American Northwest Trip, 2017: Around Yellowstone

This is a collection of miscellaneous photos from my visit to Yellowstone that didn’t fit into the themes of any of my previous posts, including various wildlife encounters, landmarks, scenic pullouts, and some buildings. The shots featured here run the gamut from the Montana to the Wyoming ends of the park.

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American Northwest Trip, 2017: Lamar Valley, Yellowstone

On my first day in Yellowstone National Park I detoured to Lamar Valley to take these photos before checking in to my hotel. Lamar Valley is supposed to be another prime wildlife viewing area, but in my case it proved to be less fruitful than Hayden Valley. Nevertheless, I did see a couple of bison herds here. On my way back out of the valley I stopped for a few shots of the Yellowstone River.

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American Northwest Trip, 2017: Hayden Valley, Yellowstone

These photos are from my visits to where the buffalo roam: Hayden Valley in Yellowstone National Park. There were herds of bison everywhere I looked—it’s easy to see why Hayden Valley is sometimes referred to as the American Serengeti. On a good day you can also see many other animals passing through the valley, but I wasn’t lucky enough to spot a wolf or bear. When shooting bison (or any wildlife) it’s helpful to have a good zoom lens because you definitely don’t want to get too close to them. They look mild-mannered enough but will charge you if they feel threatened. I saw some people with smartphones getting way too close for comfort.

I went a little nuts with the photos (what can I say, I love animals)—I took so many that it was quite a task to cull them down to the smaller batch I’m sharing here. I forgot to switch over to shutter priority for the action shots, so they’re not nearly as crisp as I would have liked, but I still managed to get some decent ones. In addition to the bison photos I captured some avian wildlife (including a great blue heron) and snapped a few landscapes along the Yellowstone River.

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American Northwest Trip, 2017: Wildlife Loop, Custer State Park

On the way to Mount Rushmore I detoured for several scenic drives, including Custer State Park’s Wildlife Loop, which takes you through rolling green hills reminiscent of the English countryside. For most of the drive I did not encounter much wildlife except for a lone antelope and a distant herd of bison, but toward the end I came upon a vast field of prairie dogs, antelope, and other animals. It’s a nice, pleasant drive, worth the diversion if you have the time.

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American Northwest Trip, 2017: The Movie

This compilation of the videos I shot on my trip last summer includes footage of Mount Hood, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Devils Tower, and drives through Shoeshone and Bighorn national forests, Spearfish Canyon, and Custer State Park. I sped up the driving videos for effect and time—I wasn’t really driving that fast. 🙂

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