The trek through Shoshone Canyon going west on U.S. Highway 14 does set the stage for great things to come in Yellowstone National Park. After paying the entrance fee at the Yellowstone East Gate Entrance the eyesore tourist trap billboards that act as reminders of civilization become a thing of the past. The pristine peaceful Yellowstone wilderness awaits and the feeling is like a sigh of relief when taking a vacation from the hustle and bustle of everyday life!
Just like with the busy U.S. 14 tourism corridor through Shoshone Canyon, the long Yellowstone National Park East Entrance Road is also a fly by traffic zone. Visitors in a hurry to get to the famous geysers further inside this big park do tend to just breeze right on by without even stopping to see what the east end of Yellowstone has to offer. What this means is plenty of elbow room can be found in the east end of the park, even though the traffic on the road is non stop.
The drive into the eastern end of Yellowstone National Park first traverses cloud draped mountain peaks that overlook the entire Yellowstone Lake Basin. The unobstructed views from the scenic overlooks extend to the horizon nearly 100 miles away. During the summer season the forests are green and lush, while barren areas covered with lifeless tall tree trunks from previous forest fires show signs of new life.
Wildlife spotting along the East Entrance Road is easy during the summer season, because the wild animals are busy gathering food and fattening up for the next harsh Wyoming winter, which starts early in autumn each year. The creatures are so busy in the woods looking for food that they often are too preoccupied to care if humans are nearby. The summer feeding frenzy season presents great wildlife photography opportunities in the eastern end of Yellowstone, so be sure to pack a good camera and a telephoto lens.
There are a few streams that wind their way through the canyons and valleys in the eastern portion of the park. The streams fill a few small lakes along the way as the water travels downhill to the gigantic caldera depression. Some of the small lakes and ponds in the east end of the park do take some hiking to get to and the effort is rewarded with a place to spend a day where few others go. If spending the day relaxing by the waterside sounds a dream come true after traveling many miles, there are a few lakes that are located next to the road. Both Eleanor Lake and Sylvan Lake offer cozy picnic spots under shade trees and this is a good place to do some fly fishing too. Lazing the day away on a picnic blanket by a picturesque lake in Yellowstone is as relaxing as it gets!
When relaxing by the lake, it does pay to keep the eyes open for fleeting glimpses of wildlife in action, because eagles sometimes do fly close by while plucking fish out of the water. A sight like this can definitely create memories that last a lifetime. Wetland bird watching is easy to do at Eleanor Lake and there are several waterfowl species that are unique to this area. The little songbirds provide all the music that one needs in this peaceful spot!
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