A leisurely drive into Yellowstone. We check out a free campsite en route near Emigrant, Montana. It doesn’t pan out- only 1 spot down a long narrow gravel road.  On our way back out we ran into a pickup coming the other way who refused to go around us so we hugged the side of the road to get by him but managed to scratch the right side of the RV in the process who said free camping was actually free.  On the plus side – we saw a bear ambling down by the creek. We get a good look and he looks at us and then ambles away.

On arrival to Yellowstone, we opt for the $80 pass good until Sept 2018 hopefully we get back here to take advantage of it. One surprise all the campgrounds are full!!!

First stop is Mammoth Hot springs just inside the north entrance. A 2-mile boardwalk takes you up to the lower and upper terraces. Lots of travertine terrace with hot water spilling over and bubbling up from the springs. There are a few thermal pools which remind us of Rotorua thermal park.

On the way we see some bighorn sheep up high on the rocks, we also see a female elk with two calves.

As dinner time closes in we leave via the north exit and head thru Gardiner toward Jardine heading towards Eagle Creek campground.  On arrival, we find the campsite is full but the helpful camp host lets us know that if we keep going 1 1/2 miles up the road we will be on forestry land and can stop anywhere we are off the road. We passed a couple of nice looking site but haven’t traveled far enough, at a bend in the road we find a nice level pullout with a few other people stopped so we decide to spend the night there.

It turns out that Eagle Creek being full was a good thing other than the vault toilets we are missing nothing by spending the night here and the view is spectacular but lots of traffic speeds by so lots of dust.

Besides traffic noises, we can hear occasional gunshots echoing through the hills. A hawk circles overhead, a cricket chirps, we spot some bones nearby  (a deer or a cow ?). We actually can see Mammoth springs in Yellowstone way across the valley.

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