Yellowstone   August 2012
Just show me the Best Pictures The Best
Pictures and Descriptions. (Scroll Down)
I want to take this trip, what details should I know? Details and Trip Planning
The yearly trip this year was to the Grandfather of national parks Yellowstone. Vistas, Critters, Canyons, Hot Springs, and old Faithfull made this a very busy vacation but worth every minute. I’ve talked to more than a couple of people that “saw the park in a day or two”. When told this, just smile and politely nod your head, and then ignore everything else they say. Yes, this park does score very high on the items you can see from your car or with a very short walk. On the other hand its monstrously large and just getting from point A to point B takes a large portion of your day, and as always if you get out just a bit you can see even more.
Instead of my usual chronological approach, I thought I’d organize slightly different and group the pictures by type this time.
It's Yellowstone in Wyoming. Of course they have vistas. Large open plains, giant lakes, and mountains.
1. The Tetons on the drive from Jackson hole to Yellowstone.
2. Herds of bison on the plains
3. The view from the top of Mount Roberts
4. From the Mount Washburn trail towards the canyon
5. Specimen Ridge / Yellowstone Picnic Trail
6. A view of Specimen Ridge from the Specimen Ridge / Yellowstone Picnic Trail
7. West Thumb geyser basin
8. Mount Washburn trail looking north
9. Sunset on Lake Yellowstone from the Lake Yellowstone Hotel
Yellowstone is known as a park to go to if animal watching is your thing. They have it all, Bison, Elk, Moose, Deer, Otters, wolves, marmots, etc, etc. Bison and elk are the big ones and we saw loads of each. The wolves are more rare and you need some good binoculars or a scope as they tend to stay farther away from people. We did catch a look at the most rare of the group, a moose. Talking to the rangers there are only about 100 in the park as opposed to the 5,000 bison. The one we did see, was more of a mouse than a moose and was most likely a teenager only the size of a large deer. Definitely a park where you want to keep your binoculars with you at all time and in easy reach.
1. Definitely the most exciting. This monster walked directly in front of us while we were in the car. If he would have had an itch we would have lost paint from the fender. I missed two photos cause I had trouble getting my camera to focus that close.
2. Bison in the sunset
3. Ravens. Think crows on steroids
4. Wolf and Bison
5. These mountain goats didn’t want to move off the path
6. Raven on the Old Faithfull Inn
7. Yes, Bison always have the right of way
8. Bison also like to find steam vents and have a nap
Yep, its just as impressive as the pictures.
We had some good advice from a ranger who mentioned seeing the south side first in the morning for the best light. We also took the long hikes down to the bottoms of Uncle Tom’s trail and the Brink of the Lower Falls. Both are highly recommended.
1. The Classic picture of the Lower Falls from Artist point. Yes, everyone else takes this picture also, but this is my picture.
2. The widescreen of the same location. There, nobody else has this picture.
3. The Long walk down to the bottom of Uncle Tom’s Trail
4. The Lower Falls from the bottom of Uncle Tom’s Trail
5. View of the Canyon from the Brink of the Lower Falls
6. View from Lookout Point
Hot Springs and Geysers
Taking a good picture of a hot spring seems to be more luck than skill. You have to take the picture when the sun is high or the light will not penetrate into the spring. It also has to be direct sunlight without clouds so it shows the full range of colors. And if it’s to windy, the surface of the water will ripple. And did I mention that if the temperature difference between the spring and the outside is great the steam will billow out in great clouds and obscure everything?
Geysers are better, but not by much. There are only about 6 geysers in the park where the frequency is regular enough to be predicted. The most famous of these of course is Old Faithfull, and it’s a blast to watch and has plenty of great viewing. The other predictable geysers while large only erupt every 12-14 hours or so and have a 2 hour window. So, you either have to be lucky, or sit and wait for a while. The next tier down are the unpredictable but frequent geysers. There are many of these like steamboat, or the great cone. These are mostly smaller in the 5’-30’ range but fun and you are far more likely to see one of these.
1. Mammoth Hot Springs, Jupiter Terrace (Close up)
2. Mammoth Hot Springs, Canary Spring (Which is now white instead of yellow)
3. Mammoth Hot Springs, Jupiter Terrace
4. West Thumb Geyser Basin, Abyss Pool
5. Firehole Lake Drive, Great Fountain Geyser
6. Firehole Lake Drive, White Dome Geyser
7. Biscuit Basin, Run Off waters
8. Biscuit Basin, Sapphire Pool
9. West Thumb Geyser Basin, Black Pool
Old Faithfull and Area
If you are interested in engineering or architecture, the Old Faithfull Inn, is your kind of place. Built in 1903 and nearly rebuilt in the renovations of the 1990’s the place is an absolute marvel. The Old Faithfull Geyser is pretty neat as well.
1. Old Faithfull Inn
2. Old Faithfull Inn
3. Old Faithfull Inn. The bar with its incredible etched glass windows
4. Old Faithfull
5. Old Faithfull
6. Old Faithfull
Tim and Louise
And since I’ve been told I need to include more pictures of the two of us.