After a quick shower back at my hotel, I headed back into Yellowstone Park. I had reserved a room back at the Hostel in Jackson since I had to return the rental car, so I just wanted to do a few quick stops as I headed back through Yellowstone.
My first stop was Monument Geyser which was a lot harder of a hike than I expected. It was only a 2.4 mile hike total, but half of that was straight uphill and I picked the middle of the day to do the hike, so it was very hot. After the other hikes I did in the park, I think this one can be skipped – there are much better options to see geysers.
This was also my first real exposure to the sulfur smell of the geysers. You can smell it a little bit as you’re driving through the park, but it’s much stronger as you get close!
This geyser didn’t have much of a “restricted zone” so you could pretty much wander around where you wanted, but it was definitely a good idea to keep an eye on where you stepped.
You can see the steepness of the trail in this picture, as well as some mountains in the background.
My next spot was one I was looking forward to – Artists Paint Pots. There were large boardwalks over the thermal areas, so it was a very easy walk. There were some sections with stairs (very painful after the half!) but it was amazing!
There were so many different colors, some areas letting out steam or bubbling up – it’s definitely a can’t miss spot on your trip through Yellowstone. It’s only a 1.2 mile lollipop loop and if you can skip the sections with stairs if you want (though you definitely lose the great overarching views from the top).