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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley in Winter

March 12th, 2012 · No Comments

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Yellowstone National Park is big, encompassing 3,472 square miles, bigger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined. In our three days in the park we went from the south entrance near Grand Teton National Park to the north entrance at Gardiner, Montana, a distance of about 100 miles (plus another 100 miles or so that we explored around the park).

For our third night in Yellowstone, our Mountain Outin’ tour stayed at the old Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel. From there we were able to explore Lamar Valley during our final day in the park.

Lamar Valley is in the remote northeast corner of Yellowstone. It’s known as one of the best places in the park to see wildlife. There we saw many more bison, a few more elk, and the first Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep that we had encountered in Yellowstone.

Food Must Be Down There Some Place!

Food Must Be Down There Some Place!

Click on the picture above to enlarge

Just where we turned around to leave Lamar Valley, one of members of our tour spotted some movement high on the hillside in front of us. It was the first Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep that we had seen on our tour of Yellowstone National Park. We have a lot of these Bighorn Sheep in Colorado, but this ram also had the largest horns I had ever seen on one.

A Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep in the Snow

A Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep in the Snow

Click on the picture above to enlarge

In a sense, this sighting of a Bighorn Sheep a little before 10 a.m. on March 3 completed our winter tour of Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and the National Elk Refuge. But I still had almost 1,000 miles to go to get back home. We took a coach to Salt Lake City, a distance of about 550 miles. There I caught a flight to Denver, about 400 more miles. Finally, I rode the bus for 40 miles from the airport to within 0.6 miles of my apartment in Boulder. It was a pleasant walk home after a long day that ended at midnight.

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