April 18, 2011
Yellowstone National Park reopened to the public last Friday and so at the weekend I took a leisurely drive from West Yellowstone into Old Faithful.
We still have lots of snow and most of the “side trips” such as Riverside Drive and Firehole Canyon are not yet accessible, but the main roads are clear and dry, and most importantly, as yet, un-crowded.
But it appears that someone forgot to tell Mother Nature that Spring was due to arrive a while ago and so the temperature isn’t great, and the occasional snow shower is still blowing through, so make sure to pack a sweatshirt and waterproof jacket.
But on the bright side, the unseasonable weather is not deterring the Wildlife who are out in abundance to welcome you.
Our drive through Madison meadows was slow due to large numbers of Bison with whom we were sharing the road, and if you’ve ever seen one up close, you’ll understand why they have the right of way!
There were also several small herds of Elk grazing along the Madison River intermingling with more Bison, Sandhill Cranes, Canada Geese, Ospreys and Bald Eagles.
Midway between 7 Mile Bridge and Madison Junction we were fortunate enough to spend some time watching a wolf through our spotting scope. He was far to intent on keeping tabs on the Bison to be aware of the small group of human visitors keeping tabs on him.
The visitors Center and some concessions are open at Old Faithful and we arrived just time to witness our first “eruption” of the season. After spending some time exploring the visitor’s center, we headed back to West, making several voluntary stops to watch Elk and a Coyote, and several more involuntary stops at impromptu “Bison crossings”.
And as an added bonus admission into Yellowstone National Park is free from 16th -24th April.
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