Wyoming:Yellowstone – White Out

by Funhog Family on April 28, 2012

Dad It Smells

We were told Yellowstone may be all snowed in, so it was great news to hear the northern entrance would be opening the day we arrived. There was no snow except on the mountain tops and the temperatures were in the high 60s. The kids loved all the wildlife, and we loved the lack of crowds. We are firm believers that the off season is the only season for seeing America’s National Parks. The elk and buffalo sightings were abundant as we drove around the park. In our camp we had elk walking around. A ranger aggravated them a little to get them out of the road, so they took their aggression out on a nearby tent by head butting and trampling it. That night it rained hard, and by morning the snow had begun. All day it snowed, and as we climbed in elevation the road conditions deteriorated. On our way to see the Lower Falls we were in an almost complete white out as the snow made the road disappear. We made it though and were rewarded with seeing the falls in the snowfall and being the only people there. Old Faithful was our next stop, and as it was lower in elevation we eventually dropped below the snow line. It continued to snow all day but did not stick. While driving we kept our eyes open for bear, and we are sure plenty of them saw us, but we never saw them. It got pretty comical as it seemed there were bear sightings everywhere except where we were. One ranger almost guaranteed us that we would see a bear if we walked the two and half mile road to Tower Falls that was closed to traffic. It seems that everyone who had done that hike had a bear walking with them on the road!!! I really was not up for a five mile hike with the kids, in the weather and with the possibility of fending off a hungry bear. However, we did get a chance to see a snow hare in the snow, a yellow-bellied marmot, and a marten (looks like weasel). We also saw plenty of crazy people getting really close to the buffalo eating grass along the roads. I learned my lesson with buffalo years ago when I was feeding one at a petting zoo and he almost rearranged my internal organs as he headbutted the fence between us. I give wildlife a wide berth these days and enjoy them from a distance.
Old Faithful was a hit with everyone in spite of the hour long wait. We also enjoyed a short, very windy and cold hike to Middle Geyser. The water was almost as beautiful as you see in the pictures with orange, green and blue hues. The park is so large we could not explore it all, for though we planned for a couple more days, half the roads were closed as well as all the campgrounds but one (Mammoth). And the forecast was for snow over the next three days. So, we headed west out of the park and into Idaho for our next adventure…

Snowy

Wide Open

Beautiful

Cheese

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Diane Tuten April 28, 2012 at 7:36 am

YNP looked awesome. Your adventures were GREAT! Glad the bears missed you!

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Ryan Moore April 28, 2012 at 4:02 pm

We were glad to have met you guys at the Hells Half Acre rest stop in Idaho. Your trip sounds like so much fun. It is refreshing seeing a family that loves spending time with each other. You guys inspired us and we hope to be able to have our own epic adventure some day. Travel safe.

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Funhog Family April 28, 2012 at 6:33 pm

It was great meeting your family Ryan. You and Dianna have two very cool little boys! Thanks again for the climbing beta.

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ken hawkins April 28, 2012 at 5:04 pm

I’m glad about the bears too. I always like a fence between me and them.

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