Vivid colors as if from a painting. Strange sounds never before heard. Deafening silence. Bison in your window and prairie dogs at your feet. These are just a few of the snippets I experienced on the 1-90 adventure from Green Bay to Yellowstone. Recently my husband and I took a 10 day road trip out to Yellowstone National park for our two year anniversary. I didn’t know what to expect but I definitely did not anticipate how awe inspiring, beautiful, sometimes scary and definitely exciting trip awaited us! The most surprising part of the trip was getting to experience all the neat destinations along the 18 hour drive there. If you’re ever thinking of a trip there yourself, here are five of the must see places along the way.
1. Badlands, South Dakota
The Badlands are an incredible sight to behold, located in South Dakota just past the Missouri River. The colors here are so vivid and always seem to change depending on the time of day. This region is so different from the rest of South Dakota’s landscape and stands in striking contrast to the flat surroundings. The climate is desert-like and seems like you are in a foreign country. We spent one night camping here and what stood out to me the most was the deafening silence. It is located hours from major cities so you could literally hear a pin drop here. The Badlands are a fun place to explore all the canyons, walk trails and spend a relaxing night camping. There is also a surprising amount of wildlife here. We were lucky enough to encounter prairie dogs and a group of wild bighorn sheep that came right up to our car!
2. Devil’s Tower, Wyoming
Devil’s Tower in the Northeast corner of Wyoming is truly a neat feature that is worth stopping to check out! This unique rock formation occurred as an ancient volcanic eruption solidified and the surrounding rock eroded leaving behind the original blast. There are several hiking trails that circle the monument as well as campsites available. If you’re feeling extra adventurous the park even allows you to rock climb to the top!
3. Hot Springs State Park, Thermopolis, Wyoming
Hot Springs State Park was definitely one of my favorite gems we stumbled upon! This fascinating spot features large natural hot springs that are free and open to the public to swim in. The hot springs belonged to the Native Americans in the region for many years and it was believed that the water cured all kinds of ailments. Today it is used therapeutically to soothe muscle aches, loosen joints and improve skin and health. The water is 104-120 degrees and you are allowed to swim for 20 minutes. It was very relaxing and one of the highlights of our trip!
4. Grand Tetons National Park
Grand Tetons National Park is definitely a beautiful place to spend a day and see the mountains. Located just south of Yellowstone, it’s sometimes overlooked but has views that are phenomenal with scenic drives through turquoise colored lakes and snowy mountains. The autumn colors here were especially striking with vivid orange/yellows against blues and purples. I often felt as though I was traveling through a calendar picture!
5. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Yellowstone National Park, the final destination on your journey is absolutely worth the 18 hour drive! We spent 5 days here and saw most of the major attractions, but it is not enough time to see everything. This place is awe inspiring, magnificent and unlike anywhere I’ve been before. From geysers to canyons, bubbling pots, mountains, waterfall hikes and wildlife of all kind, Yellowstone is filled with wonder around every corner!
Check out the websites below for more information on these destinations!
About the Author
Magdolna Mingo is a unique creative from a family of artists who graduated from Allegheny College of Meadville, PA in 2012 with a B.A. in Art & Technology. Currently she is juggling an exciting career in graphic and web design in Green Bay, Wisconsin while supplementing her expertise in web development and marketing courses at NWTC. In her free time she loves to travel, camp, spend time at the beach and devise new ways to make websites more efficient and aesthetically pleasing.