Doug’s April Adventures in Yellowstone

Earlier in April, Doug travelled to Yellowstone National Park, and updated his journeys through this long scrolling post. The post is currently still in the works, as internet issues caused delays in updates. The newest pictures are available by scrolling to the title and taking a gander at the awesome wilderness of America’s First National Park, through the eyes of a Yellowstone Guidebook Author, photographer and lover of nature. 

For those that know me, they know that Yellowstone is the first National Park that truly got me excited about the wilderness. It wasn’t the forests, or the geysers, or even the beautiful waterfalls of the region. Instead, it was wildlife. I recall my first trip to this wonderful park, where as a child, our small Ford Festiva, packed full of 4 people a dog and a weeks worth of supplies, got surrounded by a bison herd. As the bison peered into our small compact car, I locked eyes with an old bison, and immediately was hooked on the wildlife of Yellowstone.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the geysers, hot springs, forests, mountains and waterfalls of Yellowstone, but the animals have always taken center stage. With wolves, fox, coyotes, black bears, grizzly bears, elk, deer, bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, bison, and more seen while driving or hiking through the world’s first National Park, coming to Yellowstone is an animal waters paradise. In my 33 years on this planet, I have been to Yellowstone over 20 times. I worked there, spent summers there, and even have experienced the harshness of winter in the rockies, right in the park. That is why, when I was offered a trip to the park this month, I couldn’t pass it up.

While I am only in the park for four full days, and only able to access the northern edge of the park due to winter road closures, I am fortunate enough to be able to explore the park from sun up until sunset every day I am here. Because I love National Parks and want everyone to explore it, I will be updating this post with videos, pictures and stories of my most recent adventure. Bookmark this page, ask me questions via social media and take some time to #findyourpark.

 

THE FIRST 24 HOURS- April 5th-6th

We arrived in Gardiner Montana at 2pm, two hours before we could check into out hotel. In other parks, this may be an issue, but Yellowstone’s NorthEast entrance is just a few miles from Mammoth Hot Springs, and just 45 minutes from the world famous Lamar Valley. Thanks to the close proximity, we entered the park immediately and drove to Lamar Valley, home to wolves, elk, bison, antelope and majestic mountains with occasional moose sightings. While we didn’t see any wolves or moose, the park has a huge amount of antelope, elk and bison walking along the roads, posing for pictures and snarling the few cars driving the road. We checked into the hotel, ate some dinner and went to explore Mammoth, where I stumbled upon bluebirds, herds of elk and bison and zero other people. I watched the sun set, posed for the webcam, and returned to the hotel to grab some sleep before we woke up early to go look for wolves.

Monday Morning came early, and with a fresh dusting of snow to start the day, we were greeted by 7 deer standing around our car. The slowly meandered out of the way, and soon we were off, quickly passing through the arch, passing Mammoth and heading to Lamar. We passed bison, elk, and pronghorn antelope before arriving at Slough Creek to catch a glimpse at the newly formed Prospect Pack of wolves. Setting up the spotting scope, and getting help from other experts in the region, we soon were watching a pack of wolves sleeping on some rocks a mile or so away. While they weren’t active, they would occasionally lift their heads, look around, and smell the air. Sure, they were far away, but still! I saw six wolves within 24 hours of entering Yellowstone National Park. As the wind picked up and a light snow began to fall, we headed back to Gardiner to pick up some lunch and take a nap before heading back out.

Welcome to Yellowstone National Park
Welcome to Yellowstone National Park
One of the few healthy bighorn sheep in Yellowstone National Park. Currently, many are dying from pneumonia (I was told)
One of the few healthy bighorn sheep in Yellowstone National Park. Currently, many are dying from pneumonia (I was told)
Bison being bison at Yellowstone National Park
Bison being bison at Yellowstone National Park
A bluebird in Yellowstone National Park
A bluebird in Yellowstone National Park
One of the many features at Mammoth Hot Springs
One of the many features at Mammoth Hot Springs
Canary Springs at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park
Canary Springs at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park
MP7A5832
An elk, posing at sunset above Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park
Greeted by deer and snow this morning
Greeted by deer and snow this morning
Can you spot the five wolves?
Can you spot the five wolves?
The wolves are just below the snow
The wolves are just below the snow

NEXT UPDATE COMING SOON. Internet Issues caused a delay. The post will be finished shortly. 

 

 

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