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 Announces Public Meeting on Draft Winter Use Adaptive Management Plan
Yellowstone National Park will hold a public meeting on Monday, August 10, from 10 am to 3 pm at the Visitor Information Center in West Yellowstone, Montana, to discuss the park’s draft Winter Use Adaptive Management Plan. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/15-051.htm
- Yellowstone Approves Fish Restoration Project on Soda Butte Creek
Yellowstone National Park, in coordination with partner agencies, has approved a project to remove nonnative brook trout from Soda Butte Creek and reintroduce Yellowstone cutthroat trout into the stream. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/15-050.htm
- Commercial Vehicle Safety Inspections to Occur in Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park rangers and state and federal transportation officials will conduct safety evaluations of commercial vehicles and operators traveling in the park this summer. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/15042.htm
- Search Underway For Missing Swimmer in Yellowstone
A search is underway in Yellowstone National Park for Feiyang “Isaac” Xiang, a 21-year old man from China. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/15049.htm
- Fifth Person Injured in Bison Encounter This Summer
A 43-year-old woman from Mississippi received minor injuries Tuesday when she turned her back on a bison to get a photo with it near the Fairy Falls trailhead in Yellowstone National Park. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/15047.htm
- Nighttime Road Closures to Begin between Norris Geyser Basin and Indian Creek Campground
A portion of the Grand Loop Road in Yellowstone National Park will be closed at night beginning Monday, July 27. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/15048.htm
- Upper Terrace Drive Reopens after Thermal Activity Causes Closure
The Upper Terrace Drive near Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park reopened to vehicles on Monday after rangers temporarily closed the road due to a new thermal feature that was impacting the drive. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/15046.htm
- Upcoming Parking Lot Closures for Paving Project in Yellowstone
As part of the Yellowstone Pavement Preservation Project, specific parking areas will have 24-hour closures in the coming days. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/15043.htm
- Two More People Injured After Approaching Bison
As Yellowstone National Park enters the busiest month of the year, visitors are reminded that they are responsible for their safety, which includes viewing wildlife from safe distances of at least 25 yards. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/15041.htm
- Grand Re-opening and Dedication of Yellowstone National Park’s Albright Visitor Center
Sunday, July 12, marks the celebration of the Horace M. Albright Visitor Center Grand Re-opening and Dedication. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/15039.htm
- Enjoy a Safe and Memorable Fourth in Yellowstone
Summer is here, and Yellowstone is welcoming visitors for the upcoming Independence Day holiday. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/enjoy-a-safe-and-memorable-fourth-in-yellowstone.htm
- Native Arctic Grayling, Westslope Cutthroat Trout Make a Comeback in Grayling Creek
Grayling Creek in northwest Yellowstone National Park will once again be home to a population of its namesake – Arctic grayling. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/15038.htm
- Steady Increase in Yellowstone Visitation for First Five Months of 2015
Visitation to Yellowstone National Park for January through May is up more than 24 percent compared to the same time period in 2014. Although some of that increase could be attributed to a new after-hours counter at the West Entrance, a mild winter and early spring also played a role in drawing people to the park. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/steady-increase-in-yellowstone-visitation-for-first-five-months-of-2015.htm
- Craig Pass to Open Thursday – All Park Roads Open for the Season
As of 7 a.m. this Thursday, park visitors will be able to travel between West Thumb Junction and Old Faithful when the last stretch of park road over Craig Pass opens for the season. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/craig-pass-to-open-thursday-all-park-roads-open-for-the-season.htm
- Brink of the Lower Falls Trail Reopened Today
Rangers reopened the popular Brink of the Lower Falls Trail Thursday after crews removed a large boulder, cleaned up a mud slide and repaired damage to the trail caused by heavy rains in May. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/brink-of-the-lower-falls-trail-reopened-today.htm
- Second Park Visitor Injured in Bison Encounter This Year
A 62-year-old Australian man sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries after an encounter with a bison near Old Faithful Lodge in Yellowstone National Park around 11 a.m. today. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/15034.htm
- Yellowstone Issues Draft Winter Use Adaptive Management Plan for Public Comment
Yellowstone National Park is seeking public comments on a draft Winter Use Adaptive Management Plan as part of an effort to continually improve the management of winter use in the park using the best available science and public input. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/15033.htm
- Yellowstone Seeks Comments on Restoring Native Cutthroat Trout to Soda Butte Creek
Yellowstone National Park, in coordination with partner agencies Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Wyoming Game & Fish Department and the U.S. Forest Service, is seeking public input on a proposed project to remove nonnative brook trout from Soda Butte Creek and reintroduce genetically pure Yellowstone cutthroat trout into the stream. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/yellowstone-seeks-comments-on-restoring-native-cutthroat-trout-to-soda-butte-creek.htm
- National Park Service and State of Montana to hold public meetings to discuss new Bison Management Plan
The National Park Service (NPS) and the State of Montana (State) have set the dates for three public scoping meetings in southwest Montana related to the development of a new Yellowstone-area Bison Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/national-park-service-and-state-of-montana-to-hold-public-meetings-to-discuss-new-bison-management-plan.htm
- Brink of the Lower Falls Trail Closed Due to Rock and Mud Slide
Heavy rain and snow over the weekend caused a rock and mud slide across the Brink of the Lower Falls trail, prompting rangers to close the trail until further notice. One rock that crashed down is nearly 7 feet tall and 8 feet long, effectively blocking the trail. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/brink-of-the-lower-falls-trail-closed-due-to-rock-and-mud-slide.htm