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Day 7-Snowy Mountain and the Olympics

 
For the past two days the kids have been asking to climb a ‘snowy mountain’. We found one this morning that would be a nice 5 mile loop to an elevation of 10243 feet. The original trail we were told to take was closed due to bear activity so we left from Dunraven Pass to start our hike. There is snow all over the park and the visitors center said they just opened up the trail, but just to get from the parking lot to the trail we had to walk through 2-3 feet of snow. The kids loved it! The hike wasn’t as steep as I thought, it followed a dirt road winding up the side of the mountain. The amount of snow that was still up there was amazing. We had to walk on snow at least 3/4ths of the time, and over 2/3rds of the hike we were walking single file on the side of the road next to a drift that got as high as over 6’. It was a great hike but our shoes were slipping all over the place. We got about ¾ of the way up and hit a spot where we would have to walk the side of a snow bank that went right off a drop off. It would have been fine for us to cross and lots of other hikers had and were doing it, but we turned back because one slip of the kids would have been really bad. Ian was so excited about the snow and was jumping and sliding all over the place on purpose, and Lily’s footing isn’t good. It was frustrating not making it to the top, the kids had hiked so good. The snow was melting so fast and, now that it was open, hikers were making better and better tracks to follow so by tomorrow or even this evening it might have been better to cross, but we just didn’t want to risk it with the kids. We have climbed up all kinds of rock faces and drop offs, but when they slip our footing is still good. The snow was just so packed down and slick from melting. Oh well.
  

 

We did get to see a whole litter of yellow-bellied marmots right by the trail. There was 10 babies (that we saw) and both parents. They let us sit and watch them for a while.

 

In the afternoon the kids did animal Olympics. They got to ‘compete’ against animal skills in racing, jumping and several other things. It was really well done and the kids had lots of fun.

Finished off our last day in Yellowstone with ice cream J

Yellowstone is a really nice place. This is a place it would be nice to have a few more days. I know there is lots of back country trails that would be awesome to figure out and try but we didn’t have time this trip. Driving around the park is just beautiful. There is steaming pools and rivers everywhere and tones of wildlife. Didn’t get to see a bear , but we saw hundreds of buffalo.