U.S. Road Trip Re-Cap: Week Seven (Wyoming to Alberta)

North to South U.S. road trip recap week seven

Week seven was by far one of the most memorable weeks on our road trip. I can’t believe how much we saw in one week! Oodles of wildlife, gorgeous sunrises, and even the Northern Lights — all the way down in Yellowstone National Park (they’re not usually visible so far south).

Somehow we managed to visit FOUR national parks all in one week. And despite late night Milky Way photo sessions, we managed to wake up before dawn TWICE to witness the gorgeous sunrises Yellowstone has to offer. If you’ve never seen Yellowstone yourself, add it to your bucket list NOW. And in the meantime, you can drool a bit over these photos!

Note: I’m still catching up on our weekly road trip re-caps! This one covers June 20-27.

Yellowstone foggy sunrise silhouette

Yellowstone is breathtaking at sunrise.

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You can get an overview of our trip each week here on the blog, but we’re posting more frequent updates of our cross-country U.S. road trip on Facebook and Instagram.

Yellowstone National Park

Oh ya know, just frolicking through a meadow at Yellowstone National Park

Diana Southern and the Milky Way at Waterton Lakes National Park

Diana and the Milky Way at Waterton Lakes National Park

The Northern Lights and Milky Way in Yellowstone National Park

The Northern Lights at Yellowstone National Park (a RARE sight!)

States Visited This Week

  • Wyoming
  • Idaho*
  • Montana
  • Alberta, Canada

*just passing through

Idaho grass and sky

A short stop for a photo in Idaho

Yellowstone National Park

All the ladies together at Yellowstone (We met up with friends for this part of the trip!)

Milky Way at Grand Teton National Park by Ian Norman

The Milky Way at Grand Teton National Park

Learn how to take a photo like the one above in our Milky Way photography tutorials on Lonely Speck.

States Visited in Previous Weeks

Total States Visited So Far: 18

California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana

Waterton Lakes National Park

Enjoying the view at Waterton Lakes National Park

bison at sunset near a Yellowstone geyser

Bison in Yellowstone National Park

Glacier National Park

Ian at Glacier National Park

Stops/Landmarks

  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Grand Teton National Park
  • Missoula, MT
  • Glacier National Park
  • Waterton Lakes National Park
Camping at Waterton Lakes National Park

Diana looking out from the campground at Waterton Lakes National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Diana loving the warm evenings at Yellowstone National Park

Highlights

  • Our first moose sighting in the Wyoming wilderness
  • Plentiful bison and elk sightings in Yellowstone National Park
  • Meeting up with friends Maya, Kate and Jazz for our trip in Yellowstone
  • Beautiful misty sunrises
  • A VERY unexpected first sighting of the Northern Lights (and the opportunity to photograph them)
  • Purchasing our first canister of bear mace (and not needing to use it)
  • Diana’s first wild bear sighting, and not just one or two, but THREE (mama and two cubs) in Yellowstone
  • Spending the night in Alberta, Canada at Waterton Lakes National Park

Notes and Insights

  • Yellowstone National Park is best experienced at sunrise and sunset, when more wildlife is out and about and fewer tourists are around.
  • Bear mace is expensive. About fifty bucks for a canister. But it’s worth the peace of mind when you’re hiking. Make sure you know how to use it if you ever need to!
  • You ARE allowed to take bear mace across the border from the U.S. to Canada, but not the everyday self-defense variety.
  • There are disappointingly few glaciers to see (at least from the road) in Glacier National Park. Boo global warming.
Elk herd at Grand Teton National Park

A herd of elk at Grand Teton National Park

The Milky Way at Yellowstone National Park by Ian Norman

The Milky Way at Yellowstone National Park

Sitting on the car in Grand Teton National Park

Diana and Little Red Riding Hood in Grand Teton National Park

Yellowstone mama bear and cubs

Mama bear and cubs at Yellowstone National Park

Photo Gallery

moose sighting in the Wyoming wilderness Waterton Lakes National Park Diana Southern at Grand Teton National Park Glacier National Park lookout in summer Yellowstone glacier at sunset green summer scenery at Yellowstone National Park Grand Teton sunset Maya Lindemann at Yellowstone National Park Missoula, Montana sunset at Yellowstone with rainbow lens flare

All photos were taken by Ian and Diana with the Sony a7 II (Ian’s camera), Sony RX100 III (Diana’s camera — review here) and our smartphones.

Week Eight Preview

  • Bison and prairie dogs in Theodore Roosevelt National Park
  • A brief stop (and visit with an old friend) in Minneapolis
  • The beginning of our one-month break in Chicago

I hope you enjoyed this U.S. road trip re-cap! In case you missed them, check out our other weekly recaps from our road trip. Have you road-tripped to any of these U.S. locations? Tell us about your trips in the comments.

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About the Author

Diana Southern
In March 2014, Diana called it quits on her traditional American working life and set out to explore the world with her partner in crime (and love of her life) Ian Norman. They now live a sustainable life of full time travel, working for themselves and seeking adventure at the same time. Here on North to South, Diana documents their journey in achieving and maintaining this "road less traveled" way of life.

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