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

  • Yellowstone National Park Employees and Partner Win Awards
    Each year the National Park Service and the Department of the Interior select outstanding employees, partners, and projects for regional and national recognition.
  • Yellowstone Reports Record Breaking October
    October proved to be another record-breaking month for Yellowstone, breaking the 4 million mark in visits for 2015.
  • Visitation to Yellowstone Surpasses Previous Record Set in 2010
    With three months left to go, visitation to Yellowstone National Park this year has now surpassed the previous record for total annual visitation set in 2010.
  • Canyon Rim Overlooks and Trails Rehabilitation Plan Approved
    The National Park Service has issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) to update and repair many of the overlooks and trails located along the rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River.
  • Pete Webster Named as Chief Ranger of Yellowstone
    Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk announced today that Pete Webster has been selected as the park’s new chief ranger.
  • Presenters Sought For 13th Annual Fall Photo Festival
    The crunch of frost on the morning grass and the sound of bugling elk in the crisp evening air are all signs of fall, which also means it is time for the Yellowstone Fall Photo Festival.
  • Yellowstone Invites Visitors to Celebrate Hayden Valley Hawk Watch This Sunday
    On Sunday, September 20, visitors can join Yellowstone Raptor Initiative volunteer Katy Duffy celebrate the spectacle of raptor (bird of prey) migration in Yellowstone National Park’s Hayden Valley.
  • Spruce Fire Received Significant Rain Overnight
    The lightning-caused Spruce Fire, burning in the backcountry of Yellowstone National, received significant rain overnight on Monday. The fire had grown to an estimated 2,594 acres as of noon on Monday, before storms moved into the area, dropping approximately .5 inches by Tuesday morning.
  • Public Invited to Volunteer for National Public Lands Day Projects in Yellowstone
    As part of National Public Lands Day, the largest single day volunteer effort for public lands, Yellowstone National Park is seeking volunteers for two work projects that will occur in the Lamar Valley on Saturday, September 26.
  • Spruce Fire Now Over 2000 Acres
    The lightning-caused Spruce Fire, burning in the backcountry of Yellowstone National Park since early September, has grown to an estimated 2,119 acres as of 1:30 pm on Sunday.
  • Spruce Fire Continues to Grow in Yellowstone
    The Spruce Fire burning in Yellowstone National Park has grown to an estimated 1,164 acres as of 6:00 pm on Saturday.
  • Spruce Fire Increases in Size to 425 Acres
    The Spruce Fire burning in Yellowstone National Park has grown significantly since its discovery on Wednesday, September 9. Warmer weather and low humidity levels have allowed the fire to grow to an estimated 425 acres as of 11 am on Saturday.
  • Lightning Starts Small Fire in Yellowstone
    A new wildland fire is burning in Yellowstone National Park. The Spruce fire, discovered Wednesday, September 9, by the park helicopter, is estimated to be a tenth of an acre in size.
  • New Citizens Sworn in at Naturalization Ceremony in Yellowstone
    Yellowstone National Park hosted a ceremony for 37 immigrants as they became official US citizens on Wednesday, September 9. The Honorable Mark L. Carman, United States Magistrate Judge for the District of Wyoming, held court at the base of the Mammoth Hot Springs terraces near historic Fort Yellowstone under blue skies on Wednesday morning.
  • Yellowstone Marks Three Million Visits by the End of August
    Yellowstone National Park marked a record three million visits in the first eight months of 2015.
  • Yellowstone To Conduct Traffic Safety Checkpoints This Holiday Weekend
    Park rangers will conduct traffic safety checkpoints in Yellowstone National Park throughout the upcoming Labor Day weekend.
  • Yellowstone Welcomes 4th Grade Students Through Every Kid In a Park Initiative
    Yellowstone National Park invites all 4th grade students to visit the park for free as part of the White House’s new Every Kid in a Park program.
  • Yellowstone Opens Lottery for Non-commercially Guided Snowmobile Access Program
    Applications will be accepted starting Tuesday, September 1, for those interested in obtaining a permit for a non-commercially guided snowmobile trip into Yellowstone National Park during the 2015-2016 winter season.
  • Yellowstone Prepares for Fall
    Fall comes early in Yellowstone. The sight of steam rising up from the ground in the chilly morning hours, the sound of bugling elk in the crisp evening air, and the feel of fleece against your skin as you dress for a day hike, all herald the end of summer and the beginning of fall in Yellowstone National Park..
  • Lightning Starts Fire Near the South Arm of Yellowstone Lake
    Lightning from recent thunderstorms has started a fire on the Promontory Peninsula between the south and southeast arms of Yellowstone Lake in Yellowstone National Park.