Fox Creek Campground — Yellowstone is a really interesting place. It would be a great place if there weren’t so many people. I say this having visited in late September when most of the crowds were gone. In fact, I stayed in the park only one night — the last night that the campground I was in was open. Pretty much everything in the park was shutting down.
The roads around Yellowstone aren’t very scenic compared to what I’d seen passing through Montana. That’s because they’re mostly tree-lined 2-lane roads. Nice, but nothing special. What makes Yellowstone special is the stuff that bubbles out of the ground, and the wildlife. That said, the misty picture at the top of this post was taken near the South entrance to the park.
As for the wildlife. It is abundant, but not as abundant as the people. So, if you want to spot the wildlife, just look for the crowds. I learned that lesson not more than 10 minutes after entering the park. Take this elk for example. I took this picture from inside my truck.
Of course, the reason that I could take this picture is that I was stuck in a traffic jam caused by said elk. Can you spot the elk beyond the people?
I can see why the less informed might wander up to these “wild” animals. They almost seem to have been placed there by the park staff — for the wilderness experience. It’s just like Disneyland!
My next great wildlife shot occurred a few miles down the road. Aren’t these Bison great?
I didn’t need a long lens for that last shot. I did, however, have to wait a bit for the bison to move so I could park the truck.
The only time I needed a long lens for wildlife was when I was shooting the Grizzly. Again, there was a crowd of people, but the rangers wisely kept everyone a few hundred yards away. Eventually this bear wandered back into the trees. With a Grizzly that close I decided not to hang around in event that the rangers re-opened the Mud Volcano trail.
I missed seeing Old Faithful by about 3 minutes. I’m sure the 300 odd people that were there enjoyed it. However, I did see lots of interesting things bubbling or spewing out of the ground. Here are a few shots.
While not that impressive as a photograph, one of my favorites is Dragon’s Mouth Spring, near the Mud Volcano. The name is so appropriate. It’s hard to believe that this attraction wasn’t dreamed up by some Disney Imagineer. What the photo doesn’t capture is the belching noises and the waves of water that accompany them. Here’s a YouTube video that sort of captures the sound.
On my way towards the NE exit, I did pass a spectacular canyon with some amazing geological features. Here’s a shot of that area. You really need to click the picture to see the detail. I’m not sure of what the place is called, but that’s the Yellowstone River.
As I was in the neighborhood, I made an early morning trip down to the Grand Tetons before heading up the east side of Yellowstone Park. Wow! It was gorgeous! Don’t the Tetons look great in the morning light?
Up next, Beartooth Pass — Crazy!
Avg Miles/Day: 259