The last time we were in Yellowstone was January 2018 when we spent a week visiting this incredible park . It was our first winter visit and I was blown away by its beauty. Winter is still my favorite time, (all the tourists are gone and a great deal of animals are easier to spot). After our visit in October, I’m going to have to say that Autumn is my 2nd favorite time to visit the park. The peak summer crowds were gone, although campgrounds were full on a consistent basis (so glad we made reservations). We enjoyed the park so much we ended up staying 5 days at Madison Campground and 4 additional days at Mammoth Hot Springs. Jim spent most of the 5 days fishing the Madison River and most of the 4 days fishing the Lamar River ! Me, I spent most of my time behind the lens of my camera.
The colors were so incredible; the storm clouds with sunshine peaking through brought beautiful light shows to the landscape and many spots were open that we couldn’t get to in the Winter.
We spent our last 4 days in Yellowstone exclusively in the Lamar Valley, watching the light roll over the hills and mountains.
These two young males were charging and chasing each other in the middle of one of those bison traffic jams !
The bison were out in force causing a few minor traffic jams, but fortunately the tourists didn’t flood this are like they did the area surrounding Madison. I think Lamar still remains one of those ignored, undiscovered spots and that is fine with me. I could just sit in one of the pullouts for hours watching the light change the appearance of the landscape. Or watching the edge of the forest for wolves-I did see my first Yellowstone wolf thanks to someone sharing their scope with me. I got to see the silver wolf running back and forth along the edge of the bison pack. I’m saving for my own scope for our next trip-if any of you have any recommendations for a good spotting scope let me know- I would love to have one that I could attach either to my iPhone or camera.
One morning we decided to get up before sunrise to hike the Fairy Falls trail to the Grand Prismatic Spring overlook(by the way we didn’t know that it was the Fairy Falls trailhead for access to the overlook-I forgot to do my research !). But first we thought that 6:30am would be a good time to stop at the Grand Prismatic Spring-we figured it would be pretty much deserted and with morning light a good time for photo shots.
We were correct-but Mother Nature decided to throw us a curve. The ramp up to Grand Prismatic was a sheet of ice and it was foggy so the ice wasn’t going to be melted by the morning sun. Every time we tried to walk up the ramp we would take two steps forward and slide 6 steps backward. I was trying to hold onto two cameras, my tripod and myself and just knew I was an accident waiting to happen. Plus we would have been great subjects for America’s Funniest Videos. So we gave up and headed to Fairy Falls.
Our only problem was, we had no wifi coverage and I couldn’t remember where we were supposed to access the overlook trail. I didn’t know that we were supposed to be heading to the Fairy Falls Trailhead for access. And of course there were no signs or information telling us about this secret spot. We cruised down the road a bit and I got 1 bar of Verizon LTE and took a chance in searching for our destination and fortunately luck was with me-access at the Fairy Falls Trailhead.
When we arrived at the trailhead everything was till enveloped in fog but we had high hopes and began the short trek to the overlook. We arrived about 7:15am to a solid fog bank-we couldn’t see anything but a few pine trees in the distance. It was so thick we laughed with a family who joined us and joked about where we thought Grand Prismatic Spring was located. We stood there for about 2 1/2 hours, exchanging stories and emails with our fellow photographers and finally about 10am the skies cleared and there it was in all its beauty.
More views of the Hebgen Lake area
The Revel was perfect for Yellowstone. Short enough that we didn’t hog all the pull out space; the diesel heater kept us warm and toasty when temperatures dropped at Mammoth Springs; and it was really nice to be higher up on the road when scouting for photo shoots and wildlife. And when I was finished shooting photos it was great to return and sit inside nice and cozy with a cup of hot chocolate waiting for Jim to return from fishing.
The Lamar Valley in alls it glory
Geysers and rivers and waters of Yellowstone
Grand Prismatic Spring
Early morning on the Firehole River and Gibbons Falls
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
If you haven’t been to Yellowstone what are you waiting for, life is too short to not live it to the best of your ability…Happy trails my friends and safe travels..
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.