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|
|Pick up Van with Boat Trailor|
|Mira reading instructions for self guided tour|
|Cool Shaded Boardwalk surrounded by pines|
|Benches to sit, view & relax|
|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 - Close up view|