USA

    Roadtrip from Los Angeles to Yellowstone NP and back 2022

    This article is about my month-long road trip from Los Angeles to Yellowstone National Park (the northernmost stop on the trip) and back to Los Angeles in 2022. On the trip I traveled with two good former school friends of mine. During this memorable trip, we visited a little over ten national parks together, all of which were absolutely fascinating. The program was tight but it was all very worthwhile and I would do it again exactly the same way.

    Day 1 to 5 (26.09.2022 - 30.09.2022)

    We arrived in Los Angeles on September 26 and stayed in the city for the first 5 days to get adjusted to the Pacific Time Zone (PT). The first couple of days we each tried to sleep in. However, due to the time difference, we usually woke up pretty early. The second day we explored the Santa Monica Pier and Santa Monica Downtown. On the third day, the uncle of one of the friends on the trip took us on a scenic flight over Los Angeles. The aunt and uncle of our friend moved to LA more than 20 years ago as of the time of our trip. I would like to take this opportunity again to say a big thank you to the both of them for the warm and welcoming way they took us in and looked after us! Said uncle is an architect in Los Angeles and he and his wife took us to Malibu on the fourth day to visit two construction sites he was planning along with other projects at the time. It was very exciting to visit the construction sites and the style was just to my taste. However, it will probably take a while until I can afford such a house ;) On the fifth and last day in LA we visited the Universal Studios and in the evening we picked up the car from our rental agency. The next day we had to leave Los Angeles in the direction of Sequoia National Park.

     

    Day 6 to 8 (01.10.2022 - 03.10.2022)

    On the sixth day we got up early and ate breakfast together with the aunt and uncle of our friend. After that we headed to our first stop on the road trip. Sequoia National Park is most famous for its large Sequoia trees, the size of which are truly impressive. In Sequoia National Park we stopped first at Tunnel Rock and then at Tunnel Log. After that we walked a bit through the Sequoia trees before we finally stopped at Moro Rock and walked all the way to the top. From the top we had a fantastic view over the whole valley below and the sheer vastness of the national park. Last we visited the General Sherman Tree, the largest tree in the world. In the evening we went to Fresno for the night. The next day we went to Yosemite National Park where encountered the first bear on our road trip just a few minutes away from our car. We then headed on to the trailhead of the Mist Trail, which we then followed along Vernal Fall to the top of Vernal Fall and past Nevada Fall to the top of Nevada Fall. From there we continued along the John Muir Trail on the other side of the valley until we finally returned to the Mist Trail at the Vernal Footbridge. Since we started hiking relatively late this filled out our whole first day at Yosemite NP, so we headed to Mariposa for the night. The next day we went to Yosemite Valley one last time on this trip and checked out the Mirror Lake and Tuolumne Grove before we drove the Tioga road past Tenaya Lake to Mammoth Lakes.

     

    Day 9 to 11 (04.10.2022 - 06.10.2022)

    In Mammoth Lakes we spent two nights and visited among others the June Lake Loop, Bodie State Historic Park (ghost town), Mono Lake, Panum Crater, Devils Postpile National Monument and Crystal Lake all of which are located in or around this area. In this area it was a bit cooler than the days before. However, that was not a big deal since Las Vegas was the next destination on our list. It was a slightly longer drive there, but went without a problem. In Las Vegas we checked out the famous hotels on the Las Vegas Strip and watched David Copperfield's magic show.

     

    Day 12 to 16 (07.10.2022 - 11.10.2022)

    From Las Vegas, we continued on to the small town of Kanab. Thereby we already crossed the Zion National Park for the first time and took first snapshots. The following day we went back to Zion National Park, where we were very lucky to find a parking lot at the beginning of the Canyon Overlook Trail. Parking is very limited there. After a short walk we had a breathtaking view over Zion Canyon. Afterwards we went deeper into the park. The only way to get to this part of the national park is by bus. Although we were there in the off-season it had a lot of people and we had to stand in line for some time. However, it was worth it in the end! There we walked the Grotto Trail, Middle & Upper Emerald Pool Trail and the Kayenta Trail. The day after we headed out for one last hike (Watchman Trail) in Zion National Park. Afterwards we drove to the nearby Bryce Canyon. There we took a few pictures before we drove to Panguitch, where we spent the night. The following day we hiked the Peekabo Trail in combination with the Narvajo Trail. After dinner we spent one last night in Panguitch. The next day we had to get up early. We left early in the morning to watch the sunrise in Bryce Canyon. It was very cold but I don't regret it at all, it was very impressive and highly recommendable. Afterwards we had a rich American breakfast and wrote and sent our first postcards. Then we already had to leave for Salt Lake City, where we had to exchange our car due to the need of an oil change. With the new car we drove on to Idaho Falls where we spent the night.

     

    Day 17 to 19 (12.10.2022 - 14.10.2022)

    On the 17th day we continued from Idaho Falls to Yellowstone National Park. Shortly after passing the entrance gate we saw the first bison herd in the distance. These impressive animals were not the only animals that we got to see that day in the national park though. We made our first stop at Gibbon Falls, followed by another stop at Beryl Spring before we continued on to Norris Geyser Basin, where we did both loop trails. Next we visited Mammoth Hot Springs. There we saw a herd of wapiti in a distant large meadow. After this stop we continued towards Tower Junction and Canyon Village. We chose this route (Grand Loop Rd) so that we didn't have to drive back the same way and it was very worth it, because on the way we saw two bears. One brown bear and one black bear. Both were pretty far away, but it was still very impressive. A short time later we also saw mountain goats that we encountered in the middle of the road. We stopped several times in the middle of the road to admire all these impressive animals in the wild. The landscape was also very impressive all along the way with various geysers and hot springs. It steamed up here and there from the ground. We made a last spontaneous stop at the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone National Park. The selected viewpoint gave us an impressive view of the Lower Falls. Then we went back through the West Entrance Gate to the town of West Yellowstone. From there we continued the next day to the southern part of the National Park. There were again various stops at geysers and other sights such as the Grand Prismatic Spring on the todo list. Unfortunately, we could not make out the impressive colors so clearly because of the evaporating water hovering just above the surface. After spending a last night in West Yellowstone, we left the next day for Grand Teton National Park, which is adjacent to Yelloswtone NP. There we made stops at Signal Mountain Summit, Two Ocean Lake, and Jenny Lake, among others. While the Signal Mountain Summit offered a beautiful panoramic view over the country, the Two Ocean Like Hike was less convincing. The road there was very rudimentary and on the several hour hike, which was partly through the forest, the lake was often barely visible. Lake Jenny was worth it again, where we also watched the sun set behind the mountains. After the sun had set, we drove on to Jackson to our next motel.