Yellowstone – Hurry Up and Wait

Having seen half of the south loop yesterday evening on our way to view Old Faithful, we decided to spend our second day in Yellowstone Park driving the northern loop past Mammoth Hot Springs. We figured it would take several hours and ended up taking all day.

This female elk is losing her winter coat.

As we drove into the park from the west entrance, very soon we were stuck in a slow moving lineup of cars, so it took us about an hour to travel the 14 km to the start of the loop. The good thing was we saw this elk beside the road and John was able to take this great photo since traffic was stopped. Hey wait – the elk was the one holding up traffic – Duh!

Of the dozens of photos I took of bison in Yellowstone, this one is the only one of bison crossing a river. Notice the two in front are totally submerged other than the tops of their heads. Apparently they are walking along the bottom and don't float worth beans!

The famous Golden Gate pass in Yellowstone. The original wooden trestle was built in 1885 across the face of the Golden Gate. Since 1900 two concrete trestles have replaced the wooden one.

Nearing Mammoth Hot Springs, we passed through this odd looking terrain.

Strange rubble in Yellowstone

Mammoth Springs had some unusual formations as shown in the photos below. Interesting but I can’t see me ever painting these places… And I think we got the last parking space. Talk about lots of people!

Mineral laden hot water from deep beneath the earth's crust builds tier upon tier of cascading terraces of stone.

Thousands of gallons of water well up and deposit large amounts of travertine daily.

Mammoth Springs formations have taken thousands of years to form.

From Mammoth Hot Springs we continued clockwise around the northern loop and stopped to photograph some gorgeous views.

There are many rivers in the Park. I believe this is the Yellowstone River, or it may be a tributary.

Tower Fall, (132 ft)Yellowstone Park.

We drove to an elevation of almost 9,000 ft through Dunraven Pass and saw lots of snow again, as well as more evidence of the 1988 forest fires.

Winter in June, Yellowstone Park!

Finally we reached the awesome Lower Falls on the Yellowstone River. Now we’re talkin’ great scenery! Gimme a waterfall over a geyser any day!

This was our first view of the Lower Falls. We decided to return again tomorrow to see these 308 ft falls from the other side of the gorge known as Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

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