Saturday, September 8, 2012

Northeast Yellowstone

After spending almost two days on the Chief Joseph and Beartooth Highways, I made my way through Cooke City and into Yellowstone National Park at the northeast entrance.

It was my first visit into that corner of the park and I was very impressed with it.  As a landscape photographer I had been underwhelmed with Yellowstone on my one prior visit.  I know, it seems wrong to say that Yellowstone is underwhelming.  However, as a landscape photographer, I find the Tetons, Glacier, and the Beartooth Highway much more to my liking.  Maybe it has something to do with the crowds.  Certainly the animals and the thermal features are spectacular, but the overall landscape was more rolling and the mountains seemed far away in most of the park.

The northeast corner is different.  Here the mountains surround you, then you enter the beautiful Lamar Valley and start to see the abundance of wildlife here.  The scenery here was outstanding and I enjoyed spending the morning making the drive into Roosevelt.  If I was to plan a Yellowstone trip to specifically stay in the park Roosevelt would be the spot. 


I was also lucky this morning as after a clear dawn it clouded up nicely on my way into the park giving me some soft light to work with.  I made several views of the deep valleys here in the northeast corner (see the top image).  I even saw a black bear from the car (the only way to see a bear in my book) but he was so far out my lame attempt at a photo is laughable.  I did see a great many bison in the Lamar Valley.  I can see why that area is popular with the wildlife photographers as it certainly offers up animals, great views, and easy access-even in winter.  In fact I have considered a winter Yellowstone trip and would certainly want to try to stay in Gardiner or Mammoth since this road is plowed and open to  drive.  

After this morning in the northeast corner, I have changed my mind and am much more impressed with the Yellowstone landscape.  I just had not been to the right part to appreciate it.

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