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
- Watercraft in Yellowstone Required To Be Invasive Species Free
In order to more thoroughly protect the waters of Yellowstone National Park, all motorized and non-motorized watercraft entering the park’s lakes must first pass an Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) inspection.
- Yellowstone Seeks Comment On Energy Company Proposal To Upgrade Substations and Land Mobile Radio System
The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking public comment regarding a capital improvement plan proposed by the utility company that provides electrical service to Yellowstone National Park.
- Yellowstone’s South Entrance Opens Friday, May 10
The South Entrance to Yellowstone National Park will open for the season on Friday morning, May 10, as originally scheduled.
- Celebrate Migratory Bird Day In Yellowstone With Free Programs
Yellowstone and the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center staff will celebrate International Migratory Bird Day on Saturday, May 18, with free programs and a field trip that are open to the public.
- Snake River Headwaters Environmental Assessment Available for Public Review
The Snake River Headwaters Comprehensive River Management Plan and Environmental Assessment (CRMP/EA) has been released for review and comment.
- Yellowstone Accepting Applications From Businesses Interested In Offering Visitor Services
Yellowstone National Park has completed a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) Plan that will help guide commercial services in the park.
- Yellowstone’s East Entrance Opens Friday, May 3
The East Entrance to Yellowstone National Park will open for the season on Friday morning, May 3, as originally scheduled.
- Work Supporting Yellowstone Fire Management Plan Approved
The environmental review work needed to update the plan to guide fire management in Yellowstone National Park has been approved.
- Yellowstone’s Black Sand Basin Closed for Boardwalk Repairs
Access to Yellowstone National Park’s Black Sand Basin will be temporarily closed until at least the Memorial Day weekend while maintenance crews replace and reroute a section of boardwalk that has been damaged by the area’s thermal features.
- Yellowstone National Park Celebrates Earth Day 2013
Yellowstone National Park and the Yellowstone Environmental Coordinating Committee will celebrate the 43rd anniversary of Earth Day this weekend with community recycling events, demonstrations, games and much more.
- Yellowstone’s 5th U.S. Magistrate Judge Sworn Into Duty
A former Billings, Montana-based attorney was sworn in earlier this week as United States Magistrate Judge for the District of Wyoming, to preside over the U.S. District Court in Yellowstone National Park.
- National Park Service Proposed Rule to Implement New Yellowstone Winter Use Plan Released for 60-day Public Review and Comment Period
The National Park Service today released for public comment a proposed rule to more effectively manage access for snowmobiles and snow coaches in Yellowstone National Park while minimizing impacts on visitors, air and sound quality, and wildlife.
- Roads From West Yellowstone And Mammoth Hot Springs To Old Faithful Set To Open Friday, April 19
Favorable weather conditions, below average snow levels, and assistance from the Wyoming Department of Transportation have allowed the park to prepare some road segments for automobile travel earlier than anticipated.
- Yellowstone To Issue 2013 Firewood Collection Permits
Yellowstone National Park will be accepting public requests April 12-14 for those interested in receiving a 2013 firewood collection permit.
- ‘Cycle-Only’ Season Opens For Riders On Yellowstone’s West Side
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. tomorrow.
- Yellowstone Seeks Comment on Bechler Area Improvement Plan
The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking public comment on a plan to improve the administrative area of the Bechler region of Yellowstone National Park.
- Follow Yellowstone Spring Plowing Progress Online
National Park Service (NPS) plow crews are out clearing nearly 200 miles of primary road, almost 125 miles of secondary roads, and 125 acres of parking lots in order to open Yellowstone National Park to wheeled vehicle travel this spring.
- Yellowstone Seeks Comment on Isa Lake Bridge Reconstruction Plan
The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking public comment on plan to reconstruct the Isa Lake Bridge in its existing location at Craig Pass within Yellowstone National Park.
- Comment Period Extended On Commercial Stock Activities
The NPS is extending the public comment period for its preparation of an environmental assessment to analyze impacts associated with the issuance of new concession contracts for guided backcountry saddle and pack stock tours in Yellowstone National Park.
- Yellowstone Grizzly 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.