Blog, News & Updates
Another Day in Paradise…
Another Day in Paradise…
Driving through Hayden Valley during the annual bison rut is a spectacle to
behold. Last week with our group we were fortunate to find hundreds of bison
right along the road. This is not always the case. The old saying about bison
is, they take a bite, they take a step, take a bite, take a step. In fact,
several days later when I returned the bison were well away from the road.
However, on August 16 we felt like we were on the set of the epic western movie, Dances With Wolves! The bulls were very rambunctious—going at it head to head, creating dust clouds from their wallows, and chasing the cows all over the place.
After our up close and personal encounter with so many bison (viewed safely from inside our vehicle—remember, the park requires a minimum distance of 25 yards between bison and visitors, and 100 yards between visitors and bears), we headed to Fishing Bridge Visitor Center. This wonderfully rustic and quaint building was constructed in the 1930s, and sits right along the shore of Yellowstone Lake, the second largest lake in the world at such a high elevation (7733 feet). The back door of the visitor center opens right out to a stone balcony overlooking the beach of the lake. From here you can ponder the incredible thermal activity that has been discovered at depths to over 400 feet! The detailed relief map of Yellowstone Lake is a relatively new addition at Fishing Bridge Visitor Center and is not to be missed.
Near Bridge Bay we encountered some large buck mule deer resting in a meadow. The grass was so deep that all you could see were their large racks of antlers, which made for neat photos!
From Guide John Layshock…
August, Friday the 13th.
Our evening tour started in the rain, and it was a bit more than our usual 20 minute thunderstorms. As soon as we arrived at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, the weather cleared up for a great view.
On the north rim drive, we were especially happy to see the osprey chicks still in the nest. The 3 of them are huge! They were all stretching their wings and active from the rain storm. We then stopped on the north side of Dunraven Pass and watched some elk, but as soon a we loaded up and turned the next corner a sow grizzly and her 2 cubs walked a ridge in front of us.
Our group included a family from New York and 2 families from Italy.
The guests from Italy are touring the west in RV’s and just arrived
from Arches National Park. As we entered the Lamar Valley they were
especially happy to see hundreds of bison. At first, they were miles
away. Then we ended up in the middle of a few dozen bison on all
sides. It’s the rut, and that means a lot of activity. Snortin’,
fighting, drooling and they stink worse than a geyser. It’s a lot of
fun to watch.
We stopped at Slough Creek to try a catch a glimpse of
some wolves. It’s a den location, so if you are there long enough
they will show up. We missed some activity by a few minutes.
On our way to Mammoth, we stopped to watch a herd of antelope near the
petrified tree. It was pretty dark by the time we got to Bunsen Peak
area and we watched some more elk, but much closer than before. The
cow calls were clear and made all the kids laugh. It was fun tour
with fun people, Cheers!
From Guide Butch Bach…
Our day began near Gardiner at the north entrance, so we decided to travel the
upper loop of the park. After passing a herd of elk right in the middle of the
old Fort Yellowstone complex, we headed up to the Upper Terrace Drive at
Mammoth. Here, we walked around the very colorful Orange Mound Spring, where the new travertine deposits appear to be taking over a portion of the road!
I’m always amazed at how easy it is to find quiet solitude in Yellowstone, even
on the busiest of days. Short walks to such spots as Apollinaris Spring, Ice
Lake, and Crystal Falls provided us with such an experience. A slightly longer
hike along the north rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone produced
awe-inspiring views deep into the colorful gorge, as well as a good view of
Silver Cord Cascade, the park’s tallest waterfall. After strolling along the canyon’s edge at Calcite Springs to view the unique and fascinating geologic formations, we began our descent back to Mammoth. Along the way, the youngster in our group was delighted as we passed two black
bears and one grizzly near the road, all digging and feeding naturally in the
forest and meadows.
From Guide Leslie Stoltz…
A few of us Alpen guides drive south through the northwest corner of Yellowstone most days. It gives our guests coming from the Big Sky area a chance to see the Gallatin and lower reaches of the Madison river before we arrive in West Yellowstone to enter the Park’s interior. This year, with the ample spring moisture, wildflowers along the road are abundant and delightful. Rainbows of color call for a glimpse and for the first time I remember, Bitterroot (Montana State Flower) could be seen if we stopped at JUST the right spot. It is like finding a treasure. In the evenings, this special corner of the park has seen quite a bit of bear activity. A few of the bears are seen most often and one has a blond streak across the back shoulder earning it the nick-name “Streak”. It’s important to remember the 100 yard rule (stay at least that far from a bear).
Summer is young and we have more days to look forward to in the park!
From Guide Denise Wade…
Monday July 19,2010
What a fabulous afternoon on geyser hill we had today! After walking the loop pausing to watch sputtering from the Lion group, then watching Anemone play for us (one of my favorites) with Plume playing behind us, we crossed over the Firehole River to get a close up view of Old Faithful’s next eruption. While crossing the river, we noticed a Merganser with 6 ducklings running magically across the water. To our surprise, a river otter was stealthily swimming behind them and swam right under us! We noticed the time was approaching the predicted eruption time and hurried up to watch Old Faithful from Blue Star Spring. Even though it was a beautiful sunny day, standing on the boardwalk waiting and watching of Old Faithful can make the minutes feel like hours. To our surprise, the indicator on Beehive started to go! Cameras ready! Videos ready! As Old Faithful erupted on one side, Beehive on the other, and Lion in the distance! What a show!
National Park Service Updates
Yellowstone National Park
- Yellowstone National Park Celebrates Earth Day 2014
Yellowstone National Park, the Yellowstone Environmental Coordinating Committee (YECC) and community partners in and around Gardiner, Montana, will celebrate the 44th anniversary of Earth Day starting April 19, with community cleanups, waste collection and recycling events, demonstrations, games, information on local and national environmental initiatives and much more. http://www.nps.gov/yell/parknews/14022.htm
- Yellowstone Issues New Contracts For Guided Interpretive Oversnow Vehicle Tours
The National Park Service has selected the businesses which will provide guided interpretive oversnow vehicle tours in Yellowstone starting this winter. The new contracts implement the October 2013 Final Rule for Winter Use by requiring concessioners to provide tours as transportation events. http://www.nps.gov/yell/parknews/14-021.htm
- Roads from West Yellowstone and Mammoth Hot Springs to Old Faithful and Canyon Open Friday
For the first time since fall, visitors to Yellowstone National Park will be able to drive to see Old Faithful and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone starting Friday morning, April 18. http://www.nps.gov/yell/parknews/14020.htm
- Yellowstone Invites Anglers To “Talk Trout”
Yellowstone is known as a prime destination for anglers. However, protecting and preserving the park’s world class trout fisheries is an ever increasing challenge. http://www.nps.gov/yell/parknews/14019.htm
- Science Report Guides Protection of Old Faithful Thermal Features and Historic Yellowstone Buildings
A new scientific report on the geology and hydrology in the area around Old Faithful in Yellowstone includes suggestions on how to avoid harming the unique hydrothermal features during maintenance of nearby park roads, utilities, and historic buildings. http://www.nps.gov/yell/parknews/041114.htm
- Yellowstone To Issue 2014 Firewood Collection Permits
Yellowstone National Park will be accepting public requests for those interested in possibly receiving a firewood collection permit from the National Park Service during 2014. http://www.nps.gov/yell/parknews/14016.htm
- Yellowstone Utility Service Upgrade Plan Approved
A plan to improve the reliability, safety and overall service quality of Yellowstone’s electrical power distribution, operated by Northwestern Energy, was approved by Sue Masica, Director of the Intermountain Region of the NPS, last week. http://www.nps.gov/yell/parknews/14018.htm
- Yellowstone Seeks Comment On Lamar Buffalo Ranch Sustainable Energy Project
The NPS is seeking public input to help prepare an environmental assessment to analyze impacts associated with proposed changes to the existing energy conservation and renewable energy production systems at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch. http://www.nps.gov/yell/parknews/14017.htm
- Call for Abstracts Announced for 12th Biennial Scientific Conference on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Abstract submissions for the 12th Biennial Scientific Conference on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem will be accepted April 4, 2014 to June 4, 2014. http://www.nps.gov/yell/parknews/14015.htm
- State of Montana and National Park Service to jointly develop new Bison Management Plan
The National Park Service (NPS) and the State of Montana (State) have agreed to prepare a joint Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to consider possible changes for managing wild Yellowstone bison and the non-native disease brucellosis. http://www.nps.gov/yell/parknews/032814.htm
- Yellowstone Opens West Side Roads For Spring Bicycle Season
Bicyclists willing to brave the often unpredictable elements of spring in Yellowstone National Park will be able to travel 49 miles of park roads from the West Entrance at West Yellowstone, Mont., to Mammoth Hot Springs beginning at 8:00 a.m. Thursday, March 27. http://www.nps.gov/yell/parknews/14014.htm
- National Park Service Announces Record Of Decision On Remote Vaccination of Yellowstone Bison
National Park Service (NPS) Intermountain Regional Director Sue Masica signed a Record of Decision (ROD) to not implement a remote vaccination program to address brucellosis in Yellowstone Bison. http://www.nps.gov/yell/parknews/14013.htm
- Yellowstone Seeks Information on Illegal Bison Shootings
Yellowstone National Park is asking for the public’s help in identifying who was responsible for illegally shooting and killing three bison inside the park last week. http://www.nps.gov/yell/parknews/14012.htm
- IBMP Partners Conclude Bison Population Management Efforts
The National Park Service has concluded bison population management operations at the Stephens Creek facility after consigning 258 bison to tribal partners for nutritional and cultural purposes and transferring 60 bison to UDSA-APHIS for an ongoing research project. http://www.nps.gov/yell/parknews/14011.htm
- Public Invited To Help Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee Chart A Path To The Future
The agencies entrusted with managing federal lands within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) are asking the public to help them determine which ecosystem issues should be the focus in the future. http://www.nps.gov/yell/parknews/public-invited-to-help-greater-yellowstone-coordinating-committee-chart-a-path-to-the-future.htm
- NPS Intermountain Regional Director Approves Snake River Headwaters Comprehensive Management Plan
National Park Service Intermountain Regional Director Sue Masica has issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Snake River Headwaters Comprehensive River Management Plan and Environmental Assessment (CRMP/EA). http://www.nps.gov/yell/parknews/03062014.htm
- Yellowstone Bears Emerging From Dens
Grizzly bears are emerging from hibernation in the Greater Yellowstone Area, so hikers, skiers and snowshoers are advised to stay in groups of three of more, make noise on the trail and carry bear spray. http://www.nps.gov/yell/parknews/14010.htm
- Yellowstone Invites Proposals For Guided Interpretive Oversnow Vehicle Tours And Skiers Camp
The National Park Service (NPS) has released a prospectus soliciting proposals from businesses interested in providing guided interpretive oversnow vehicle tours and skiers camp in Yellowstone National Park. http://www.nps.gov/yell/parknews/14009.htm
- Tourism To Yellowstone National Park Creates Over $400 Million In Economic Benefit
A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 3,447,729 visitors to Yellowstone National Park in 2012 spent $400, 346,500 in communities near the park. http://www.nps.gov/yell/parknews/14008.htm
- Yellowstone Recruiting for 2014 Youth Conservation Corps Program
Imagine having the opportunity to work, learn, play, and serve in the world’s first national park. http://www.nps.gov/yell/parknews/14007.htm