Despite it being my favorite state, I whipped through Idaho in no time. I shot down to the Southeast of it, zipped through Victor, Idaho, and found myself in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Jackson is a popping town, with mild urban appeal and a huge wild west influence. It’s honestly a little confusing — the town is called Jackson, but everyone calls it Jackson Hole because “hole” used to refer to a high mountain valley. But once you get past this, and some name discrepancies here and there, it’s a great place to hang out, hit a saloon, and buy some overpriced cowboy hats and whatever else.

I stayed outside the famous Wort Hotel as it was a supremely inconspicuous place to park overnight, and ate there a few times — pretty good. Jackson was full of vans and campers and stuff so I didn’t feel too out of place.

Grand Teton National Park is just a twenty minute drive north of town. Before, when I had been here, they present a majestic sight that you could see from far off: in the drive across from Idaho, down from Yellowstone, or up from Jackson. This time, however, the rampant forest fires had totally blanketed the sky in such a way that you could barely make them out. I stopped by Grand Teton on four separate occasions, and found the visibility to be best first thing in the morning, though it was still sadly limited.

As I was feeling a little lonely on my leg back of the trip, a friend from out East impulsed a one way to accompany me back. Two plus weeks in the back of a Prius with another person is a special kind of journey, that’s for sure. It’s a little cramped back there with two, as you could imagine. But the company was totally worth it.

I checked out Yellowstone National Park for two days, and as anyone who’s been there before can tell you, there’s so much to see there. Almost too much. So I’ll break it down by the different areas to stop by. Some of them, that is. I never plan enough time to see all of Yellowstone’s grandeur.

I’d only ever entered Yellowstone from the East entrance, through Cody, Wyoming, then made my way down to Jackson Hole. This was my first time coming up. The sights were different, and I would absolutely say that the drive in from Cody is much preferable. There’s astonishing mountain views, wild river gorge views, and so much more. I definitely missed it, this go around.

On this iteration, I made my first stop at West Thumb Geyser Basin. Here, there’s a bunch of thermal areas alongside the West Thumb area of the Yellowstone Lake.

I also made sure to stop nearby at the Old Faithful Geyser. It erupts every 60-90 minutes (ish), and goes for 2-3 minutes each time (ish). When at Yellowstone, between each eruption you can learn of when the next one is set to be (ish). It’s jam packed every time.

There’s a bunch of geyser basins at Yellowstone, one of the most famed housing the Grand Prismatic Spring. It’s a huge hot spring, the largest in the States, and third largest worldwide. Pretty freaking neat.

Norris geyser basin feels like one of the park’s most diverse spots to learn about all the thermal features and their intricacies.

Also majorly worth a stop is the Yellowstone Grand Canyon, with lower and upper falls. A steep hike down presents an amazing view (before a terrible hike up).

Around the park, there’s neat thermal features and waterfalls and beautiful, sweeping fields all over. Though the park is glutted with fellow travelers, a short hike off the beaten path promises solitude and sights.

I barely scratched the surface here. But this is definitely one of the most famous of the national parks for a reason. Absolutely worth a stop for folks of all ability levels.