacks for our epic drive ahead.

Gardiner Montana

It wasn’t long before we encountered the eerie Mammoth Hot Springs where the land is inundated with steaming pools of acidic water.

Mammoth Hot Springs

Along our drive we saw countless scalding hot springs big and small with an unearthly vibe.

Hot Springs Yellowstone

This seemed like a lovely spot for a picnic.

Picnic in Yellowstone

Don’t get in the way of the bison – they are big and powerful, and so beautiful.

Yellowstone Bison

And there she blows! Old Faithful was worth the wait. The famous geyser erupts at regular intervals ranging from every 35 minutes to every two hours.

Watching old Faithful in Yellowstone

The yellow-colored rocks of Yellowstone are simply iconic.

Along the road inside Yellowstone

Once inside the Grand Tetons National Park, the ambiance is strikingly different. Here is a shot near Jenny Lake where it looks like a painting saturated with a green and purple palette.

Peeking at the Grand Tetons from inside the Grand Teton National Forest.

On a guided hike with my dad. We were sure to be bear-aware!

And there they are! A view of the Tetons at dusk.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming, was our most southern stop. It is a lively western town with restaurants, bars, fun shopping, live music, and a collection of hotels.

Which national park are you most yearning to visit?