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Yellowstone is a Winter Wonderland...Various Critters, La...
  
 
cohenfive
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Yellowstone is a Winter Wonderland...Various Critters, Landscapes


My wife and I got back from a great week in Yellowstone. Boy is it a different park in the winter, and almost everything is better (except obviously the weather and light conditions). We stayed in Gardiner right outside the northeast entrance for a few days, and did a tour with the foundation looking around the Lamar valley area, focused on looking for wolves. We also did a couple of short snow shoe hikes which were fun. We saw lots of wolves, parts of three wolfpacks that hang in the area. One thing that became clear was that if you see wolves up close, either they made a kill close to the road or the wolf made a mistake. They really don't like humans. Our wolf sightings were all at long range, maybe as close as a few hundred yards, but mostly 1/2 to over a mile away. Lots of scopes, few cameras like mine. We had very little sun, so conditions were very difficult but I did the best I could do...high iso all the time basically. Lots of other critters around, tons of elk, bison, otters, bighorn/pronghorn sheep, coyotes and a few others. I was surprised at how many baldies we saw, they seem to actively hunt the rivers in and around the park during the winter since they don't freeze.

After hanging around the north, we went south to the Old Faithful area. Roads aren't plowed so the only way down is via snowcoach, which is a fun way to go. Amazing difference down here, with only one hotel open, there are hardly any people. We watched OF erupt with literally six other people. Again, lots of critters down here. We saw new wolf prints and heard howling, but didn't see any wolves during this part of the trip. Lots of other critters though. We went out to the frozen lake (coldest day), and also did a gorgeous day of cross country skiing in the Yellowstone canyon area. Tons of really soft fluffy snow here.

So I'm posting a few pics from the trip here, with the caveat that the lighting and distance didn't make for nat geo quality images. Hope you guys/gals understand, you take what you are given in terms of conditions. It was a terrific trip, we are already talking about going back next winter. Highly recommended as long as you don't mind the cold and are there to experience the park as it presents itself, which might not be perfect for photos.

Bald eagle, shot taken from our hotel room...literally. He came hauling up the river, and stopped on this tree late in the day. He then strafed some river otters and took off down the river.



River otter family. After getting strafed by the eagle, they decided to swim upstream and got pretty close to our hotel. Just a lucky break to see them playing/fishing.



Successful fishing expedition...trout for dinner. Either cutthroat or rainbow, not sure which.



Pair of coyotes, one of whom literally wanted to fool around...I guess it didn't go over so well.



Not what the Old Faithful lodge area looks like in the summer! Only a couple of skiers around. We watched the eruption with six other people...



Yellowstone canyon...we skied along the ridge, pretty spectacular even with the clouds..



Stream in the woods, along our ski route...



Yellowstone winter traffic jam...



Bighorn sheep...we saw several of these in the northern part of the park



Sunrise over Yellowstone...



Grouse, well camouflaged....



I'm only posting two wolf pics..although I have tons....This is the Prospect peak wolfpack hauling across the valley. They were pretty far away, more than 1/2 mile.



Last one...Black wolf in Lamar valley...







Mar 05, 2017 at 01:22 AM
birdied
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Yellowstone is a Winter Wonderland...Various Critters, Landscapes


Looks like a marvelous trip. Wonderful shots .

Birdie



Mar 05, 2017 at 01:32 AM
morris
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Yellowstone is a Winter Wonderland...Various Critters, Landscapes


These are great Richard. I wish my wife did not hate the cold

Morris



Mar 05, 2017 at 01:40 AM
jcw1982
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Yellowstone is a Winter Wonderland...Various Critters, Landscapes


Beautiful set of photographs! Looks like it was a very memorable and special trip.


Mar 05, 2017 at 02:09 AM
RolfJ
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Yellowstone is a Winter Wonderland...Various Critters, Landscapes


We've been to the park at least half a dozen times but not in winter. We need to do it in the winter. Your photos are wonderful.


Mar 05, 2017 at 02:32 AM
mspencer1
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Yellowstone is a Winter Wonderland...Various Critters, Landscapes


Wonderful set! Love the winter traffic jam shot. Sounds like an amazing trip.

Margaret



Mar 05, 2017 at 03:04 AM
surfnron
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Yellowstone is a Winter Wonderland...Various Critters, Landscapes


I'd love to do this trip Richard. Very nice set ~ Ron


Mar 05, 2017 at 03:39 AM
Steve Perry
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Yellowstone is a Winter Wonderland...Various Critters, Landscapes


Great set!


Mar 05, 2017 at 04:03 AM
kmunroe
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Yellowstone is a Winter Wonderland...Various Critters, Landscapes


all are very nice Richard


Mar 05, 2017 at 08:24 AM
kwilliam8
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Yellowstone is a Winter Wonderland...Various Critters, Landscapes


Wonderful images! Thanks for sharing.
Keith W.



Mar 05, 2017 at 10:22 AM
 

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suteetat
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Yellowstone is a Winter Wonderland...Various Critters, Landscapes


Wonderful set of images. Really wish I have a chance to go there.


Mar 05, 2017 at 11:33 AM
douter
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Yellowstone is a Winter Wonderland...Various Critters, Landscapes


Beautiful set, I really appreciate the mixing of wildlife with landscape!
Douglas



Mar 05, 2017 at 01:18 PM
DonGut
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Yellowstone is a Winter Wonderland...Various Critters, Landscapes


Love that scenery and it's many inhabitants. Well done.
Don



Mar 05, 2017 at 01:58 PM
AGeoJO
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Yellowstone is a Winter Wonderland...Various Critters, Landscapes


Wonderful images, and very enjoyable images, Richard!

Joshua



Mar 05, 2017 at 02:00 PM
cohenfive
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Yellowstone is a Winter Wonderland...Various Critters, Landscapes


Thanks gang. Glad you enjoy my sharing the story and the pics. I think my pictures are often more about telling the story of the experience even if they aren't always 'perfect'. While I might have liked better light conditions for photos, the trip was so much fun and there was so much to take in, it didn't really matter to me that some of the pics weren't what they might have been...of course the sun was coming out when we were leaving, but then again the park was also closing for 6 weeks that same day.

As for the trip, if you don't mind cold it really is a pretty easy place to go to in winter. Bozeman airport is about 90 minutes away, and you can bring your own car to the northern part of the park which they keep plowed. That gives you access to Lamar valley where most of the wolf action seems to be in winter, at least that which can be observed. The other part of the park is a bit more of a big deal since the only way down is via snow coach, and there is only one hotel open.

Thanks again. I'll see if I have any other pics worth posting.




Edited on Mar 05, 2017 at 03:14 PM · View previous versions



Mar 05, 2017 at 02:45 PM
JSW3
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Yellowstone is a Winter Wonderland...Various Critters, Landscapes


Well done. Thanks for sharing


Mar 05, 2017 at 03:10 PM
cohenfive
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Yellowstone is a Winter Wonderland...Various Critters, Landscapes


Adding one more landscape, pretty eery looking in the early morning cold, clouds, sun and geothermal driven fog...




Mar 07, 2017 at 10:04 PM
kdacharya
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Yellowstone is a Winter Wonderland...Various Critters, Landscapes


lovely shots, Richard.


Mar 07, 2017 at 10:31 PM
mogul
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Yellowstone is a Winter Wonderland...Various Critters, Landscapes


Great shots....by the way, your trout is a Brown Trout, like the Rainbow is an invasive species.


Mar 08, 2017 at 01:03 AM
cohenfive
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Yellowstone is a Winter Wonderland...Various Critters, Landscapes


Thanks! Interesting, our guide didn't mention brown trout as one of the species in the park...but then again, this was north of the park in Gardiner. It didn't look like a cutthroat or rainbow but that's what he said it was likely to be. I just learned something.


Mar 08, 2017 at 02:01 AM
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