Hiking in the Monument Geyser Basin and to the summit of Mount Washburn in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA.
In West Yellowstone custom-made sandwiches are acquired for the day hiking kit before driving east across the park to begin the day with a short, steep 2 mile (3¼ KM) warm-up hike to the Monument Geyser Basin.
The trail-head begins near Beryl Spring. The ascent allows an excellent and motivational view of Mount Washburn in the distance. On this trail to the Monument Geyser Basin there is clear evidence of the devastating 1988 forest fires accompanied by outstanding views of Gibbon River Canyon, as well as Gibbon Meadows and the Gallatin Range.
Monument Geyser Basin appears at the end of 700 ft (225 m) of elevation in ⅝ of a mile (1 KM). The geyser basin is a small thermal area filled with odd, strangely unique geyser cones accompanied by the strong smell of sulfur.
Back at the car, the drive continues east through the park past Norris and Canyon Village junctions to the Dunraven Pass trail-head. The hike to the summit of Mount Washburn begins on old road previously used for transportation to the fire lookout station at the summit. Distance one way is 3 miles (4¾ KM) with consistent, moderate elevation gain of 1,400 feet (425 M). Weather is perfect. Views are expansive but smoky from two forest fires burning within the park. Lunch at the top is enjoyably consumed in an enclosed shelter on this easy hike with good rewards.
Back at the trail-head, the car is covered with bees. No-one else's car is covered with bees and this unusual occurrence may be attributed to residual poplar tree sap from parking in Jackson Hole at Grand Teton National Park. Apparently bees find this attractive.
Supper in the Canyon Village cafeteria provides the opportunity for swapping trip stories with friends before they head north to Gardiner, Montana in a fitting end to this hiking day before the return to West Yellowstone.
There is abundant wildlife in the park and there are several close encounters with deer and buffalo on the drive home.