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Great America Road Trip Day 14: Lazy Day by the River

Last updated Jul 20, 2020 | Published on Jul 21, 2020

After yesterday’s epic day in Yellowstone National Park, today was decidedly more chill. Daniel and I were feeling tired and spent a good portion of the day hanging out by one of Yellowstone’s many rivers. We also got to see Gibbon Falls and the Artist Paintpots.


Just chillin’ by Madison River in Yellowstone National Park

Misadventures in Finding a New Campsite

We started the day by looking for a new campsite. Our 2-day reservation at the Yellowstone Grizzly RV Park was coming to an end. We had lucked into one of the few coveted “deluxe forest back-in” sites but it was only available for two days. The only other campsite open for the rest of the week didn’t have hookups and wasn’t as nice.

As Daniel and I aren’t big fans of the RV park scene, we decided to try our chances at a National Forest Service Campground. So we got up early and drove over to the Baker’s Hole Campground to check it out. We weren’t the only ones with this bright idea and found ourselves circling the campground with some other RVs, waiting for people to leave.

After about half an hour of this we gave up. We had hoped to set up at a new campsite and go back to sleep as we were both exhausted. Daniel and I headed into Yellowstone, found a nice little spot by the Madison River, and went back to bed.


Our “deluxe forest back-in” camp site. That’s the National Forest behind us (although our neighbor was immediately to the right just out of the frame).


National Forest land behind our camp site at the Yellowstone Grizzly RV Park

An Afternoon by the River

I woke up at noon feeling groggy and disoriented. It took me a moment to remember where we were. Oh yeah! We’re in Yellowstone! Nice!

We pulled out our camp chairs and proceeded to lounge by the Madison River for the next few hours.


The Madison River


Daniel gets his feets wet


Daniel coaxes me into the water


Daniel gets his swim shorts wet


Artist Paintpots

We considered driving to the Lamar Valley on the northeastern corner of the park, but rejected the idea. The Lamar Valley is supposed to be great for wildlife viewing, but we were looking at a 4-hour round-trip drive. Neither of us had the energy for that.

So we headed to the Artist Paintpots instead, which was much closer.


Overview of the Artist Paintpots area


Artist Paintpots


More Artist Paintpots


This one glooped mud into the air. It was pretty neat.


Most of the trail took place on a boardwalk



Gibbon Falls

On the way to the Artist Paintpots, we pulled over to check out Gibbon Falls. It’s not as impressive as the mighty Yellowstone Waterfall in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, mind you, but it is still pretty magnificent.


Gibbon Falls

Back at the Yellowstone Grizzly RV Park

So we are back at the Yellowstone Grizzly RV Park for the night. It’s not so bad, all things considered. I’m enjoying the laundry room and showers. Also, the staff here is really helpful.

Daniel has decided to order a new camera online. This presents an interesting challenge because it requires having a shipping address. The staff here is happy to receive the package, even though it will arrive after we leave. We are about to head down the the Grand Tetons for a few days and then plan to swing by here on our way back up to I-90.

Fingers crossed this all works out as planned! It will be so nice for Daniel to have a camera again.


Our new camp site

Where are we now?


We are parked by the Madison River in Yellowstone National Park!

Date: July 19
Great American Road Trip Status: Day 14

Location: West Yellowstone, MT
Miles Today: 66.5
Total Trip Mileage: 1605.4

For more details on our Great American (Socially Distanced) Road Trip, see my previous posts:


Archive of Previous Posts

Hi, I'm Unicorn!

I am an avid hiker, traveler, and adventurer who is on the mission to explore hiking trails around the world.  I’m also obsessed with National Parks, long-distance trails and other outdoorsy things.

I hope to share this knowledge with you and inspire you to explore new hiking trails too!


  1. Rod

    I’m so……I was gonna say jealous, but covetousness is a drag. Let me just say, I’m so glad you two are getting to live this, and my prayer is that you will be covered, healthy and joyful the whole way.

    • Unicorn

      Thanks Rod! ☺️



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