• Kevin Esser

Yellowstone NP, part I

After 4 hours of driving from Twin Falls, we arrived in West Yellowstone, Montana. This is a small and touristy town, right next to the Yellowstone National Park entrance.


Yellowstone National Park is the oldest national park in the world. With 8987 km² area it is one of the largest national parks in the United States. 96 percent of the park are located in Wyoming, 3 percent in Montana and 1 percent in Idaho. Yellowstone is best known for its geothermal springs such as geysers and mud pots, as well as its wildlife such as bisons, bears and wolves. In 1978, UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site.


We were greeted by a Bison (Bison bison) and a fantastic scenery. An Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) had chosen the top of a tree as a lookout point.


Bison bison - American Bison
Bison bison - American Bison
Sunrise Scenery
Sunrise Scenery
Pandion haliaetus - Osprey
Pandion haliaetus - Osprey

Together with many other people, we watched the most famous geyser Old Faithful errupt and walked along a boardwalk trail in the Upper Geyser Basin.


Old Faithful
Old Faithful
Heart Spring
Heart Spring
Spasmodic Geyser
Spasmodic Geyser

Although night temperatures were already down to 0°C (32°F) and the trail was pretty crowded, we saw a Wandering Garter Snake (Thamnophis elegans vagrans) close to Firehole River. The bluish eyes indicate the forthcoming shedding of the skin.



Wandering Garter Snake in its habitat
Wandering Garter Snake in its habitat
Thamnophis elegans vagrans - Wandering Garter Snake
Thamnophis elegans vagrans - Wandering Garter Snake
Firehole River
Firehole River
Crested Pool
Crested Pool
Morning Glory Pool
Morning Glory Pool