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Category Archives: Yellowstone National Park

Amnicon Falls State Park – My favorite waterfall photography location is Amnicon Falls State Park. Almost every time we drive by I stop to at least look at it and usually take some photos.

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Lost Creek Falls – I typically hike into Lost Creek Falls at least once every summer to take photos.

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Lower Falls Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone – This was take on a spring trip to Yellowstone State Park. It was a stormy day with some beautiful clouds above the falls.

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Jay Cooke State Park – Not a waterfall we frequent but we stopped late in the fall. This particular waterfall was difficult to photograph in its entirety but provided an opportunity for an intimate photo of the water flowing over the top of the falls.

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Willow River State Park – Willow Falls is a waterfall that is not particularly appealing to photograph as a whole but does offer some nice intimate shots of small areas around the main falls.

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After leaving the Lamar Valley we drove over the mountains to visit the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

Although the clouds were forming they made for an interesting sky for the wide angle shots of the Canyon.

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The highlight of the trip was seeing a large number of Bald Eagles and Osprey. They were on their nests and fishing in the Canyon. We noticed some folks with large lenses looking at something and they were watching an Osprey nest. As we watched the second adult arrived from a fishing trip and deposited it catch. It then switched places with its mate on the nest. The couple we were talking to came every day to check on the nest. At this point there were two eggs in the nest.

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We continued our hike down the North Rim Trail to the viewing stand for the lower falls. We were a little surprised that there were not more people at the viewing stand. For the first time ever we were the only folks at the viewing stand. We could see some folks on a viewing platform at the bottom of the falls on the South Rim and decided to try and find the trail to it.

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We returned to the top of the North Rim and drove over to the South Rim and Artists Point.

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It was difficult to get a photo with all of the people in the viewing area and most of them taking selfies. Selfies should be banned from National Parks.

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As we drove back on the South Rim Road we decided to stop and take the hike down the Uncle Toms Trail. We determined this was the way to the viewing stand we had seen from the North Rim. Part of the trail consists of 300 plus steep steps almost straight down. I was so intent on the view I didn’t realize that my wife was petrified the entire time she was on the stairs.

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The walk and viewing platform offered some great views from the bottom of the lower falls. On the way back up we encountered a few light showers.

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When we first drove into the North Rim area we noticed this Buffalo lounging in the dandelions. There were a few cars in the pullout space so we didn’t stop. On the way back, late in the day, he was still in the same spot.

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As we started back for Gardiner we could see that we would be encountering some bad weather. We encountered very heavy rain, sleet and snow as we drove back over the mountains.

We were up early for breakfast. Unfortunately breakfast wasn’t served until 7 a.m.. On day two our goal was to drive out through the Lamar Valley looking for Buffalo and any other wildlife we could find.

Our understanding was that you needed to be up early to see wildlife but as we started through the valley we encountered a heard of Buffalo and most of them were still sleeping or just starting to wake up. Not too different from humans.

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While I was photographing the sleeping Buffalo I noticed this Ground Squirrel working at building a nest.

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As we drove through the valley clouds were starting to form over the mountains. Most of the animals were quite some distance from the road so there were not many photo opportunities. Quite a few people had scopes which would be the best way to watch wildlife in the valley. Lots of RV’s parked in the pullover points so there were not a lot of opportunities to stop and look at the wildlife.

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On the return trip we encountered a couple of Pronghorn Antelope along the road.

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A short distance away we encountered a heard of Buffalo crossing the road. I think this was part of the heard we encountered earlier in the morning. There were a lot of calves with the heard.

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This adult and calf had the same idea and found that a rock was a good place to take care of an itch.

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The males born last year were still with the heard and were engaged in a little battle. The adult males were no longer with the heard and wouldn’t return until the fall.

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On a spring trip to Yellowstone National Park I was able to capture some interesting patterns in the Geyser Basin.

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We arrived at Mammoth late in the afternoon on what was a beautiful day. There were storm clouds in the sky but the sun was out as we walked around to look at the hot springs.

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Mammoth-Hot-Springs-Undine-Falls-Yellowstone-National-Park-14-10-_0365We were a little disappointed. When we visited the area fifteen years ago the springs were more active. Many of the beautiful springs have dried up in the intervening years.

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Mammoth-Hot-Springs-Undine-Falls-Yellowstone-National-Park-14-10-_0461Mammoth has a large herd of elk the reside around the park headquarters. This fellow was out resting on the hot springs.

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Our first visit to Mammoth Hot Springs was not very successful since it rained hard the whole time we were there. We decided to drive through the park again and exit at Mammoth Hot Springs. Once again we had beautiful storm clouds in the sky. In several places we could see where the snow plows had been out earlier in the day.Yellowstone-National-Park-14-10-_0260a

We ran into a couple of herds of buffalo on the drive through Yellowstone. This fellow had been rubbing his head on a tree and ended up with a branch stuck on his horns. He looked a little forlorn.Buffalo-Yellowstone-National-Park-14-10-_0849

We stopped at Tower Fall. Unfortunately the trail to the bottom of the falls was closed so our only view was from the top.Tower-Fall-Yellowstone-National-Park-14-10-_0266

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We stopped at Undine Falls for a few photos. This is actually five shots that were merged to create one large photo.Undine-Falls-Yellowstone-National-Park-14-10-_0318

While we were at Undine Falls my wife noticed what appeared to be the remains of a buffalo on the canyon rim.Bones-Yellowstone-National-Park14-10-_0895

Because of the dramatic sky we encountered on our visit to Yellowstone National Park I decided to convert some of my photos to Black and White to see how they would look.

Lamar Valley

Lamar Valley

Castle Geyser

Castle Geyser

Midway Geyser Basin

Midway Geyser Basin

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Having been on the road for almost a week and knowing that it was peak fall color season in the upper Midwest we were getting a little homesick for some fall color. Unfortunately Yellowstone does not offer a lot in the way of colors. Most of the trees are pine.

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We did find some spectacular fall colors in the Lamar Valley. The Cottonwoods along the river were just past their peak and there were a few Aspen turning color.

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There was also some nice color in the grass and brush.

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We also found some nice color in the hills just south of Mammoth Hot Springs. These were mainly Aspen.

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More photos from Yellowstone National Park can be found on my website.

We continued on our way to Old Faithful arriving late in the morning. It was raining hard when we arrived so we headed for the Education center to kill a little time and find out when the various geysers were going to blow. My wife downloaded an app for her phone that gave the times for the big geysers.

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Old Faithful was going to blow in about a half an hour but it was still raining so walked over to Old Faithful Inn to grab some coffee and watch from under cover. Old Faithful did it’s thing and it was still raining so we walked over to the cafeteria and grabbed some lunch. During lunch it quit raining so we started a walk through the geyser basin.

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The sun was in and out of the clouds. There continued to be great clouds as a backstop for the various geysers.

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When we arrived at Grand Geyser we found some benches and a few people waiting for the eruption. My wife checked her app and found that there was a two hour period when it could erupt so we continued on.

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When we arrived at Grotto Geyser it was blowing a lot of steam so we watched it for a while.

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The last stop on the trail was Morning Glory Pool. As the sign indicated it was but a shadow of its former self but still beautiful.

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We then headed back the same way we came and spent a little more time photographing Grotto Geyser.

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As we approached Grand Geyser we noticed it was erupting. We hurried along the trail but as it turned out the eruption lasted for quite a while so I managed quite a few photos.

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We then wandered past Castle Geyser which was scheduled to erupt at about the same time as Old Faithful.

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As it turned out it started to rain so we decided on Old Faithful and walked over to the visitors center to get a cup of hot coco while we waited out the rain. As it turned out the service at the dining area was too slow so I went back to photograph Old Faithful in the rain.

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After the eruption we headed back to West Yellowstone. We found a herd of buffalo along the road and as we drove along the Madison River there was a Bull Elk at the edge of the river.

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More photos from Yellowstone National Park can be found on my website.

After driving along the Madison and Firehole Rivers and a few smaller geyser areas we reached the Midway Geyser Basin Area. There were a lot of tour buses and groups of photographers in the area. The later ignored the signs and crossed into areas that were restricted seeking to get the best photo possible.

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My wife walked around the area and came back to the car a half hour later and the photographers were still in the area taking photos of the same little waterfall.Midway-Geyser-Basin-Yellowstone-National-Park-14-9-_2313

What I really liked about this area weren’t the thermal pools but the spectacular sky. It continued to spit rain during the early morning and appeared to be snowing in the mountains. The sky made a dramatic backdrop to the thermal area.Midway-Geyser-Basin-Yellowstone-National-Park-14-9-_3225

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More photos from Yellowstone National Park can be found on my website.