A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about animals

Yellowstone National Park


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We started the day by visiting the Grizzly & Discovery Center just outside the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park. And just as the name reveals there were grizzly bears and wolfs there but also black bears. They had a large exercise yard for the bears where they let them out two and two in different turns according to a schedule. In between, the handlers walked in the exercise yard and hid food for the bears to find and look for. Further away they had two different yards for the wolves. River Valley Wolfs in one yard and High Country Wolfs in the other. In between the two yards they had built a warm cabin where we visitors could go inside to warm up and yet see both of the yards through big glass walls. I managed to get really great photos of both bears and wolves. Then we went to another building and watched the Birds of Prey Program and sat on the first row (to get the best photos taken). Trent, the man who handled the birds, showed two birds; an owl and a falcon. All birds that participate in these shows are so called Rescue Birds and wouldn’t have survived in the nature on their own.

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After eating some lunch, we finally drove into Yellowstone National Park. Some of the first animals we saw after only minutes of driving were bison and mule deer. On our way towards Old Faithful Geyser we experienced amazing surroundings with distanced mountains with snow-covered peaks, hot springs and geysers. Totally amazing. Even though the smell from these hot springs and geysers aren’t so nice (smells sulfur) it was beautiful to see all the different shades of color and phenomenon that were there.

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At the Old Faithful Geyser, we went inside the Visitor Center, where they had the gift shop and a schedule when to predict the next outburst from the geyser. They predict an outburst every 90 minutes +/- 10 minutes. When the outburst was near, people started to gather around the geyser just to watch the 2 minute-lasting water cascades. And it was kind of special to watch actually.

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Then we headed north towards Norris and Canyon Village with its amazing nature and big waterfalls. On our way to the north entrance of the park we saw more bison and deer and also lonely coyote hunting in the sunset. We spend the night in Gardiner, just outside of the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park. The hotels inside the park are closed during winter season and don’t open until May 1st. And since it wasn’t high season there was no problem to find a staying for the night. But as I wrote before, during high season you must book the staying in advance.

Posted by bejjan 16:00 Archived in USA Tagged animals road_trip national_parks yellowstone Comments (0)

Yellowstone National Park and Lamar Valley


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We started the day by driving south back into Yellowstone National Park and Roaring Mountain and took the photos we didn’t had time for to do yesterday. We kept on driving north to Mammoth Hot Springs and stopped by Devil’s Thumb among other things. Devil’s Thumb is a big rock surrounded by hot springs that someone thought looked like a thumb – thereof the name. I don’t really agree with that comparison though. Then we drove east towards Tower-Roosevelt and paid the Petrified Tree a visit. It’s simply the remains of a poor Redwood Tree that suffered from a volcano outburst in the area many, many, many years ago… in other words, a fenced tree (or should I say a ripped off burned stump). Not that impressive in my opinion so I didn’t even take a photo of it.

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After Tower-Roosevelt we got to Lamar Valley, a valley well-known for all the animals you always get to see here. And we didn’t have to get disappointed… huge quantities of bison and pronghorn (kind of deer). After driving for a while, we randomly stopped at a resting-place that was crowded with squirrels (Uinta Ground Squirrels) that lived underground in holes. They immediately approached us and wanted something to eat and were definitely not afraid of human beings. It was obvious people had fed them many times before even though it’s prohibited to feed wild animals inside any national park in the entire US. Since they weren’t afraid of us, we could get pretty close and take great photos of them.

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In hope of exiting the park by the east entrance close to Billings, we kept on driving towards Cooke City. But due to snow that road was still closed so we had to turn around and go back to Mammoth Hot Springs. And I’m lucky we did, because somewhere along the road to Mammoth Hot Springs we actually saw a wild Black Bear – photo time of course!

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We had to drive all the way back to Livingston, via Big Timber before we finally got to Billings. During the way we managed to see a big and beautiful rainbow arched in the sky – so nice. We had booked our staying in Billings in advance close to the airport.

Posted by bejjan 16:00 Archived in USA Tagged animals road_trip national_parks yellowstone Comments (0)

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