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Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park, Middle geyser basin
Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, sunset
Mammoth Hot Springs Sunset

Yellowstone National Park was established on March 1, 1872, Yellowstone is the first and oldest national park in the world and has been a blueprint for National Parks set up worldwide ever since . Preserved within Yellowstone are Old Faithful Geyser and some 10,000 hot springs and geysers, the majority of the planet's total. These geothermal wonders are evidence of one of the world's largest active volcanoes; its last eruption created a crater or caldera that spans almost half of the park.

An outstanding mountain wildland with clean water and air, Yellowstone is home of the grizzly bear and wolf, and free-ranging herds of bison and elk. It is the core of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is one of the largest intact temperate zone ecosystems remaining on the planet.

Yellowstone’s grand vistas, huge mountains, deep canyons, roaring rivers, expansive lush meadows, high plains and abundant wildlife have been attracting photographers and sightseers from all over the world since William Henry Jackson sent home the first photos in 1871.

Below I have listed a few of Yellowstone’s embarrassment of riches and provided links to the thumbnails but these barely scratch the surface of what is the comprehensive Yellowstone National Park.

Human History: The human history of the park dates back 12,000 years. The events of the last 130 years of park history are reflected in the historic structures and sites associated with various periods of park administration and visitor facilities of essay         

Elk grazing as Olf Faithful erupts in Yellowstone National Park
elk grazing on a warm winter day as Old Faithful blows

Geothermal Features: With half of the earth’s geothermal features, Yellowstone holds the planet’s most diverse and intact collection of geysers, hot springs, mudpots, and fumaroles. Its more than 300 geysers make up two thirds of all those found on earth. Combine this with more than 10,000 thermal features comprised of brilliantly colored hot springs, bubbling mudpots, and steaming fumaroles, and you have a place like no other. Geyserland, fairyland, wonderland, through the years, all have been used to describe the natural wonder and magic of this unique park that contains more geothermal features than any other place on earth. Yellowstone’s vast collection of thermal features provides a constant reminder of the park’s recent volcanic past. Indeed, the caldera provides the setting that allows such features as Old Faithful to exist and to exist in such great concentrations. -------------------> Rest of essay

Wolves eating buffalo in Yellowstone National Park
Wolf eating bison,, Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone WildlifeYellowstone is widely considered to be the finest megafauna wildlife habitats in the lower 48 states. Animals found in the park include the majestic American bison (buffalo), grizzly bear, black bear, elk, moose, mule deer, pronghorn, wolverine, bighorn sheep and mountain lion (puma). The Yellowstone Lake Cutthroat Trout is a highly sought after trophy fish by anglers yet has been threatened in recent years by the suspicious introduction of lake trout that compete for spawning grounds and are known to consume smaller cutthroat trout.

A controversial decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (which oversees threatened and endangered species, is the recent reintroduction of wolves into the park's ecosystem. For many years the wolves were hunted and harassed until they become locally extinct in the 1930s. The smaller cousin of the wolf, the coyote, then became the park's top predator. However, the coyote is not able to bring down any large animal in the park and the result of this lack of a top predator on these populations was a marked increase in lame and sick megafauna. Since the reintroduction of wolves in the late 1990s this trend has started to reverse. More about Yellowstone's Wildlife

The Yellowstone Fires of 1988

Yellowstone Fire
Yellowstone Fire of 1988

Fire is good; Yellowstone has long been shaped by fire and not just the cool, creeping ground fires often described as "good" for grass production. The natural history of fire in the park includes large-scale conflagrations sweeping across the park's vast volcanic plateaus, hot, wind-driven fires torching up the trunks to the crowns of the pine and fir trees at several hundred-year intervals. It is supposed to be this way. During the first half of the twentieth century, most people, forest managers included considered forest fires to be destructive and without positive value. For this reason, Yellowstone and throughout the National Park Service had a policy of putting out all fires on national interest wildlands lands. In the second half of the century, forest managers of national parks and forests began to understand the importance of periodic wildland fires. With the help of Smokey the Bear most of America was in consensus that all wildfires were bad. Most Americans steeped in Smokey the Bear's "Only you can prevent forest fires!" mantra, the very thought that forest fires might have a positive side seemed preposterous. We all learned this as children and it is damned hard to change, as our indoctrination to this policy was total. Unfortunately man’s past practice of total forest fire suppression has changed the forest into a much shadier forest floor habitat causing heavy fuel accumulation on the forest floor resulting in the very hot forest fires we see lately that result in maximum loss of the forest. The Natural Burn Policy The National Park Service interprets its mission as letting natural processes play out unimpeded by man. Biologists and park managers have defined its policy: "We allow a park that has documented the role of fire as a natural part of the ecosystem, and that has an approved fire-management plan specifying the prescriptions under which natural fires may burn, to manage each fire on an individual basis.".....................  Read rest of essay

Fly-fishing the Madison River in Yellowstone National Park
Fishermen try their luck on the Madison River

Yellowstone Fishing: Yellowstone National Park is managed to protect cultural and natural resources and outstanding scenery, and to provide for visitor use. Angling has been a major visitor activity for over a century. Present regulations reflect the park's primary purposes of resource protection and visitor use....................... More about fishing

Yellowstone; a science laboratory

The Yellowstone Super Volcano: The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO) was created as a partnership among the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Yellowstone National Park, and University of Utah to strengthen the long-term monitoring of volcanic and earthquake unrest in the Yellowstone National Park region. Yellowstone is the site of the largest and most diverse collection of natural thermal features in the world and the first National Park.

Volcanic History Overview: The Yellowstone Plateau volcanic field developed through three volcanic cycles spanning two million years that included some of the world's largest known eruptions. Eruption of the Huckleberry Ridge Tuff about 2.1 million years ago created the more than 75-km-long Island Park caldera. The second cycle concluded with the eruption of the Mesa Falls Tuff around 1.3 million years ago, forming the 16-km-wide Henrys Fork caldera at the western end of the first caldera. Activity subsequently shifted to the present Yellowstone Plateau and culminated 640,000 years ago with the eruption of the Lava Creek Tuff and the formation of the present 45 x 85 km caldera. Resurgent doming subsequently occurred at both the NE and SW sides of the caldera and voluminous intracaldera rhyolitic lava flows were erupted between 150,000 and 70,000 years ago. No magmatic eruptions have occurred since the late Pleistocene, but large phreatic eruptions took place near Yellowstone Lake during the Holocene. Yellowstone is presently the site of one of the world's largest hydrothermal systems including Earth's largest concentration of geysers. ...................Rest of essay

Thermophile microbe researchers in Yellowstone
Thermophile microbe researchers in Yellowstone

Yellowstone Microbiology Research: Yellowstone National Park is a focal point for cutting-edge microbiology research and how it provides a valuable setting for outreach education. extremophiles, microbe diversity and evolution are studied here. Scientists who study extreme environments are drawn to Yellowstone because it contains more active geothermal features than any other location on the planet. Those features are also very diverse.. Geothermal environments are obviously very hot, but they offer a variety of chemical extremes, some of which are relevant to applications in bioenergy and bioprocessing.

Researchers looking at bacterial mats in Yellowstone’s thermal pools discovered a new species that uses chlorophyll to convert the sun’s energy into chemical energy.

Scientists found the bacteria, called Candidatus Chloracidobacterium termophilum, in Octopus and Mushroom springs and the Green Finger Pool, not far from Old Faithful. The bacterium grows best in temperatures between 120 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit and could help researchers drastically increase production of biofuels.................... Rest of essay

thermal feature hot spring, blue water, orange bactaria, Yellowstone National Park
Hot springs and thermophile bacteria, create pretty colors


I have had the pleasure of living in the Greater Yellowstone Region since 1987 and I find new things every time I venture into the park. When I am not there I still marvel about the Yellowstone that comes to me via newspaper and computer. Dynamic is and understatement for a place that can both blow us up because of it’s volcanic nature or cure our cancer oddly enough because how its volcanic nature produces microbes that are pivotal in medical research.

As I photographer I find the place and its critters pure magic. As an inquisitor of life I find Yellowstone dynamics is pure fascination. As a fly-fisherman Yellowstone has proven to be Nirvana.

Daryl L. Hunter • Publisher - Greater Yellowstone Resource Guide


7 Point Ranch

7 Point Ranch offers the comforts of home on the banks of the legendary fly-fishing destination, The Yellowstone River.  The lodge is a repurposed trophy home, not as a bed and breakfast, but better.

The well-appointed rooms have shared common living rooms and kitchens for the guests. You won’t experience that “trapped in a hotel” feeling because you have a living room and kitchen at the end of the hall stocked with some food items and coffee.

Lodge hosts Cheryl and Howard Jones are extremely helpful and full of Information. Cheryl’s hobby is keeping up with wildlife activity in Yellowstone and is a wealth of information about where to see the critters. She also can be hired to show them to you.   More info

7 Point Ranch


Yellowstone-landscape-wildlife - Images by Daryl Hunter
Yellowstone News

Tribal Nations sign historic treaty for sacred Grizzly Bear

On Sunday (10/2/16), Native American Tribes from the U.S. and Canada convened at Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park to sign a historic treaty to pledge their dedication to protecting the Grizzly bear. Tribes across both countries are angry after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in March proposed removing the Grizzly bear from the federal endangered species list, which would allow the three states to manage the bears and allow hunting.

The treaty entitled, “The Grizzly: A Treaty of Cooperation, Cultural Revitalization and Restoration,” offers innovative and sweeping reforms to hostile management of the states that are poised to wrest control of the fate of Yellowstone’s Grizzly bears if, as expected, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) removes Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections from the Great Bear (“delisting”) later this year. The long battle pits tribes and environmental groups against ranchers and state officials who argue that there are too many bears in the Yellowstone region and they constitute a threat to public safety. ..........................   Rest Of  Article


Montana, Wyoming and Idaho Game ad Fish's plan to screw the grizzlies

Wyoming, Montana and Idaho officials contend that federal wildlife managers are overstepping their authority by requiring that grizzly bear hunting regulations be put in place before final “delisting” of the species. The directors of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Idaho Department of Fish and Game and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks jointly urged the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to do away with a focus on hunting in a proposed grizzly delisting rule that’s now on the table. ....... Jackson Hole News and Gude article here.

Montana, Wyoming and Idaho Game ad Fish's protest to get rid of federal oversight so they can kill grizzlies as they see fit...........  Read PDF Here

Momma grizzly, baby grizzly, swimming, grizzly sow, and cub
Grizzly 399 and her cub swimming in roadside pond
Wyoming's Grizzly Harvest

Wyoming's Grizzly Harvest
A preview of the book authored by R. Bear Stands Last.

Discover why Wyoming should not be entrusted with the future survival of the Great Bear in Wyoming's Grizzly Harvest - The Story the State Wants to Bury With the Bears

Wyoming's Grizzly Harvest is excerpted from the forthcoming book Adrift on Yellowstone Island. GOAL has arranged for this excerpt to be provided to you FREE as the grizzly's fate outweighs commercial concerns.

Until April 14, you have the opportunity to comment on Wyoming's draft 2016 Grizzly Bear Management Plan. Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WFGD) representatives are currently traveling statewide to sell the plan and WGFD's ability to "manage" grizzlies post-delisting to you.

Read exerpt

Partisan Scientists in Public Service I: The Strange Case of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team

(Pull Qoute) Interestingly enough, Chris Servheen has a doctorate in wildlife ecology. Moreover, the IGBST scientists at the time, led by Dr. Charles Schwartz, were deeply involved with and fully complicit in, not only putting together the 2007 delisting Rule, but also in crafting court briefs. In other words, ignorance or lack of education can't be plausibly invoked as an explanation for why the government scientists involved in authoring the 2007 Rule so egregiously misrepresented the relevant science................. rest of article!Partisan-Scientists-in-Public-Service-I-The-Strange-Case-of-the-Interagency-Grizzly-Bear-Study-Team/c1ou2/56fd9f780cf2b279cdbaa208
Yellowstone Grizzly Bear

A Protective Firewall For Grizzlies

The delisting of the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear is imminent and this we should celebrate (''''dancing''''). Now that our happy dance is complete, we must ensure the grizzlies' recovery is permanent. To ensure "continuity of achievement," the grizzlies need a firewall to protect the success of this achievement from human foible.

The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee was formed in 1983 to help ensure recovery of viable grizzly bear populations and their habitat in the lower 48 states through interagency coordination of policy, planning, management, and research. Many people have been working on this recovery for decades, for some; it has been most of their career. I can understand why the delisting of the grizzly before their retirement is their goal. A metaphorical gold watch if you will.

Many will argue differently,............................. Rest of Article

Blondie the Grizzly Bear and her three cubs
Blondie the Grizzly Sow and her three cubs, where these four bears roam in the Teton Wilderness is likely to open to hunting someday soon, this must not happen.

Yellowstone roadside grizzlies worth rangers' hassle???

Yellowstone visitors would pay an additional $41 to ensure seeing roadside grizzlies, a study shows, and the attraction creates 155 jobs and more than $10 million a year for the regional economy. The $41 visitors would pay is on top of the $25-per-vehicle entrance fee. If Yellowstone no longer allowed grizzly bears to use roadside habitat — and instead chased, moved or killed them — the regional economy would lose more than $10 million a year and 155 jobs according to the paper "The economics of roadside bear viewing."............................Rest of story

Helpful ebook for photographers

The Grand Teton Photo and Field Guide is an encapsulation of the flora, fauna, and photography of Jackson Hole Wyoming and Grand Teton National Park. Also included are thumbnails of the history and geology of the valley. This book is for all visitors with a desire to seek out wildlife, photograph the landscape, or merely learn about the history, geology, and lay of the land of Grand Teton National Park. The author provides general overviews including hot links with more in-depth descriptions of subjects of individual interest.

In the “Lay of the Land” section, includes the obvious highlights along the loop through Grand Teton Park. Hot links to side roads will give you more in-depth description of side roads and feeder roads and their highlights. Also included are descriptions of all two-rut roads that are legal to travel on in Grand Teton Park. GPS links to Google Maps are provided throughout.

As a field guide, profiles of most of animals and birds in the area are described. Jackson Hole is full of wildlife but there are places where animals are, and there are places where they are not. It is a waste of time to scrutinize a landscape devoid of what you are looking for, so this guide narrows options down to the hot spots. I provide maps of the likeliest places to find the popular critters of Grand Teton National Park. I also touch on trees, shrubs, and wildflowers with minimal explanations.  

The grandeur of Grand Teton Park has made it one of the most photographed places in the world. The opportunity to harness multiple juxtapositional elements has drawn photographers for over a century since William Henry Jackson took the first photos here in 1878. Grand Teton Park’s plethora of famous vistas are profiled as well as many which are less clichéd that can bring new perspectives of a well-documented landscape. Grand Tetons’ iconic landscape photo opportunities are described in detail; however, they barely scratch the surface of opportunities as it takes a photographer with an artist’s eye to unveil as they follow their own intuition and vision.  The author who shies away from clichéd landscapes provides a chapter of his favorite places that aren’t landscape clichés.

In the photography section the author includes chapters on composition, exposure basics, when to shoot and why. Daryl has summarized what he teaches in his, half day, Grand Teton workshops in a simple concise way.

If you are only in Grand Teton Park for a day there is a chapter called the “Portfolio Packer Morning Trip,” that does just that, all the icons and several favorite places in a five our blitz.  But it is better to spend more time and dig deep into the embarrassment of riches of Grand Teton National Park................. More Info