Back from Vacation In Yellowstone and Mt Rushmore 2008

by Ron Haynes

What a great vacation! We drove a little over 4,700 miles to visit Yellowstone National Park and Mt Rushmore National Memorial. If you EVER get the chance to go, take it!

Four Thousand Seven HUNDRED miles? Yes, we spent just under $800 in fuel but considering that I had 5 people to transport and the cheapest airline tickets I could find were $600 each and I would still have to rent a car and drive another 1,200 miles or so, it was much cheaper to drive than fly.

My wife prepared all sorts of activities for the kids and we really enjoyed our 12 days together!

We went whitewater rafting down the Gallatin River using Montana Whitewater

Montana Whitewater

Montana Whitewater

Montana Whitewater

And we also went horseback riding in the Montana wilderness. It was spectacular!


Ron on Horseback

Family Picture

We spent a LOT of time in Yellowstone and we saw more beauty than I ever imagined.

Yellowstone Falls

Yellowstone Valley

The views were spectacular. Words cannot express and pictures just cannot capture the sheer beauty and majesty of Yellowstone National Park.

Yellowstone Mountain

Yellowstone Arch

Yellowstone Valley

Yellowstone Rainbow

Yellowstone River

Yellowstone Whitewater

Yellowstone Peace

Yellowstone Rushing Falls

Nez Pierce Creek

Montana Lake

Montana Mountain

Hayden Valley

Tower Falls

Yellowstone Falls

We also saw a great deal of wildlife. Though we didn’t capture everything we saw on the camera, we saw black bears, grizzly bear, pronghorn antelope, mule deer, whitetail deer, eagles, osprey, buffalo, bull and cow elk, ground squirrels, and yellow bellied marmots. We tried to find wolves and moose but we will have to give that a shot next time…yes, we ARE going back!

Black Bear with Cub

Cow Elk with Calf


Mammouth Hot Springs Elk in median

Elk in Mirror

Elk Calf



Yellowstone Black Bear

Did you know there are more thermal features in the Yellowstone caldera than in the rest of the entire world combined?

Thermal feature

Thermal feature

Thermal feature

Thermal feature

Thermal feature

Thermal feature

Thermal feature

Finally, we spent the Fourth of July in Rapid City, South Dakota and were able to see Mount Rushmore and the city of Deadwood. Deadwood was an old cowboy town and it is mostly famous as the place where Wild Bill Hickok met his untimely death by being shot from behind.

Mt Rushmore

Mt Rushmore

The kids panned for gold with Johnny One Feather!

Mt Rushmore

Mt Rushmore

Then we went on to Deadwood.

Mt Rushmore

Mt Rushmore

Mt Rushmore

All in all it was the most wonderful vacation we have ever taken as a family. We are already planning to return!

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 1000 articles on The Wisdom Journal.

The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.

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Wow, that looks like an incredible trip. Seeing the guy out there panning for gold brings up some interesting PF topics. Not the fact that he could be getting a little money from the gold, but his lifestyle and doing something that he truely loves doing.

Thanks for all the incredible pictures.


His name is Johnny Onefeather. He was a Vietnam vet and has a huge spread that he mines for little nuggets here and there. He told us that he gives all his tips to a children’s home so we tipped him $20 on a $9 tab!


Looks like a great time, Ron. Thanks for sharing your trip with us. I have yet to take this trip, but it’s definitely on my list. Driving is the way to go…you get to see everything on the way up too.


Thanks PT. It was a fabulous trip. You just gotta go :D


WOW, fantastic pictures and it looks like you had a great trip. Jealous!


Thanks David. It was truly incredible to see the work of art that IS nature. What made it even better was being with my family and getting to experience everything with them!

Heh. Seeing you on horseback reminded me of City Slickers. :)

Frugal Dad

I was really looking forward to this post, and you didn’t disappoint! The pictures are beautiful, and I’m excited about taking my family on a similar trip down the road.

Shama Hyder

Ron, we were totally planning on going to Montana this summer. We still want to!

So, care to share how you made this a “financially efficient” trip-how you booked tickets, where you stayed..etc. Come on, spill! = )


Wow. Looks like you had some fabulous fun and good times! How dare you stir the wanderlust over here lol Family trips are truly the best.

Four Pillars

Great shots! I want 2 go there now!



You are right, there is certainly more beauty and majesty than one can imagine. Thank you for the great pictures.

Your children will never ever forget this trip. And neither would I, should I ever go to Yellowstone or Mt. Rushmore.


Connie Liming


Thanks for all the great pictures!!! My husband and I would like to plan a trip to yellowstone for our 30th anniversary. We would also like to drive, but I am not sure where to stay in order to see the park.

Any suggestions?


How fun! I plan to go next summer. It’ll be my first time.

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