Yellowstone

This is additional info on Yellowstone National Park for our Outdoor Club Grand Tetons trip. For our event, any side trip you take to Yellowstone will not be an official club event and the college owned kayaks can’t be used there unless the advisor is along.

Below, a National Park Service aerial view of Yellowstone Park a NASA aerial of Grand Teton and Yellowstone parks and a NPS raised relief map of Yellowstone:

NPS Yellowstone aerial view: NASA Yellowstone Tetons: NASA Aerial view from space of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National parks

NPS photo raised relief map Yellowstone:

In the NASA photo from space the biggest lake in the upper half is Yellowstone Lake and the long one further south is Jackson Lake, with the teton range showing as a white strip to the left of it.

Yellowstone safety basics really worth reading:

https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/safety.htm

The south border of Yellowstone is only 8 miles from the north border of Grand Teton. It’s 56 miles from Colter Bay to Old Faithful. It’s possible to do the whole figure eight sightseeing loop of Yellowstone’s main road in one day, but not advised.

We really recommend that people who are planning a long trip take the time for the hike to the top of Mount Washburn near Dunraven Pass in Yellowstone. When we last did this hike they had warnings that there is no water along the trail or at the fire lookout at the top. Others on the trail did not take this warning seriously and were quite dehydrated by only half way through.

Yes, there are wolves in Yellowstone, and lots of travel companies that say you can see wolves while there. Sightings are actually rare and from quite a distance.

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A photo competition with some great pictures: https://www.yellowstone.org/photo-contest-2016-winners/

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These photos are by Quang-Tuan Luong/terragalleria.com
, all rights reserved.

two bison QTL: upper geyser basin QTL: GF Geyser QTL: grizzly QTL:

See what people were doing before a bison charged them.

old faithful terragalleria: hayden valley bison terragalleria: Falls of the Yellowstone River early morning by Quang-Tuan Luong:

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The park newspaper Yellowstone Today

http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/yellowstone-today.htm

Planning a visit to Yellowstone is at:
http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/index.htm

with links to maps, and a complete park trip planner. At the maps section you can click on individual section maps, many of which have online tours.

The Yellowstone Park website also has links to online nature tours, geology, at:
http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/nature/index.htm

There can be bear management areas closed or restricted to travel http://www.nps.gov/yell/parkmgmt/bearclosures.htm

The Yellowstone park site has mini-videos well worth watching:
“Park regulations state that visitors must stay more than 100 yards away from bears and 25 yards away from other wildlife. Many visitors see large wild animals that seem tame and therefore approach far closer than they should. These videos are intended to convince everyone that it is unwise to approach wild animals even if they seem tame.” One shows an elk redoing the paint job on a Cadillac.

NPS photo of an elk ramming a car:

Watch the videos at: http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/photosmultimedia/safetyvideos.htm

(When we watched them they took quite awhile longer than advertised to watch, as they had to rebuffer a few times, but they are worth it. No, we’ve never gotten even close to having anything like this happen.)

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Every year people are badly burned when they fall into thermal features in Yellowstone. Most of this is due to not staying on the boardwalks, or playing/running on the board walks.

NPS photo Norris Geyser Basin people on boardwalk:

A park news release said: “Yellowstone park visitors are reminded that for their own safety it is important to stay on boardwalks and designated trails while viewing all thermal features in the park. Scalding water underlies thin, breakable crusts; many geyser eruptions are unpredictable, and many thermal features are near or above boiling temperatures. Boardwalks and trails help protect park visitors and prevent damage to delicate formations.”

read details at:
fatal, near fatal or close call incidents/accidents in camping, backpacking, climbing and mountaineering

Is there a bulge under Yellowstone Lake?

Frequently asked questions about recent findings at Yellowstone Lake is at:

http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/yvo/new.html

Yellowstone Monthly Activity Update — Each update is compiled for the previous month and posted in the first week of the new month.

http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/yvo/

and more FAQs at:

http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/yvo/2005/docudrama.html

including:

QUESTION: Do scientists know if a catastrophic eruption is currently imminent at Yellowstone?

ANSWER: There is no evidence that a catastrophic eruption at Yellowstone is imminent, and such events are unlikely to occur in the next few centuries. Scientists have also found no indication of an imminent smaller eruption of lava.

The Yellowstone caldera is in about the center of the park, including the northern part of Yellowstone Lake. Picture a semi-circle encompassing the area from Madison to Norris to a bit east of Canyon Village, then south to east of Fishing Bridge and Bridge Bay then continue west to south of Grant Village and west of Old Faithfull then finally back up to Madison. If you camp or stay in hotel at Grant Village, Old Faithful or Canyon Village you have literally slept on a caldera.

The park has an average of around 1,600 earthquakes a year. From January 17 to 22, 2010, a swarm of quakes numbered over 1,000, ten of them magnitude 3.0 or greater (one of those 3.8). Quakes under 3.0 are usually not felt by people.

photo below used with permission from the photographer Ron Niebrugge: http://www.wildnatureimages.com/

Grand Prismatic Spring by Ron Niebrugge: a steaming blue Grand Prismatic Spring, photo used with permission from the photographer Ron Niebrugge

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five photos below from http://pdphoto.org/:

antelope and collared coyote 200 pixels from public domain: Yellowstone steaming thermal pools from public domain 200 pixels:

Sandhill cranes from public domain 200 pixels: elk in velvet browsing at Gibbon meadows from public domain 200 pixels:

350 x 61 bison from public domain:

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Two live shots of Old Faithful geyser (in Yellowstone),

http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm

The most famous of 200 to 250 active geysers in Yellowstone, Old Faithful erupts on the average every 60 to 110 minutes, for 1 1/2 to 5 minutes, with an average height of 130 feet. See https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/nature/oldfaithfulgeyserfaq.htm for an app of the next eruption prediction. “The famous geyser currently erupts around 17 times a day and can be predicted with a 90 percent confidence rate within a 10 minute variation.” Our favorite memory of an Old Faithful eruption was at night with light from a full moon and lightning from a thunderstorm in the background.

As usual, you can miss the crowds, (below a NPS photo of a typical crowd waiting for an eruption of Old Faithful Geyser)

NPS photo crowd waiting for eruption of Old Faithful Geyser:

if you are out early.

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NPS photo of Moran's castle geyser:
The diary of artist Thomas Moran is at:
http://www.nps.gov/yell/historyculture/thomasmoransdiary.htm

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A map of Grand Teton and Yellowstone webcams with links is at:
http://www.jacksonholenet.com/webcams/

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photo below used with permission from Ron Niebrugge: http://www.wildnatureimages.com/

old faithful geyser by Ron Niebrugge: old faithful geyser and surrounding forest and lodges, photo used with permission from the photographer Ron Niebrugge

Info about the hotels and cabins in Yellowstone is at:
http://www.ynp-lodges.com/

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According to a Yellowstone fact sheet

WILDLIFE

photo below used with permission from the photographer Ron Niebrugge

rambunctious buffalo calf by Ron Niebrugge: a buffalo calf frolics, photo used with permission from the photographer Ron Niebrugge

7 species of native ungulates (this includes 15,000 to 20,000 elk in summer, more than 500 moose, more than 2,000 mule deer).

2 species of bears (500 to 650 black bears, 280 to 610 grizzlies)

Approximately 50 species of other mammals, including 171 wolves and 20-35 cougars

311 recorded species of birds (148 nesting species)

18 species of fish (6 non-native)

6 species of reptiles

4 species of amphibians

5 species protected as “threatened or endangered”

Threatened: bald eagle, grizzly bear, lynx

Endangered: whooping crane, gray wolf

FLORA

8 species of conifers

Approximately 80% of forest is comprised of lodgepole pine

More than 1,700 species of native vascular plants

More than 170 species of exotic (non-native) plants

186 species of lichens

GEOLOGY

An Active Volcano

Approximately 2,000 earthquakes annually

Approximately 10,000 thermal features

More than 300 geysers

One of the world’s largest calderas, measuring 45 by 30 miles (72 by 48 km)

One of the world’s largest petrified forests

Approximately 290 waterfalls, 15 ft. or higher, flowing year-round

Tallest waterfall: Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River at 308 ft. (94 m)

NPS yellowstone bison winter summer range map: map shows July-August breeding range, Sept-May fall-winter range and bison movement routes

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You will really want your own binoculars.

Info on selecting binoculars is at:
http://www.birdwatching.com/optics/binoculars1.html

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Photo below by David Whitten http://www.davidwhittenphoto.com/index.html?yellowteton.html~home

Yellowstone Falls, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone river, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming copyright david whitten: Yellowstone Falls, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone river, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming copyright david whitten

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Each visitor center is different. At each you can get boat and backpack permits and also pick up the paperwork to earn your Yellowstone Junior Ranger badge, which you will want to start at the beginning of your trip. The Rangers in Grand Teton park had no problem with persons of advanced age doing this, but some of the Yosemite and Yellowstone Rangers have enforced age limits.

Yellowstone Junior Ranger:

There is more info about the De Anza College Outdoor Club trip at:

Grand Tetons

Grand Tetons recommended reading

includes a link to The Journals of Lewis and Clark

Clark: “…bison were so numerous and loud that the men had difficulty sleeping.”

Grand Tetons kayaking

Grand Tetons sightseeing

(Alanna on Montana sign photo by Mark Nevill)

Alanna on Montana sign photo by Mark Nevill 250 pixels: girl sits on sign that says entering montana