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
- Tourism to Yellowstone National Park Creates $543.7 Million in Economic Benefits
Report shows visitor spending supports more than 6,600 jobs in local economy http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/15023.htm
- Yellowstone National Park Celebrates Earth Day 2015
On April 25, Yellowstone National Park, Yellowstone Environmental Coordinating Committee (YECC), and community partners from the Gardiner, Mont. area will celebrate the 45th anniversary of Earth Day at the Gardiner School with community clean-ups, waste collection and recycling opportunities, demonstrations, youth presentations and activities, information on local food and environmental initiatives, and much more. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/15022.htm
- Yellowstone Invites Anglers to Talk about Trout
Yellowstone National Park staff members will travel to nearby communities next week to talk with anglers about the ongoing efforts to restore native fish species, the threat of aquatic invasive species and the park’s fishing regulations. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/15021.htm
- Lake Yellowstone Hotel Designated National Historic Landmark
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis announced the designation of the Lake Yellowstone Hotel as a National Historic Landmark. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/15020.htm
- Yellowstone National Park Joins National Find Your Park Movement – National Park Week 2015 Encourages Everyone To Find Your Park
Yellowstone National Park joins parks, programs and partners across the country to encourage everyone to find their park and share their stories online at FindYourPark.com. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/15016-fyp.htm
- Special Issue of Yellowstone Science Focuses on Climate Change
The latest issue of Yellowstone Science is dedicated to climate change research in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, offering readers an opportunity to learn about recent findings. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/15018.htm
- Yellowstone To Issue 2015 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 2015. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/15017.htm
- National Park Service and State of Montana Seek Public Input on new Yellowstone-area Bison Management Plan
The National Park Service (NPS) and the State of Montana (Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and the Montana Department of Livestock) announced today that they will begin preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a new plan to manage a wild and migratory population of Yellowstone-area bison, while minimizing the risk of brucellosis transmission between bison and livestock to the extent practicable. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/15015.htm
- Select Yellowstone Roads Open For Spring Bicycle Season
Bicyclists willing to brave the often unpredictable elements of spring in Yellowstone National Park are able to travel 49 miles of park roads from the West Entrance at West Yellowstone, Mont., to Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyo., beginning today. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/15016.htm
- Presenters Sought For Seventh Annual Winter Photo Festival
Photographers are invited to share their favorite winter images of the region with the public during the Seventh Annual Winter Photo Festival to be held next week in West Yellowstone. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/15014.htm
- Yellowstone National Park Receives “Ticket To Ride” Grant From The National Park Foundation
Yellowstone National Park was selected to receive a 2014 Ticket to Ride grant from the National Park Foundation (NPF), the official charity of America’s national parks, for Yellowstone’s Connecting Native American Youth to Yellowstone program. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/15013.htm
- Yellowstone’s Roads Begin Closing For Spring Plowing
Yellowstone National Park’s winter season is drawing to a close. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/15012.htm
- Recent Warm Weather Prompts Winter Access Changes In Yellowstone
A long stretch of above normal temperatures, limited snowfall, and oversnow traffic have all resulted in a dramatic reduction in the snowpack on the road segments linking West Yellowstone and Old Faithful. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/15011.htm
- Celebrate Presidents’ Day Weekend With Free Entry to Yellowstone
In observance of the Presidents’ Day Weekend federal holiday, Yellowstone National Park is joining all National Park Service (NPS) sites across the nation in waiving admission fees from February 14-16. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/15010.htm
- Yellowstone Recruiting for 2015 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/learn/news/15009.htm
- Bears Starting To Emerge From Dens In Yellowstone
Blame the relatively mild winter weather for the early emergence of bears in the Greater Yellowstone area. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/15008.htm
- Yellowstone Making Changes To Backcountry Permit Fees
Yellowstone will implement an overnight backcountry permit fee starting May 1. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/15007.htm
- 2014-2015 Winter Count of Northern Yellowstone Elk
The Northern Yellowstone Cooperative Wildlife Working Group conducted its annual winter survey of the northern Yellowstone elk population on January 20, 2015. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/02042015.htm
- Budget Increase Proposed For National Park Service Centennial Year
To ensure the parks are prepared to host an expected influx of visitors celebrating the NPS Centennial, President Obama today sent Congress a request for a $3 billion dollar budget for the NPS for 2016, a $432.9 million increase over the current year’s budget. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/15006.htm
- Visitor Found Dead Along Yellowstone Ski Trail
The body of a Montana man was discovered this past weekend along a ski trail in Yellowstone National Park. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/15005.htm