We have an enduring love affair with Yellowstone National Park.
(See previously posted pics HERE.)

Last week we visited for just a day (Feb. 9). Here are some winter snapshots.

We’d never seen so much snow (and ice) before – packed four to six feet solid on the ground, and piled another eight to ten feet along the roads. In winter, Yellowstone is only accessible by snowcoach or snowmobile. Here’s ours at West Yellowstone, Montana near the park’s west entrance.

This is one of those old-fashioned snow coaches designed in the ’50s.

Inside the park, the evidence that we are in the midst of a hotspot of volcanic activity is unmistakable. Molten rock flowing very close to the earth’s surface creates bubbling mud pools and geysers. A full-scale eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano would dwarf any other volcanic eruption in history.


What an eruption at Yellowstone would look like

Yellowstone National Park sits atop a subterranean chamber of molten rock and gasses so vast that the region, known for its geysers and grizzlies, is arguably one of the largest active volcanoes in the world. …

A relatively close-to-the-surface magma chamber — as close as 5 miles underground in some spots — fuels thousands of spewing geysers, hissing steam vents, gurgling mud pots and steaming hot springs that help make Yellowstone such an otherworldly and popular tourist attraction, with 3 million summer visitors. (Source)

The steam from these geysers and hot springs can be seen rising for miles around. The hot water from these underground sources keeps most of the rivers in the park from freezing in winter.

Madison River

Trumpeter Swans

Bison calf with mother

I spy an elk

Firehole River

Giant rocks that look like cupcakes

Firehole Canyon Road takes you through the deep Firehole Canyon with its 800 foot black walls, which were formed by lava flows, to view Firehole Falls and the Firehole Cascades.

Christmas Tree Rock

The logdepole pine growing atop this rock is called the ‘Christmas Tree’.

August 25th is a special day in Yellowstone and not for the reasons you’d think. It’s the height of summer in Yellowstone. Cool mornings giving way to warm, sunny afternoons. Plump, sleek-coated elk munch on the soft, green grasses lining sparkling rivers. The river’s gurgling is broken only by the occasional splash of a trout jumping for a treat from the latest hatch of late summer Trico’s.

So, the tall lodgepole growing out of a rock in the middle of the Firehole River seems out-of-season festooned with bright red and green paper ropes and tinsel. It’s Christmas Tree Rock and it’s the semi-annual Christmas festival for Park employees. Each year, intrepid Park employees brave the fast-moving and not very warm water to ford the Firehole, climb up on the rock and decorate their own Christmas tree.

How did this tradition come about? Read about it HERE.

Old Faithful Geyser

It usually erupts at 90-minute intervals, rising to an average of 145 feet and shooting 3,700 to 8,400 gallons (14–32 kL) of boiling water.

View from the bookstore at Old Faithful

The lodge at Old Faithful

The hot springs at Yellowstone National Park owe their vibrant colors to heat-loving microorganisms called thermophiles.

Different water temperatures in different spots make them assume shades of orange, mustard, brown, green and blue.

In 1966, Thomas Brock made the remarkable discovery that microorganisms were growing in the boiling hot springs of Yellowstone National Park. Since Brock’s discovery, thermopiles have been discovered in geothermal features all over the world including areas in Iceland, Kamchatka, New Zealand, Italy, Mt. Lassen, and other locations. While boiling hot springs are far beyond the comfort zone of humans and other animals, life, especially prokaryotic life, is able to adapt to environments that would prove fatal to most other lifeforms. – Source

Silex Pool

Mammoth Hot Springs

Last three pics taken in September 2006.

Phew!! That was a lot of clicking in freezing weather in a single day. We also got some cool wildlife shots, which we will put up in another post.

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27 Comments

  1. archy says:

    Hi Bee,
    I love your pictures,each one of them are exceptionally good.
    I want to buy a camera Sony cybershot and have no knowledge of technical side of photography.
    My requirement is for clicking pictures while sightseeing.The camera which fits my budget has 3 optical zoom.Will I get far off objects clear with this camera.
    What is the ideal distance which should be maintained between the object and the 3 optical zoom camera to be able to get good clear pictures.
    I will be grateful if you could guide me.

    we have a sony with 3x zoom and it works fine in outdoor situations. there’s no ideal distance. for close shots, atleast 2 feet is recommended. for distant objects, it depends on the light and angle. – b.

  2. musy says:

    Brrrrrrrrrr :)

    Awesome photography!

  3. aa says:

    Thanks for sharing that bee and jai :)

  4. RedChillies says:

    Beautiful pictures and scenery captured so well. Yellowstone is one of the place I would like to visit before I die :rolleyes:

  5. Rupa says:

    Wow ! Those are really really awesome pics !

  6. sra says:

    My parents have quite a few pix of Yellowstone – they did a cross-country drive (I think) of the US in the ’70s.

  7. Linda says:

    One of my dream-trips is way-out-west. So far I’ve been as far as Minnesota up north, and Vegas down south. I’m not anxious to see Vegas again.

    I used the new form for ‘click’, very easy and convenient! But somehow it sent you two photos? :)

    The photos are gorgeous and giving my itchy feet reason to check fares.

  8. Purnima says:

    Brilliant pictures, J-B!!! The snow coach,elk, bison calf, swans, river,snowcapped rocks, last 3 pics all are fantastic, loved the way you guys hv captured the Silex pool’s beauty!! :love: Woowwwww..made my day just watching them! ;;) :dance: Wd wait 4 next post too!! :)

  9. Happy Cook says:

    Beautiful pictures.
    Would love to visit yellowstones once.

  10. jnirmala says:

    :yes: :yes: Thanks for taking me to that excellent part of the world!

  11. sunita says:

    Phew!!!I am quite dizzy with so many awesome views.

  12. Asha says:

    We stayed in Jackson Hole, Wyoming long time ago, we might visit again this Summer since kids were very young when we were there last time. Beautiful photos Bee, love that national park!:)

  13. Ana says:

    Beautiful place & of course beautiful & breathtaking pics…

  14. dhanggit says:

    its always comforting and pleasant to see beautiful sceneries like these :-)

  15. Namratha says:

    Awesome pics!! Saw Yellowstone through your eyes :)

  16. rashmi says:

    lovely snaps…..nature at its best…..i have to visit this wonder….i love ur snow coach…..looks so cosy….looking forward for the widlife snaps….

  17. manju says:

    As always, gorgeous photos! You really have a gift of bringing the viewer WITH you through your lens. Had to laugh, though, at your caption of the “cupcake rock” — seems you’re seeing food even in nature! ; P

    Can’t wait for the wildlife series!

  18. Suganya says:

    National Parks/Forests are one of the things I love about North America.

  19. Simona says:

    Really awesome photos.

  20. archy says:

    Thanks Bee :) :bow:

  21. Anjali says:

    How I wish to visit these places. Just awesome photography.

  22. Laavanya says:

    The rocks do look like cupcakes with snowhite frosting.. such awesome pics.

  23. Veena says:

    Really awesome pictures.I have seen such pictures in calenders and some album covers, but didn’t know that they do really exist. Please tell me where is it located.

  24. [...] we visited Yellowstone National Park for just a day (Feb. 9). Part-I featuring the winter landscape HERE. This is Part-2, where the focus is on [...]

  25. [...] or something. To reassure them that they didn’t waste their time and airfare, we take them to Yellowstone, or Grand Tetons, or Sun Valley or Utah or wherever. We pile into our Subaru and drive. We have [...]

  26. Brandy Ladd says:

    Hello, I was hoping to use the West Yellowstone photo of the old snow coach for our winter magazine. Is this possible? Thanks – Brandy
    http://jugalbandi.info/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/img_1855-copy.jpg



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