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Montana blogger creates map guide to Yellowstone Park day hikes

With all signs pointing to a busy summer in Yellowstone National Park—possibly even a record year for visitation—the best way to avoid the crowds will be to park your car and hit the trail. Which is exactly how Montana hiker and blogger Jake Bramante spent his summer last year. After spending 40 days in 2015 hiking, documenting and rating dozens of trails in Yellowstone, Bramante has released a comprehensive topographic map covering 65 day hikes in nearly every corner of the park. Continue Reading →

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Mr. Bubbles: Soaking in a natural Yellowstone hot tub

Alyssa Ammen and Ben Griffith soak in Mr. Bubbles in Yellowstone National Park. Mr.Bubbles is one of the rare places you can soak in Yellowstone because it’s not a thermal feature. Hot water from thermal features nearby mixes with the cold river water.

I leaned over the water with trepidation, looking at the bubbles gurgling from the middle of the pool. I put my hand over the water, straining to feel how much heat it emitted. Then I put in my toe. My hiking partners and I knew Mr. Bubbles was one of the few places in Yellowstone National Park you can soak without being boiled alive. Continue Reading →

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Hiking Jackson Hole’s other iconic peak

The Grand Teton often dominates photos of Jackson’s skyline. But Sheep Mountain, more commonly known as the Sleeping Indian because of the naturally-carved headdress, distinct nose and belly the mountain forms, is Jackson’s second most recognizable peak. There you can fully take in the grandeur of the Tetons across the valley. You’ll likely have the views all to yourself because Grand Teton National Park draws most visitors in the area. Those who hike the Sleeping Indian are usually locals that know the area well. Continue Reading →

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Fall field trips in Yellowstone focus on dueling elk, gorging grizzlies

Fall in Yellowstone National Park is beautiful, as the colors change and paint the park in blazes of red, orange and yellow. But it's also the time to catch bull elk sparring for mates and grizzly bears gorging before hibernation, all without the traffic or crowds of summer. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone’s Mirror Plateau: A world away from the boardwalks

At an elevation of about 9,000 feet and 3.5 miles from an established trail, Mirror Lake on Yellowstone’s Mirror Plateau is one of the park’s more remote destinations. (Bradly J. Boner/WyoFile — click to enlarge)

There are so many things in Yellowstone National Park that can make you feel physically small — the roaring waterfalls, geysers spraying more than 100 feet in the air and bison as big as a small car. But it is in the backcountry that you not only feel small, but also insignificant, a speck in a world that seems to expand into an immeasurable vastness. I’d never heard of the Mirror Plateau until I read about it in an outdoor magazine last winter. I was intrigued by the idea of the isolation within a place that draws millions of visitors each year. It isn’t just rugged; it’s trail-less. It isn’t just obscure; it’s unknown to most people. It isn’t just untrammeled; overnight travel is limited to only several weeks in the summer and 14 total permits. Continue Reading →

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A backcountry bike ride to Yellowstone Park’s Lone Star Geyser

A day trip to Lone Star Geyser in Yellowstone National Park is a short and pleasant day hike or a fun bike ride, and a great way to spend some time off the beaten path. The path to Lone Star Geyser follows the Firehole River for the five-mile round trip, passing through green meadows and wildflowers that line the trail, an old road now closed to vehicles. Lone Star Geyser erupts about every three hours, with a few smaller, minor eruptions occurring before the major eruption. The major burst can last for up to 3o minutes, and ends in a strong steam phase. When you arrive at the geyser, check the log book to see if anyone recorded any recent eruptions so you'll know when it's likely to blow again, and feel free to enter details about what you see to help other visitors. Continue Reading →

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Guided Yellowstone hikes with naturalist offer chance to see park’s backcountry

Yellowstone hikes — Lamar Valley

Yellowstone National Park visitors who want to experience the park's backcountry but perhaps aren't ready for a series of Yellowstone hikes on their own can join "the 2 percent" this summer on a Trails Through Yellowstone package from the Yellowstone Park Foundation. A couple of popular statistics often cited about travel in Yellowstone Park are that less than 2 percent of visitors venture more than 100 yards from a paved road or boardwalk and that only 2 percent of the park is accessible by paved road. Either way, if you want to be among the elite 2 percent who take Yellowstone hikes into the park's backcountry, you'll have to park the car and venture out. Continue Reading →

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Enjoy one of the best hikes in Yellowstone Park: “It’s a Hell roarer!”

For a spectacular late spring hike in Yellowstone National Park, the Hellroaring Creek Trail is not to be missed. For some moderate effort, you will be rewarded with incredible scenery, wildflower-filled meadows and exceptional birding — as well as the possibility of encountering some of Yellowstone's famed large mammals. Hellroaring Creek was named in the 1860's by A.H. Hubble, part of a group of prospectors searching for gold in Yellowstone country. During their expedition, Hubble ventured ahead of his party to scout the area. When he returned to his group, he was asked what kind of creek lay ahead and he replied: "It's a hellroarer." The name stuck, and for good reason. Continue Reading →

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Grand Teton serenity, history and philanthropy at the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve

My favorite place to visit in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem is the Laurance S. Rockefeller (LSR) Preserve, a refuge of slightly more than 1,000 acres within Grand Teton National Park, located on the southern end of Phelps Lake. The area belonged to the Rockefeller family and was called the JY Ranch, and was donated to the National Park Service in 2001. Continue Reading →

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