Thursday, December 20, 2012

Yellowstone Park - Morning Drive

On day 3 of our Yellowstone trip we checked out of Mammoth Springs Hotel, had a quick bite of break fast and took off on a forenoon drive in anticipation of animal sightings. We did spot a few elk at a distance but they were half hidden amongst shrubs and could not get a clear view. We spotted a coyote who was leisurely rambling along a big valley but was too far out to get a good camera shot. We also saw some bisons grazing on the mountain slopes but again at a considerable distance. Overall a disappointing morning in terms of animal sightimg. But views of the pines,the sagebrush & other flora plus the spectacular hills,mountains & valleys was panoramic.
After driving for about an hour or so we reached the Yellowstone Nothern Range self guiding trail. We decided to park the car in a nearby pull out and walk on this trail which is a 1/2 mile accessible loop. There is a convenient wide board walk and benches are located at intervals to rest and enjoy the views. The Northern Range is home to a large variety of plants,shrubs and animals.
Yellowstone,s most common tree is the Lodgepole pine. Miles and miles of these tall straight trees grow close together. Lodgepole Pine forests require fire to survive.It helps control disease & insects and fire is essential for new Lodgepole pines to grow.When the forest canopy burns, the ash fertilizes the soil. Sunlight can reach the ground, seeds quickly germinate & new pines begin to grow. After the self guided tour we headed back to Mammoth Springs for lunch.
The morning drive
Coyote Crossing
Pick up Van with Boat Trailor
Mira reading instructions for self guided tour
Cool Shaded Boardwalk surrounded by pines

Benches to sit, view & relax

Burnt tree trunks from forest fire
Fresh Lodgepole Pines growing from the ashes

Dry Brush at the onset of winter
Sand Dunes on hill slopes
Narrow stream meandering through the valley
Mammoth Springs View (White color)
Mammoth Springs - Close up view
Dry Sagebrush


  1. Beautiful clicks. The place looks very dry.

  2. Interesting to know the pines that need fire to survive and the ash mountains are impressive! The boardwalk invites.

  3. Good to see you back in action, it's been a while :) Lovely pics. I was wondering........isn't the land around the springs supposed to be more fertile - or have I got my soil lessons all mixed up?LOL!

  4. Looks like a lovely tour especially with the boardwalk and benches. Nice to see the new pine growth. :)

  5. You took a lot of nice photos. It was nice of the government to create a trail made of wood for tourists to walk on.

  6. Great photos, Ram. Yellowstone has a lot of great scenery and unspoiled land.

  7. the pines are beautiful. the territory is rather rugged.

  8. Great Photos these! I see you are having a whale of a time. Enjoy......

  9. Beautiful photos!
    I'm surprised to see sand dunes in the park.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Have a great weekend.

  10. Looks like you had great fun..Thanks for sharing these wonderful photos..!

  11. beautiful pics, one of my 2013 plan is Yellowstone!


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