Yellowstone National Park
Grand Loop Drive:
Driving Time: 20 minutes
Distance : 12 miles
As you make your way west across this 12-mile segment of the Grand Loop toward Norris, be sure to make a stop at the Fire Exhibit. This exhibit is located about 9 miles west of Canyon Village, on the left (south) side of the highway. An observation platform at the end of a short boardwalk offers a good glimpse into one of the hotter burns of the fires of 1988. While certain kinds of ground plants were flourishing in other areas soon after the 1988 burn, here the fire fed on an enormous jumble of dead timber, toppled by a massive wind storm four years earlier. As a result, the ground became so hot that many seeds and roots lying underground, which normally would be protected, were destroyed. This deep burn has made regeneration a slow process. Even so, clusters of lodgepole a tenacious tree quick to reclaim burned ground can be seen scattered across the area.
From here, the road makes a gentle pass across a high, forested plateau, much of it pocked with small ponds.
Near the end of this stretch, the road descends sharply into the Norris Geyser Basin area. Be particularly careful on this hill in late spring and early fall when snowfall can make the road slippery.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication