Mammoth Hot Springs Sunset

Yellowstone National Park was established on March 1, 1872, Yellowstone is the first and oldest national park in the world and has been a blueprint for National Parks set up worldwide ever since . Preserved within Yellowstone are Old Faithful Geyser and some 10,000 hot springs and geysers, the majority of the planet's total. These geothermal wonders are evidence of one of the world's largest active volcanoes; its last eruption created a crater or caldera that spans almost half of the park.

An outstanding mountain wildland with clean water and air, Yellowstone is home of the grizzly bear and wolf, and free-ranging herds of bison and elk. It is the core of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is one of the largest intact temperate zone ecosystems remaining on the planet.

Yellowstone’s grand vistas, huge mountains, deep canyons, roaring rivers, expansive lush meadows, high plains and abundant wildlife have been attracting photographers and sightseers from all over the world since William Henry Jackson sent home the first photos in 1871.

Below I have listed a few of Yellowstone’s embarrassment of riches and provided links to the thumbnails but these barely scratch the surface of what is the comprehensive Yellowstone National Park.

Human History: The human history of the park dates back 12,000 years. The events of the last 130 years of park history are reflected in the historic structures and sites associated with various periods of park administration and visitor facilities development............................rest of essay         

elk grazing on a warm winter day as Old Faithful blows

Geothermal Features: With half of the earth’s geothermal features, Yellowstone holds the planet’s most diverse and intact collection of geysers, hot springs, mudpots, and fumaroles. Its more than 300 geysers make up two thirds of all those found on earth. Combine this with more than 10,000 thermal features comprised of brilliantly colored hot springs, bubbling mudpots, and steaming fumaroles, and you have a place like no other. Geyserland, fairyland, wonderland, through the years, all have been used to describe the natural wonder and magic of this unique park that contains more geothermal features than any other place on earth. Yellowstone’s vast collection of thermal features provides a constant reminder of the park’s recent volcanic past. Indeed, the caldera provides the setting that allows such features as Old Faithful to exist and to exist in such great concentrations. -------------------> Rest of essay

Wolf eating elk, Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone WildlifeYellowstone is widely considered to be the finest megafauna wildlife habitats in the lower 48 states. Animals found in the park include the majestic American bison (buffalo), grizzly bear, black bear, elk, moose, mule deer, pronghorn, wolverine, bighorn sheep and mountain lion (puma). The Yellowstone Lake Cutthroat Trout is a highly sought after trophy fish by anglers yet has been threatened in recent years by the suspicious introduction of lake trout that compete for spawning grounds and are known to consume smaller cutthroat trout.

A controversial decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (which oversees threatened and endangered species, is the recent reintroduction of wolves into the park's ecosystem. For many years the wolves were hunted and harassed until they become locally extinct in the 1930s. The smaller cousin of the wolf, the coyote, then became the park's top predator. However, the coyote is not able to bring down any large animal in the park and the result of this lack of a top predator on these populations was a marked increase in lame and sick megafauna. Since the reintroduction of wolves in the late 1990s this trend has started to reverse. More about Yellowstone's Wildlife

The Yellowstone Fires of 1988

Yellowstone Fire
Yellowstone Fire of 1988

Fire is good; Yellowstone has long been shaped by fire and not just the cool, creeping ground fires often described as "good" for grass production. The natural history of fire in the park includes large-scale conflagrations sweeping across the park's vast volcanic plateaus, hot, wind-driven fires torching up the trunks to the crowns of the pine and fir trees at several hundred-year intervals. It is supposed to be this way. During the first half of the twentieth century, most people, forest managers included considered forest fires to be destructive and without positive value. For this reason, Yellowstone and throughout the National Park Service had a policy of putting out all fires on national interest wildlands lands. In the second half of the century, forest managers of national parks and forests began to understand the importance of periodic wildland fires. With the help of Smokey the Bear most of America was in consensus that all wildfires were bad. Most Americans steeped in Smokey the Bear's "Only you can prevent forest fires!" mantra, the very thought that forest fires might have a positive side seemed preposterous. We all learned this as children and it is damned hard to change, as our indoctrination to this policy was total. Unfortunately man’s past practice of total forest fire suppression has changed the forest into a much shadier forest floor habitat causing heavy fuel accumulation on the forest floor resulting in the very hot forest fires we see lately that result in maximum loss of the forest. The Natural Burn Policy The National Park Service interprets its mission as letting natural processes play out unimpeded by man. Biologists and park managers have defined its policy: "We allow a park that has documented the role of fire as a natural part of the ecosystem, and that has an approved fire-management plan specifying the prescriptions under which natural fires may burn, to manage each fire on an individual basis.".....................  Read rest of essay

Fishermen try their luck on the Yellowstone River

Yellowstone Fishing: Yellowstone National Park is managed to protect cultural and natural resources and outstanding scenery, and to provide for visitor use. Angling has been a major visitor activity for over a century. Present regulations reflect the park's primary purposes of resource protection and visitor use....................... More about fishing

Yellowstone; a science laboratory

The Yellowstone Super Volcano: The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO) was created as a partnership among the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Yellowstone National Park, and University of Utah to strengthen the long-term monitoring of volcanic and earthquake unrest in the Yellowstone National Park region. Yellowstone is the site of the largest and most diverse collection of natural thermal features in the world and the first National Park.

Volcanic History Overview: The Yellowstone Plateau volcanic field developed through three volcanic cycles spanning two million years that included some of the world's largest known eruptions. Eruption of the Huckleberry Ridge Tuff about 2.1 million years ago created the more than 75-km-long Island Park caldera. The second cycle concluded with the eruption of the Mesa Falls Tuff around 1.3 million years ago, forming the 16-km-wide Henrys Fork caldera at the western end of the first caldera. Activity subsequently shifted to the present Yellowstone Plateau and culminated 640,000 years ago with the eruption of the Lava Creek Tuff and the formation of the present 45 x 85 km caldera. Resurgent doming subsequently occurred at both the NE and SW sides of the caldera and voluminous intracaldera rhyolitic lava flows were erupted between 150,000 and 70,000 years ago. No magmatic eruptions have occurred since the late Pleistocene, but large phreatic eruptions took place near Yellowstone Lake during the Holocene. Yellowstone is presently the site of one of the world's largest hydrothermal systems including Earth's largest concentration of geysers. ...................Rest of essay

Thermophile microbe researchers in Yellowstone
Thermophile microbe researchers in Yellowstone

Yellowstone Microbiology Research: Yellowstone National Park is a focal point for cutting-edge microbiology research and how it provides a valuable setting for outreach education. extremophiles, microbe diversity and evolution are studied here. Scientists who study extreme environments are drawn to Yellowstone because it contains more active geothermal features than any other location on the planet. Those features are also very diverse.. Geothermal environments are obviously very hot, but they offer a variety of chemical extremes, some of which are relevant to applications in bioenergy and bioprocessing.

Researchers looking at bacterial mats in Yellowstone’s thermal pools discovered a new species that uses chlorophyll to convert the sun’s energy into chemical energy.

Scientists found the bacteria, called Candidatus Chloracidobacterium termophilum, in Octopus and Mushroom springs and the Green Finger Pool, not far from Old Faithful. The bacterium grows best in temperatures between 120 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit and could help researchers drastically increase production of biofuels.................... Rest of essay

cow elk chasing wolves in Yellowstne

Summary

I have had the pleasure of living in the Greater Yellowstone Region since 1987 and I find new things every time I venture into the park. When I am not there I still marvel about the Yellowstone that comes to me via newspaper and computer. Dynamic is and understatement for a place that can both blow us up because of it’s volcanic nature or cure our cancer oddly enough because how its volcanic nature produces microbes that are pivotal in medical research.

As I photographer I find the place and its critters pure magic. As an inquisitor of life I find Yellowstone dynamics is pure fascination. As a fly-fisherman Yellowstone has proven to be Nirvana.

Daryl L. Hunter • Publisher - Greater Yellowstone Resource Guide

Yellowstone News

New Ebook

The Grand Teton Photo and Field Guide is an encapsulation of the flora, fauna, and photography of Jackson Hole Wyoming and Grand Teton National Park. Also included are thumbnails of the history and geology of the valley. This book is for all visitors with a desire to seek out wildlife, photograph the landscape, or merely learn about the history, geology, and lay of the land of Grand Teton National Park. The author provides general overviews including hot links with more in-depth descriptions of subjects of individual interest.

In the “Lay of the Land” section, includes the obvious highlights along the loop through Grand Teton Park. Hot links to side roads will give you more in-depth description of side roads and feeder roads and their highlights. Also included are descriptions of all two-rut roads that are legal to travel on in Grand Teton Park. GPS links to Google Maps are provided throughout.

As a field guide, profiles of most of animals and birds in the area are described. Jackson Hole is full of wildlife but there are places where animals are, and there are places where they are not. It is a waste of time to scrutinize a landscape devoid of what you are looking for, so this guide narrows options down to the hot spots. I provide maps of the likeliest places to find the popular critters of Grand Teton National Park. I also touch on trees, shrubs, and wildflowers with minimal explanations.  

The grandeur of Grand Teton Park has made it one of the most photographed places in the world. The opportunity to harness multiple juxtapositional elements has drawn photographers for over a century since William Henry Jackson took the first photos here in 1878. Grand Teton Park’s plethora of famous vistas are profiled as well as many which are less clichéd that can bring new perspectives of a well-documented landscape. Grand Tetons’ iconic landscape photo opportunities are described in detail; however, they barely scratch the surface of opportunities as it takes a photographer with an artist’s eye to unveil as they follow their own intuition and vision.  The author who shies away from clichéd landscapes provides a chapter of his favorite places that aren’t landscape clichés.

In the photography section the author includes chapters on composition, exposure basics, when to shoot and why. Daryl has summarized what he teaches in his, half day, Grand Teton workshops in a simple concise way.

If you are only in Grand Teton Park for a day there is a chapter called the “Portfolio Packer Morning Trip,” that does just that, all the icons and several favorite places in a five our blitz.  But it is better to spend more time and dig deep into the embarrassment of riches of Grand Teton National Park................. More Info

Living a richer life without any money

By Daryl L. Hunter

Since purchasing my first camera, I have been living a visual feast that has cost me a real estate career in a lucrative Southern California market. My scenery seemed to always be just over the next hill somewhere; cityscapes just were not my kind of inspiration. I soon tired of local beach sunsets and disturbingly enough; the sun bathing beauties scattered about.

It wasn't long before I was traveling farther a field, weekend trips to Big Sur, Lake Arrowhead, Yosemite, and yes, a three-day driving marathon to the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park. I decided that my weekends just were not long enough. I would just have to take more time off work, and then I could make it to Tahoe, the coastal redwoods, and the Oregon coast......................... rest of story

Moulton Barn Restoration

The Youth Conservation Program is more than a summer job; it's an action-packed educational opportunity that accomplishes much needed work in one of America's most popular landscapes while helping participants develop a personal conservation ethic. Each summer in Grand Teton National Park, a group of 16 to 19-year-olds works, earns, and learns during this highly successful ten week program. This past week the crew has been working on the John Moulton Barn..................... rest of story

Moulton barn restoration, most photographed barn in the world


Yellowstone roadside grizzlies worth rangers' hassle???

Yellowstone visitors would pay an additional $41 to ensure seeing roadside grizzlies, a study shows, and the attraction creates 155 jobs and more than $10 million a year for the regional economy. The $41 visitors would pay is on top of the $25-per-vehicle entrance fee. If Yellowstone no longer allowed grizzly bears to use roadside habitat — and instead chased, moved or killed them — the regional economy would lose more than $10 million a year and 155 jobs according to the paper "The economics of roadside bear viewing."............................Rest of story

Autumn Photography in Grand Teton Park

By Daryl L. Hunter

October 1st, at dark-thirty shortly before the first hint of dawn, with a crisp nip of fall in the air, I usually find myself at Oxbow Bend in Grand Teton National Park with my ten new best friends. At the Oxbow at this early hour, we are hoping for the first hint of light to reveal an expanse of cirrus clouds above Mt. Moran to stop the warm rays of morning light from spilling over the edge of the world to an un-captureable point beyond the Grand Tetons. Oh, the Oxbow is still a stunning spot, even devoid of clouds, as the first rays of dawn sneak over the eastern horizon, a rose colored blanket of light hovers over the mountains as it shares its wealth of alpenglow with the peaks below, but none the less, we photogaphers are all hoping for natures reflector and diffuser to magnify the magnificence...........rest of story

Yellowstone National Park: highlights

Locals like to say there's never a bad day in Yellowstone. But some activities are better than others. Near the top of my list is a slow drive along the north shore of Yellowstone Lake. The easy trail to Storm Point is worth a half hour's walk, or more if the wind is calm and the boulders are comfortable for sitting. A few miles east, a side road leads to Lake Butte Overlook which offers views across North America's largest alpine lake to the Teton range 100 miles south. This is a good place to be at sunset........................ rest of story

Yellowstone Volcano Warning?

Yellowstone National Park is fighting viral rumors that the park's bison are fleeing an impending supervolcano eruption. Officials told Reuters that they've been fielding dozens of calls and emails since a video of galloping bison went viral this week in the wake of an earthquake at Yellowstone. They said the video actually shows the animals running down a paved road that leads deeper into the park................. rest of story

Red and Yellow Aspens, Grand Tetons for the Bridger Teton National Forest

 

Howling Wolf, Lamar Valley, yellowstone park
A Yellowstone Wolf howls into the icy winds of the Yellowstone winter

North Yellowstone’s Winter Road • By Daryl L. Hunter
Winter in Yellowstone is truly a wonderful thing to experience, its deep snows, bitter cold, abundant wildlife and stark beauty can imprint memories that can last a lifetime...........................Access to Yellowstone in winter is the problem, it has become illegal to take a private snowmobile into Yellowstone and very few of us have snow coaches of our own or are capable of marathon ski expeditions too access Yellowstone’s winter wonders, but it is not as inaccessible as many think.........................Mountain above Gardner MontanaThe snowmobiling destination resort of Cooke City and Silver Gate Montana need groceries regularly to keep its citizens alive so Yellowstone Park maintains winter access to these communities. US-212 can be accessed through Yellowstone’s north entrance in Gardner Montana, so Yellowstone visitors can access a smidgen of Yellowstone’s treasures in winter by car.--------------------------> more

Yellowstone National Park: Explore its wintry wonders • Take in the wintry-white Yellowstone National Park aboard a snow coach; watch elk, bison and otters; cross-country ski or snowshoe to geysers; ring in the New Year with Old Faithful. Tour operator Off the Beaten Path, whose Greater Yellowstone trips have found a place on Travel + Leisure’s recently published “20 Life-Changing Trips” list, has a “Winter Wonders” tour promising fun adventures amid a comfortable, relaxing setting.------------------------------> More

Red Fox winter, Yellowstone National Park
A red fox hunting for mice on a cold winter day in Yellowstone

Silent Beauty: Yellowstone In Winter Makes For Hardy Trip • The bone-chilling cold of a Wyoming winter has tightened its icy grip on Yellowstone National Park. The bison, conserving heat and energy, stand perfectly still in the meadows, up to their bellies in snow. .......................Once in a while, one lowers its massive head and slowly, methodically swishes it back and forth, looking for something to nibble beneath the white drifts.........................Iconic animals at the park, along with the bears and the wolves, the bison are so much more obliging: willing to be seen, yet every bit as wild.-------------------> More

Yellowstone Backcountry Boost
By Brodie Farquhar • Most visitors to Yellowstone National Park see just the tip of an immense, complicated iceberg.............................When you drive through the park’s 2.2 million acres, you can see a great deal: bears, wolves, elk, bison, geysers, mountains and forests. What the visitor doesn’t see from the road is about 98 percent of the park, a backcountry region that’s managed as wilderness and patrolled by 22 elite rangers on horseback, skis and on foot........................For the better part of a century, they have served the public as field guides, informal educators, medics, rescuers and law enforcement officers. They also have forecountry responsibilities, such as trying to prevent 600 vehicular accidents annually or the loss of 100 animals struck by vehicles........................In recognition of those responsibilities and that heritage, the Yellowstone Park Foundation has launched a Ranger Fund initiative, to raise $2 million in two years...............................More

Mineriva Hot Springs Yellowstone National Park
Mammoth Hot Springs

Yellowstone -Lava Land
In America's heartland lies one of the world's largest 'super volcanoes.' Its last eruption was 1000 times more powerful than that of Mt. St. Helens, and it's capable of covering half the continent in volcanic ash. Now, this super volcano is rising up from the ground.............................No, that's not the plot of a holiday blockbuster. It's the findings of University of Utah seismologists. Yellowstone National Park hosts one of the world's largest volcano fields. Its many geysers and hot springs suggest that the park lies above a 'hot spot,' an area of the earth's crust that has experienced volcanic activity for an incredibly long period of time – in this case about four million years. ...................................More

Yellowstone National Park Lodges announces winter activities, transportation rates and dates
Yellowstone National Park Lodges, operated by Xanterra Parks & Resorts and the manager of lodging, restaurants and activities in Yellowstone National Park, is offering an array of winter activities including cross-country skiing, snow shoeing and ice skating as well as many over-the-snow transportation options................................More

Yellowstone Grey Wolf
Grey Wolf, Winter

Yellowstone by RV - by Mark Solomons • We drove from Denver to the nearby Rocky Mountains and then a long, 450 mile drive to Yellowstone Park, through to the neighbouring - and even more spectacular - Grand Teton National Park and then back to Denver................................More

Visiting Yellowstone National Park - By Bonnie Sitter • From the road you'd never guess what paced across the river, but you'd know it was something special because traffic was backed up for miles. Was it a buffalo sitting at the water's edge or perhaps a mule deer or an elk? Usually those were the subjects of traffic jams - only in Yellowstone National Park could a lazy bison hold up traffic as it stood in the middle of the road and watched the tourists, making you wonder who were really on display - the animals or the people........................more

Endangered predators thrive in West • By Tom Kenworthy • federal biologist Ed Bangs began reintroducing gray wolves into the northern Rockies, the wolf may be taken off the federal endangered species list within a year.Within two years, if all goes according to plan, the grizzly bear population that lives in and near Yellowstone National Park also will be taken off the list. And far to the south, National Park Service biologists Elaine Leslie and Chad Olson are eagerly awaiting a critical step in the effort to bring California condors back to the Grand Canyon area. Sometime in October, the first chick hatched in the wild in northern Arizona since the condors were reintroduced in 1996 is expected to take to the air.

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