Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park and the surrounding area offers one of the greatest opportunities for the wildlife photographer. It is a unique experience to drive the narrow roads and view great numbers of bison and elk. Mule deer, coyotes and eagles are more chance sightings, but are not uncommon.
The photos above by L. Ross illustrate but a few of the species that are seen daily as one passes through the park. We have seen a grizzly on a bison kill, black bears, moose, bison, antelope, eagles, coyotes, geese, swans, sand hill cranes and many other special animals.
Fall is an excellent time to visit the area. Lodging is much less expensive and the crowds have left the park and the atmosphere is more casual and unharried.
Expect few delays from tourists viewing animals from the road.
Yellowstone Park is in the southwest part of Montana and several good day trips are available. Jackson Hole is a great trip and a side benefit is passing through Tetons National Park and viewing the mountains with the Snake River or Jackson Lake in the foreground. The wives always enjoy the shopping as well.
Cooke City is at the northeast corner of the park and is a nice drive and a good place to have lunch. In the winter, a webcam shows snowmobiles travelling on the streets.
Big Springs, Idaho is a preserve and the headwaters of the Snake River. Enormous Rainbow trout swim undisturbed in the waters and flocks of mallards swim in the crystal clear water. We have seen moose feeding in the springs on the succulent vegetation on several trips.
The fishing on the famous rivers is exciting, and big fish abound, but they are not easy to catch. They are pounded by many fisherman, even in the colder months and present a challenge to fly fishermen. Many of the waters are restricted to fly fishing only.
For a vacation of a lifetime, consider Montana. For a special, up close experience with the wildlife, a visit in the fall would be my recommendation.

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