Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dunraven Pass to North Canyon Rim

This Sunday morning, I rode with Trish and Kim across Dunraven Pass to Canyon. Dunraven Pass is the highest road in the park and is very pretty.

We parked at the Chittenden bridge parking lot and hiked the North Rim Trail. It is a very pretty trail that follows along the Yellowstone River:

Our first stop along the way was the brink of the upper falls. There are two waterfalls along the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, the upper and the lower. The upper fall is a much shorter waterfall, but it was still pretty intense to stand beside them and listen and watch all that water.

We continued on, crossing over Cascade Creek on a wooden bridge.

Just past the bridge, we could see Crystal Falls on Cascade Creek:

Cascade Creek flows into the Yellowstone River.

A little way farther along the trail, we could begin to see the colorful canyon walls:

We arrived at the brink of the lower falls, but it started thundering, sprinkling, and a cloud was moving in on us. So, expecting a downpour and lightening, we turned back to the car. There was a bear print on the trail. It was probably a black bear judging by the size of it. And yes, Michael, I remembered to put my big foot beside it!!!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Storm Clouds at Sunset

I rode with Kim and Trish to Lamar Valley tonight. On the way back, storm clouds were moving in at sunset. Believe me, these pictures don't even begin to show how beautiful it was.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday nights are a hoot!!

Owl watching is how we spend our Friday nights are here!!!! This mama owl (top branch) has two babies (could only get a good shot of one of them) in a nest in a tree beside the visitor's center here at Mammoth. There was a good crowd hanging out watching the babies flapping their wings trying to learn how to fly.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Beaver Ponds Wildfowers

After work and dinner, Rebekah and I did the Beaver Ponds Trail. I did this hike a few weeks ago when there was still a lot of snow left on the trail. This time, the snow and mud was gone, and there were wildflowers along the way. Some of my pictures were too blurry to post, and the ones posted do not reflect their true beauty. I only know the name of the flower below, and it is an Arrowleaf Balsamroot.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Trout Lake Trail

After the Osprey Falls hike, I hiked Trout Lake latter that night with a group from the Employee Recreation Department. Along the way, we spotted some elk who are beginning to get a good set of antlers:

The hike to Trout Lake is a short one; probably 1/2 a mile. We walked around the lake (it would be a pond back home). ;) Canadian Goose:

We also witnessed an oprey dive down and snatch a fish out of the water. It flew over our heads, and we could see the fish dangling from the osprey's claws.

The ride back to Mammoth was very eventful. We stopped at watched beavers swim, eat, and cross the road.

Two wolves crossed the road in front us, as well.

Osprey Falls Hike

Today, I hiked Osprey Falls with Rebekah. There were bear tracks all around the trailhead! They made me a little nervous... I was watching and listening for bears. We walked through a wooded patch and I heard something making a low noise. We stopped, and I was sure a grizzly was about to eat us when Rebekah found what was making the noise. It was a wierd bird that I have never seen before:
Finally, we started to get nearer to the river:

There is a lot of snow melting in the higher elevations and it rained this weekend so the river was really high. We could hear the roar of the falls from a good distance away. As we got nearer and nearer to the falls, there was a lot of mist. There was so much water coming over the falls and so much mist that we only got to glance at the water fall for a second, I snapped a picture, and then we turned around and slid back down the muddy, wet slope. We were drenched from head to toe from the mist.

You probably can't tell in this picture, but I am soaked!

It was a really beautiful and impressive waterfall. I wish we could have spent more time there without getting drenched. Round-trip, it was a 9.2 mile hike!!!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Beartooth Highway

The scenic Beartooth Highway opened this weekend. It is beautiful!

Spotted a fox along the way:

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Lava Creek Trail

Started at Undine Falls and ended at Mammoth Hot Springs. Total distance: 4.5 miles.

Gardner River & bridge.

Had to cross the river on a swinging bridge:

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Tower Creek Trail

After church, Suzanne, Tricia, Sandy, Karen, Rebekah, and I drove out to the Tower Falls area to go hiking. Along the way, we saw a black bear that had climbed a tree:
Once we arrived at Tower Falls, we parked at the campground and started the Tower Creek Trail. It was not well maintained, and we even had to cross the Creek over a log jam:
The 1988 forest fires in the park covered this trail area. There is a lot of new growth restoring the forest. We climbed over countless dead and down trees on the trail.
At the beginning of the trail, we saw a skeletal remain of an animal that was probably taken down by wolves. Or, this animal didn't survive the winter or died of natural causes.

The only living creature I saw was a marmot hiding under a log:

We walked by 3 HUGE racks of elk antelers. This is the first one we walked by:

There were a couple ponds and a wild strawberry patch along the trail:

The second rack we walked past:

This is our view at lunch:

And the third; these antlers are quite heavy. Don't know how they manage to carry those things around!!! This one was definately the largest.

We walked 2.8 miles to the end of the trail, and then walked back out. The view coming back was pretty:
The trail was 5.6 miles total. On the drive back, we saw another black bear along the road:

And my personal favorite, baby bison! They are so darn cute and spunky: