Part One of our Yellowstone trip can be seen at this link.
This is the beautiful North entrance to Yellowstone National Park located in Gardiner, Montana. It was the first major entrance for Yellowstone, and is also known as the Roosevelt Arch. The architect Robert Reamer designed the immense stone arch for coaches to travel through on their way into the park. At the time of the arch's construction in 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt was visiting the park and placed its cornerstone, and the arch became known by his name. In the early years of Yellowstone National Park, most visitors came through the North entrance, and visitation increased in 1903 when the Northern Pacific Railroad reached the adjacent town of Gardiner.
Here we are standing underneath the arch on the second morning of our park visit, excited to have another full day of exploration ahead!
The 45th parallel of latitude sign, It was nice to know where we were in relation to the rest of the world!
Undine Falls in Yellowstone National Park, are located a few miles east of Mammoth Springs. They are 60 feet in height.
Information from the lodge website:
"Named for Yellowstone enthusiast Theodore Roosevelt who regularly visited the park, this rustic log lodge and cabin facility was built in an area of the park that was a favorite of Theodore Roosevelt.The rustic cabins and family style dining are a favorite of families and fisherman alike. From the front porch guests can rock their stress to sleep and awaken their "Old West spirit." A large corral operation offers horseback trail rides, stagecoach adventures and our popular Old West Dinner Cookout, where the steaks are tender, the wranglers are friendly, and the scenery is breathtaking. Park accommodations are non-smoking, televisions, radios, air conditioning, and Internet hook-ups are not available. In-room phones are not available at all locations. Cell phone coverage is very limited throughout the park and swimming pools are not available. "
A view of the Roosevelt cabins from the lodge's front porch. It was no frills and very rustic, but I think I'd like to stay in one of these cabins for a night or two if I am ever lucky enough to visit Yellowstone again. It would be the closest to camping that I'd be willing to experience.
The Tower Falls are 132 feet in height. There is a long winding trail that leads from the viewing area down to the Yellowstone River at the bottom of the falls. Yellowstone has almost 300 waterfalls in total! Many magnificent falls can be found in the back country, well off the major roads, and therefore only reached by walking trails.
A pronghorn enjoying the sunshine.
The roads in Yellowstone are very well maintained. Much of Yellowstone, however, is truly a wilderness, only able to be explored by foot.
We were lucky to see a female moose and her calf feeding in the Mount Washburn region. They are normally very reclusive animals so it is hard to view them from the road.
A cow moose protecting its young can be a very dangerous animal, so this was an occasion when I was fortunate to have a zoom lens! I was really hoping to see a male with his distinctive antlers, but I felt fortunate at least to see this wonderful hungry pair!
Do you notice the thick blanket of new trees growing among the dead tree trunks in the photo above? Yellowstone survived a devastating fire season in 1988. The summer of that year had less precipitation than normal and more than 793,000 acres (36% of the park) were affected by fire. Over $120 million was spent and 25,000 people participated in the firefighting effort, the largest in U.S. history. It was rainfall and early snowfall that finally put the fires out in September. Although the aftermath of the fires can be upsetting to see, fires can actually be good for the ecosystem of a forest. The ash releases many nutrients into the soil and Lodgepole pines, the predominant tree in Yellowstone, actually needs temperatures above 113 degree Fahrenheit in order for their pine cones to open. Most of the wildlife population showed no effect or rebounded quickly from the fire. The fire of 1988 helped scientists learn how ecosystems recover. More than 250 fire-related research projects have been conducted in the past two decades, examining the fire's impact on wildlife, water and vegetation.
I am adding this post to the "Theme Thursday" blog event -- today's theme is "Wild" Thank goodness the National Parks are preserving the wildness for future generations! Click on the link to see other blogs participating into today's "wild" theme.
In my next and last in this series of Yellowstone blog posts I'll show you Old Faithful and the beautiful Old Faithful Inn, plus many of the other amazing hydrothermal features. This was our favorite area in the park!