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!

Butch Bach


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

  • Cause of Death Determined on Yellowstone Concession Employee
    he autopsy has been completed on a Yellowstone concession employee whose body was found in the Old Faithful area earlier this week.
  • Yellowstone Enforcing Ban On Unmanned Aircraft Operation
    This past June, due to concerns about public safety, wildlife disturbance and potential impacts to the visitor experience and park resources, the National Park Service enacted an interim policy banning the operation of unmanned aircraft. While taking a largely educational stance during the early phases of publicizing the ban, Yellowstone rangers have developed several criminal cases involving egregious violations of this ban.
  • Keep A Safe Distance When Viewing Yellowstone Wildlife
    Park regulations require visitors to stay a minimum of 25 yards – the length of two regular school buses – away from most large animals and a minimum of 100 yards – the length of a football field – away from bears and wolves at all times.
  • Investigation Underway Into Yellowstone Employee Death
    After a brief search in the Old Faithful Lodge area, the body Kassandra Wieferich was located not far from the point she was reportedly last seen by a fellow employee.
  • Close Out Summer By Spending Labor Day Weekend In Yellowstone
    All campgrounds, lodging, stores, shops, service stations, restaurants, and other services and activities in and around the Yellowstone National Park will be open for the start of the Labor Day weekend. The road linking Old Faithful with West Thumb and Grant Village will be closed for the season starting 6 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2, so the bridge at Isa Lake can be removed and replaced.
  • Free Entry To Yellowstone Monday
    The National Park Service (NPS) turns 98 on Monday, August 25. To celebrate, admission to Yellowstone and all national parks is free that day; however, camping and other fees will not be waived.
  • Yellowstone Seeks Public Input in Sewer Line Replacement
    The National Park Service is seeking public comment on a proposal to replace a section of failing sewer line in the Old Faithful area of Yellowstone National Park.
  • Yellowstone Seeks Public Input On Proposal To Update Youth Campus
    ellowstone National Park is considering a proposal to update the existing Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) facility at Mammoth Hot Springs to better achieve the park’s environmental education goals as well as to comply with modern standards for health, safety, accessibility, and sustainability.
  • Identity Released Of Canyon Fall Victim
    Authorities have released the identity of the young girl who died Sunday morning after falling into the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Zahra Allahyari was eight years old. She was from Poway, a Southern California community near San Diego.
  • Young Girl Dead After Fall In Yellowstone
    A young girl died Sunday morning after falling into the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.
  • Body Of Missing Georgia Man Recovered
    The body of a young man missing in Yellowstone National Park since Monday evening has been recovered.
  • Construction Work To Result In Yellowstone Road Closures After Labor Day
    Two sections of Yellowstone’s Grand Loop Road will be closed due to construction after the Labor Day holiday weekend. Travel between some points will involve long detours and significantly longer than normal travel times.
  • Yellowstone Releases Summer 2014 Bison Population Estimate
    Yellowstone National Park has completed its annual summer bison population abundance monitoring. The population is estimated to be 4,900 bison.
  • Search Underway For Man Missing In Northern Yellowstone
    A search is underway in Yellowstone National Park for a young man from Georgia who was swept down the Yellowstone River near Tower Junction Monday evening.
  • Yellowstone Visitation Nears Two Million At The End Of July
    Visitation to Yellowstone National Park for the month of July is up almost 6 percent compared to the previous year.
  • Construction To Begin On Gardiner Gateway Project Improvements
    Construction is about to get underway within the community of Gardiner Montana at the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park. The project is designed to improve deficiencies to infrastructure, reduce traffic congestion, enhance parking, and provide for better pedestrian accessibility as well as increased vehicle and pedestrian safety.
  • Yellowstone National Park Receives 2014 America’s Best Idea Grant from the National Park Foundation
    Yellowstone National Park is one of 39 national parks selected to receive a 2014 America’s Best Idea grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks.
  • Illegal Trail Removal Continues In Yellowstone
    A portion of the southwestern corner of Yellowstone National Park remains closed for the second and final year as recovery work continues on an illegal trail that caused resource damage.
  • Public Input Sought On Bison Quarantine Proposal
    The National Park Service is seeking public comment regarding a plan to consider a quarantine program for Yellowstone bison at one or more new quarantine facilities, which could be located within Yellowstone National Park, on tribal lands, or elsewhere.
  • Yellowstone Rangers Conducted Traffic Safety Checkpoints
    Yellowstone National Park rangers conducted traffic safety checkpoints in the park on June 14, June 29, and June 30, 2014.