Bill Holmes - Activities - Hiking and Biking - Yellowstone National Park 1 (Upper loop)

At 5:30 AM on 5/29/10, I got the $10 America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass – Senior Pass I should have gotten at Glacier National Park, and began a long day at Yellowstone in wind, rain, sleet, hail and snow. The woman at the gate informed me that the road between Tower Falls and Canyon Village was closed. On the advice of a Chico Hot Springs staff member, I rushed to Lamar Valley on 212 to see the "herds of animals."  I returned to visit Tower Falls and returned to Mammoth, MT (90.7 mi – about 2 hours 29 mins).

Map from Gardiner to 212 to Mammoth

This was the only bull elk I saw.  It was on the way to 212.

I saw a bison soon after I left Mammoth. I sneaked up a hill to photograph it, but it was in a dark tree-line and saw me. I did not like his look and those 8" horns, so the photo was not worth keeping.

Then I caught a glimpse of some bison from the corner of my left eye.  I stealthily climbed a hill, and set my mini tripod on a stump to take this series of "time lapse" photographs.

I was proud of my accomplishment, and soon reversed my path.  I stopped at the closed end of the road to see Tower Falls,

and photographed the Yellowstone Grand Canyon in the sleet, hail and snow.

Basalt formation just below the falls on.

Yellowstone Grand Canyon.

Yellowstone Grand Canyon.

I saw two deer,

discovered bison were not so rare,

and regretted not photographing a close antelope on my way out 212. Here are three I saw on my return trip.

I was the only one on the trail to Wrath Falls where I saw two marmots.

an elk skull,

and the falls.

On the return hike I noted the thin topsoil

and bothered to photograph one of the many ground squirrels.

Then I drove to the Undine Falls.

Back in Mammoth, elk were napping on the lawn.

Map of Yellowstone north loop

I then headed south to Mammoth Hot springs and on to Norris Geyser Basin.

| W. T. HolmesActivities | Hiking and Biking |