FIRST-TIMER'S YELLOWSTONE TRIP

napatony13

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Feb 5, 2021
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A month ago I posted here asking for feedback on my concerns about visiting YNP. The consensus from the group was that even though I might not love it I should go and see it at least once. That was good advice and I'm glad we went. We spent two and a half days there and were able to hit just about everything that people suggested we see. Highlights were the hike out to Imperial Geyser, catching an eruption of Riverside Geyser, and lots of animal encounters. We saw grizzlies at two different stops, and even though the Lamar Valley wolves were a no-show, watching and talking to all the fanatic wolf-chasers was probably just as entertaining.

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Dawn at Thumb Basin...just us and this young bull.

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Bigger bull alongside Yellowstone Lake

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Hayden Valley...the first of many bison encounters

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We saw countless thermal features...

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...and many pretty waterfalls.

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Late-evening moose sighting out near the Cooke City entrance

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We had Imperial Geyser to ourselves

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Grand Prismatic

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Old Faithful at dawn...only a handful of us were out there

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Looking down from Geyser Hill

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We got lucky and happened to arrive at Riverside Geyser a few minutes before it erupted


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Morning Glory Pool lived up to its moniker

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The OF Lodge is incredible. About the only thing I regret missing is having an afternoon drink or two out on the deck there.


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As we headed out to the East Entrance we stopped and got to watch Raspberry & Jam heading down the hill below us.

Thanks again to those who gave me suggestions. I feel like we got a great introduction to the Park.
 

TractorDoc

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Aug 21, 2018
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Glad you decided to make the trip!

I remember back a couple years ago. . . I was checking out the Imperial Geyser area and a small group of people had set up some camp chairs along side the trail. I heard them talking about the psychedelic mushrooms they had brought with them. I suppose if I was going to eat such a mushroom the colors and spouting of Imperial would be as good a place as any to feel the effects! :)
 

Rockskipper

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Are the bears really called Raspberry and Jam or did you guys name them? In either case, great names.
 

napatony13

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Feb 5, 2021
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Are the bears really called Raspberry and Jam or did you guys name them? In either case, great names.
Those are their names. The sow (Raspberry) has a tracking device and apparently she crosses the highway above the lake fairly regularly. Whenever she gets close the rangers get out there in advance to set up cones and make sure she crosses safely.
 

Jackson

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Wonderful. You done good. And that's a nice moose! We didn't see any moose in Yellowstone at all, and were a bit disappointed until we camped at Gros Ventre in the Tetons and saw moose literally every day.
There are actually only 100-200 moose across the entirety of the park, so they're not a common sighting in Yellowstone itself. There are more to the south of park, from what I understand.
 

napatony13

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Wonderful. You done good. And that's a nice moose! We didn't see any moose in Yellowstone at all, and were a bit disappointed until we camped at Gros Ventre in the Tetons and saw moose literally every day.
Yes seeing him and the two cows he was with made up for striking out on the Lamar Valley wolves. It was almost dark but he was very close to the road. We kept hearing that there were a lot of them to be seen in GT, but we didn't make it down there on this trip.
 

Pringles

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Nov 23, 2015
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Glad you had a great trip!

Yes, Raspberry and Jam are their names, and I realized a few years ago that bears get to the road and look left and right, but then they just go. They may see a vehicle, but it doesn’t mean anything to them.

You’d better come back, there’s more to see!
 

Rockskipper

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Gros Ventre Campground in the Tetons is the main moose breeding and calving grounds for the region, or so I was told by a camp host there. I saw lots of moose when I was camped there.
 

swmalone

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Apr 27, 2016
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Glad you enjoyed your trip. I am jealous that you saw bears on your first trip. We have been 5 or 6 times and have yet to see any bears.
 

napatony13

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Feb 5, 2021
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Glad you enjoyed your trip. I am jealous that you saw bears on your first trip. We have been 5 or 6 times and have yet to see any bears.
Yes we were fortunate. The first one was middle of the day along the Gibbon River, maybe 50 yards from the highway. There weren't a lot of people there yet but it was still bedlam. We watched for a while then headed down towards Madison. On our return trip north we passed by again about an hour later. We motored through without much of a delay, but the traffic coming the opposite way was backed up for close to a mile...it was crazy.
 

Ugly

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Camped there last weeked and saw 7 moose! :thumbsup:
I was there at that campground too.. so I apologize for any headlights you had when we arrived at about 10pm and left again at 530am (haha, especially if you were anywhere near the loop G or F side)... We had snagged a campsite as a "just in case", but arrived late from galivanting around Thursday and then left real early. So did not see more than a deer and some rodent that ran across the headlights.

I do not want to partially hijack this thread though, so back to @napatony13 , you went the right time of year and got to see lots of the big fauna. Nice pics of Morning Glory and Prismatic too.
 
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