May 20 YNP

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Nikon_nerd
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:06 pm

May 20 YNP

Post by Nikon_nerd » Mon May 20, 2019 7:19 pm

Got a really late start into park (pm). Rain mixed with snow entire drive into park from about 20 miles outside of West Yellowstone. After entering park all along Madison river completely barren of any wildlife except for an occasional Canada Goose. While we were in GTNP (last week) we heard there was a sow hanging around in between Madison and Old Faithful. Since we went north from Madison yesterday and were skunked on grizzlies, we decided to investigate south from Madison and follow-up on the rumor we had heard while in GTNP. Steady rain falling as we turned south from the Madison junction. Drove through Firehole Canyon Drive, pretty but no fauna. Continued south. Shortly after we passed Midway Geyser Basin (proceding south) I noticed a large parking area to the west of the drive that was closed with some small signs posted. I wondered whether this was where the grizzly sow was spotted previously, but I did not pull over. We continued south until we got to Old Faithful. The rain and snow finally subsided. After a bathroom break we decided to head back north towards Madison. When I got to the previously mentioned closed parking lot (between Biscuit Basin and Midway Geyser Basin) I pulled in to read the signs. Sure enough, the area was closed due to recent grizzly activity. I don't want to get too political and too critical of the park management, but here is another example of the park management's unwillingness to accommodate photographers and tourists regarding grizzly bears. Many of us come to the parks to see the grizzlies. Why is the park making it so difficult for us to view them. Combine this with the closure of all the pullouts near where Obsidian was seen, and the potential hazing of Obsidian, and a picture is emerging of a Park Management that doesn't want to deal with the hassles of grizzly bear management at all.

We continued north back to Madison, and saw a large number of parked cars north of Midway Geyser Basin. This was near some very large meadows near the Mary Mountain observation point, just south of Nez Perce Creek. As we pulled forward we saw a large grizzly sow on the east side of the road with a single two-year old cub. They were at least 250 yards away from the road. They were digging for grubs or rodents. We pulled over to observe and photograph. Unfortunately, they continued to move farther away from the road. We took a few images, but they were really too far away. We watched them for about 30 minutes, but they continued to move further away from the road. This was about 4 pm. After they moved behind a few trees, we decided to get back in the car and continue our journey back to the hotel.

About 5 pm, the rain and snow started up again. On one mountain pass, the snow was even accumulating on the ground.

When we got back to the hotel, an opening in the sky appeared. Blue sky!

Tomorrows plan is to head to Canyon and Fishing Bridge in search of more grizzlies and whatever else pops up. Stay tuned.



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Nordwil
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Location: Massachusetts
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Re: May 20 YNP

Post by Nordwil » Tue May 21, 2019 5:37 am

Great reports, thanks! We'll be there on Thursday, planning to explore around the Lake area two days, Canyon for two more and then Cooke City and Mammoth one apiece. Sad to hear about the pullouts being closed, and the crowds at Tower sound worse every year! I guess as long as we can pull off (within the white line of course!) we'll make do!



Nikon_nerd
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:06 pm

Re: May 20 YNP

Post by Nikon_nerd » Tue May 21, 2019 6:28 pm

Rick,

Thanks for your comments. I wish you a successful trip.

NNerd



yellvet
Posts: 181
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:54 pm

Re: May 20 YNP

Post by yellvet » Tue May 21, 2019 6:42 pm

There are several areas in the Park that are bear management areas and they're often closed in the spring while the bear management folks are conducting research, tagging and counting bears. The bear management areas usually open sometime in June but sometimes later, depending on the level of bear activity in the area. The closure areas and opening dates are all posted at the Yellowstone Park website! So let's give Park management a break so bear management can do its job...pretty please? They do this not only for visitor safety but also to help protect and promote the safety and continued good health of the Yellowstone bear population. That's what we want, isn't it? Here's the link to Park's website page that has a map of all the bear management areas.

https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/ ... -areas.htm



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