Earlier, we stopped in Cooke City to have lunch, just outside of the entrance to Yellowstone on the Northeast side. That was after descending down from the Beartooth Pass.

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Here is a bison we saw along the road near Lamar Valley. They are all over the valley and occasionally there will be one away from its herd.

It was a quiet little town with a main street lined with shops and restaurants. Apparently, the population in Cooke City was 140 back in 2000 and only 75 in 2010. We stopped at the Chamber of Commerce where there were picnic tables, a little museum, and bathrooms. We had a picnic lunch there and stretched our legs.

We made it to the park, drove past Lamar Valley to the Tower-Roosevelt Junction, and headed down the east side. Here is the general route:

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We planned on stopping at all the cool sites along the way to the Lake where our cabin was located. First up was Tower Falls and the Calcite Columns along a nearby canyon.

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You can see the hexagonal shaped columns neatly arranged along the top of the canyon. yellowstone-lake-trip-017

Here is the Yellowstone River and part of the canyon that it flows through. Technically, this is not the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone as it’s called. That is further South and one of the main things that we wanted to check out.yellowstone-lake-trip-016

The awesome views weren’t quite enough to keep us interested… Three things were getting us down:

  1. The crowds of tourists.
  2. We were tired.
  3. We were hungry.

So, right after we saw Tower Falls, we made the decision to skip the Canyon for now. We would have other chances to see the Canyon later when we had more time and when there were fewer people.

There is always time for more pictures of Brodie laying in flowers.

yellowstone-lake-trip-025We made it to a fork in the road, then head to the Lake Yellowstone Lake. I made the reservations 8 months earlier to get a pet friendly cabin. That was almost too late! People book very far in advance and getting a pet friendly cabin is even more in-demand.
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The lake looks amazing – surrounded by mountains and at an elevation of 7,733 ft. It’s the second largest lake in the world over 7,000 ft.

The water temperature in the summer is about 45ºF. Most years there is still ice on the lake in late May or early June. The survival time is only about 15 minutes if you are submerged in the water at 45º. It doesn’t sound remarkable cold, but it is – it feels like ice. So, be careful and stay out of the water.

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Seriously though. It really is dangerous and the winds can kick up 3 to 5 foot waves suddenly.

We checked into the hotel and check out our basic cabin. It was great – clean with just the bare minimum and no frills.

We took Brodie for a walk and saw a bison hanging out really close to the road and walking paths. You would almost miss it if it wasn’t so huge since it looks like a big brown bush. It turns out it had a friend nearby that we didn’t see. The brush just covered the other one up and we saw it on the way back.

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