Yellowstone National Park
Trip Start Apr 06, 2010
89Trip End Ongoing
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After a bear free Day 1, we set off early on Day 2 determined to see some grizzlys. We'd driven about 7 miles from our campground when we saw up ahead that loads of cars had pulled over and the professional photographers and wildlife enthusiasts with telescopes were all set up and buzzing; a bison carcass had fallen through the ice during the winter and the smell had attracted a pair of grizzly pairs on the mountain side which were looking as if they may be making their way down for a feed sometime soon
About 10 minutes further up the road, we were greeted once more by loads of cars and photographers lined up along the road. Still on a complete high from the grizzly encounter, we jumped out of the car and this time there was a black bear with 2 small cubs walking and playing in the trees...amazing. Further still up this same road, we saw moose, bull elks, bighorn sheep, pronghorns, and bison with calves which are bright orange. It was a hot sunny day and after all this excitement we went back to our campsite late afternoon, chilled out and caught some rays. After dinner we were a bit restless, especially knowing that the bear action was so close, so we decided to take another drive back to the same site to see if anything else was going on at the 'kill zone'...check us out picking up the pro lingo! If a bear or a wolf takes down an elk, deer or bison during the night, the enthusiasts will spend up to 12 hours at the site waiting to get 'the photo of a lifetime' when the predator finally returns for second helpings.
As we got there around 7.30pm there were quite a few people watching the same 2 female grizzly bears laying right by the bison carcass, but said that another bear had been spotted up on the mountain
Yellowstone National Park is one giant active volcanic area and in certain geothermal parts of the park the ground continuously steams and the water boils and bubbles. The volcano caldera that the park sits on is 30 by 45 miles across, and last erupted 640,000 years ago. No-one knows when it's going to blow again! On Day 3 we paid the essential visit to Old Faithful; a geyser that reliably erupts and jets water 100 feet into the air every 90 minutes or so, and was pretty awesome to witness. We also hiked around the Norris Geyser Basin, including the Steamboat Geyser (biggest in the world and when it last erupted in 2003 it reached 450ft) and loads of thermal springs that stink of sulphur. The Yellowstone River runs through an eastern area of the park; over millions of years it has carved the Yellowstone Grand Canyon and consists today of 3 powerful waterfalls that we hiked around. Yellowstone is so diverse and so big that you could spend months exploring here and see something different every day. After our incredible 4 days we headed south out of the park, down through the Grand Tetons National Park, in need of a shower and a good meal after all this excitement.