Earlier this month, we had the wonderful pleasure of spending 10 days out west in several of the National Parks. I had only ever been to these parks once as a teenager, and Bryn had never had the opportunity, so needless to say the thought of the crisp autumn air and some of the best landscapes our country has to offer left us giddy with anticipation. The trip, all 3,000 miles of it, couldn’t have been better, or for that matter more diverse. From driving through snow in Yellowstone, to 90 degree temps along the mighty Colorado River, from majestic elk to tourist-fat chipmunks, from the glacial beauty of the Grand Tetons to the heart-stopping drop-off at Horseshoe Bend – it was all spectacular.
All in all, we shot 4,200 images including over 100 panoramas. So, over the next week or so, as I edit, I’ll be sharing with you some of our favorite images from the trip, along with some thoughts about visiting each park around this time of year – starting today with the northern bits of Yellowstone National Park. We’ll have plenty of HD wallpaper free for the taking, and we’ll be doing limited custom runs of several of these images if you are interested in purchasing a print (more details at our fine art website). And one more note – I certainly can’t go on without thanking the good folks at Canon who lent us a 600mm F4 lens for the trip – it’s a tremendous lens and allowed me to capture pictures (such as the photo at the top of this post) that I simply couldn’t get with our current equipment. Thanks Ben!
So, let’s get started! Our trip began with a flight into Denver and a 14.5 hour drive (including more than a few generous stops) to Mammoth Hot Springs in the Northwestern corner of Yellowstone. We entered the park through the Cody, WY entrance, and luckily got through the pass less than an hour before they shut it down due to accumulating snow – something that is quite fun in a RWD Mustang with all season tires… But we made it in safe and sound, had a warm meal and settled into the historic old hotel at Mammoth. The next morning we awoke bright and early and set out exploring the northern part of Yellowstone, doing so over the next two days.
Autumn in Yellowstone is simply beautiful. Though the trees are mostly conifers, you’ll find an occasional cluster of color to accompany the now golden grasses of the valleys. We were even treated to a fresh dusting of snow and some frosty bison on our first morning. The hot springs themselves were pretty spectacular, though the boardwalks proved more suited to ice skating than walking in the early morning shadows. It seemed to me that the wildlife was pretty active – especially the angst-laden 13 point bull elk that had taken up residence on the Mammoth Hotel campus. Lamar Valley was perhaps my favorite part of the park – with its expansive grasslands polka-dotted with herds of elk and antelope, and large numbers of bison. We even saw a couple of shy black bears. On our second morning, just as the sun was rising and before many people were out, we even found ourselves in a bison traffic jam – and for about 10 minutes we drove along, making a little headway here and there amongst the herd as they slowly made their way down the road. It was quite to enchanting experience.
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Interested in buying some of our fine art photography or just want to see some more of our work? Check out our Out West collection at our site: http://fineart.deremerstudios.com
Autumn in the National Parks – Yellowstone North
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