I think Yellowstone National Park is my favorite place in the world, and since it is only a 5 hour drive from our home, we visit several times each year. When we arrived in the third weekend of April, most of the roads through Yellowstone had just opened for the year, but lodges and most other services were closed. One road, to Tower Falls, was open to foot traffic only, so my husband (=photographer who took all the photos!!) and I walked to Tower Falls from Roosevelt Lodge (5 mile round trip). This road takes you along the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and the vistas were magnificent! 

View up Yellowstone river near Tower

Click on Read More to see more Yellowstone photos.


We saw bison, elk, deer but particularly enjoyed some of the less conspicuous wildlife, like this litte female junco. I was pretty taken be her delicate colors!



This little Richardson's Ground Squirrel strongly and vocally objected to having two giant humans walk by.  During the 3+ hours we lingered on this walk, we saw perhaps a dozen other people. 

alarming Richardsons ground squirrel


These massive cliff walls were were so inspiring, especially to this knitter: the texture of that cap of basalt columns...

blue veined cliffs YNP


And the veins of blue against the neutrals!

 blue vein in Yellowstone River cliff detail


 April is too early for most wildflowers at this elevation (~7000 feet), but some of the aspens were in bloom. The catkins were gently fluttering in the breeze.

aspen catkins


And near the end of our walk, we came across a mama black bear and her two frolicking cubs - they were such fun to watch (at a safe distance - 100 yards),

playing black bear cubs



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