If you are entering or leaving Yellowstone through the west entrance, this area is only about 40 minutes off the main highway. The drive from the south to the slide is through extremely scenic valleys with towering snow-capped mountains all around. There are several lakes on the way also. The drive from West Yellowstone is also attractive, passing Hebgen Lake and Dam, a big beaver pond, and lots of wildlife. There were bighorn sheep right on the road.
The slide area is dramatic and haunting. We were there the week before the visitor center opened for the season (you can still park in the lot and see the slide), so we were the only people there. The size of the slide is awe inspiring and frightening at the same time. It has a beauty all its own. There are two large lakes above the slide. The lake made by the slide itself and the one that existed before the slide above Hebgen Dam. There is a preserved area of destroyed highway and other displays along the scenic drive above the lake. The lake was still mostly frozen in late May.
Be sure to allow time to make this detour if you are passing this way. Even if you don't stop or get out of the car, the scenery and wildlife viewing is well worth it.
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