Sunday, July 21, 2013

A day off from Yellowstone

Our home base for exploring Yellowstone last week was Yellowstone Holiday RV Resort on Lake Hebgen, just about 13 miles NW of West Yellowstone, MT.  It’s a beautiful lake, and I can’t believe it’s not more crowded!

View of the Marina at Yellowstone Holiday RV Resort



In the afternoons, we could watch kids fishing from the docks, and the osprey fishing from the sky!

On the day we arrived, we were watching some kids fishing, and an osprey dove into the water right next to us, head-first, and came up with a fish!  It was amazing to see, and I did not have my camera with me!  The rest of the week, I kept trying to catch one diving like that, and I never did!



After 3 days of heavy duty tourist activity in Yellowstone, we decided to take Sunday off.  After mass in West Yellowstone, we drove the scenic route back through Idaho on US-20, over Reynolds Pass to ID-87, and back to US-287.

It was a beautiful day for a drive through the Idaho/Montana countryside.

Montana Farmland

As we turned north on ID-87, we were following the Madison River.  Nicolas thought this looked like a good river for rafting!


Hebgen Lake was formed by a man-made dam on the Madison River, but there’s another lake just downriver of us that was formed by tragedy -- they call it Earthquake Lake.


In August, 1959, there was a massive earthquake in this area, and it caused a mountain to collapse and slide down through a campground to the river.

My Grandma stopped here during their visit, which wasn’t too many years after it happened.  quake lake








We approached the lake from the south, and the landslide area is still clearly visible.

Madison River

Landslide area


We stopped at the Overlook, admiring the view of the Madison River as it continues flowing beyond the collapsed mountain.

Downriver of Quake Lake

In the other direction is Quake Lake.

Quake Lake

It looks so peaceful; it’s hard to believe it was the scene of such sadness.  The trees killed by the overflowing river are still standing.

Dead trees in the foreground

We continued following the Madison River back towards Hebgen Lake.

Madison River

We passed the Hebgen Dam, and the Lake appeared before us.

A beautiful lake

Sailboats on the lake











We saw these sailboats, and a few fishermen, but other than that the lake was pretty much empty . . . this isn’t what a lake in Michigan looks like on a Sunday afternoon in July!!

Hebgen Lake

A few minutes later, we could see the RV Park in the distance.

Yellowstone Holiday Resort

Back at the camper, we had some lunch, visited with the neighbors, and rested up for our last day of touring Yellowstone!


  1. Yea, but in Michigan you don't have Yellowstone just down the road from the lake. Which is were everyone wants to go, so the lesser lakes and other attractions are bypassed, and thus much less crowded. Enjoy, Don Jr.

    1. Surprisingly, for July, Yellowstone wasn't too bad . . . I had heard horrible stories about traffic, but other than the one area of construction, we never had traffic.


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