20b gypsum further up trail

SNAP*Shot: Winter’s Sunrise

Sunrise is a good news/bad news scenario in wintry Yellowstone. The bad news is that it is extra cold before the sun comes up and winters in Yellowstone can be colder than -40° although -25° might be more usual. Still, that is pretty cold! So the good news? Well, the sun doesn’t come up until about 7:40am unlike summer when it rises at 5am! OK, later start time, colder weather–not a bad trade off since we can add layers. Let’s bundle up and head out. We’ll have breakfast when we get back.

Thirty minutes before sunrise, as the sky begins to brighten, we have gorgeous muted colors all along the western horizon. Be sure to keep your skin covered, it’s cold out here!


No slouching, let’s get out there . . .

20b gypsum further up trail

Rose Creek in Winter White

Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley is  a sparkling winter wonderland, and the Lamar Buffalo Ranch is an ideal mid-valley location with a bit of civilized warmth from the frigid winter surrounds. The ranch was instrumental in saving bison from extinction in this country in the early 1900’s. Today, although not open to the public,  the ranch hosts educational opportunities through the Yellowstone Forever Institute and the National Park Service’s Expedition Yellowstone.

Let’s walk up to where Rose Creek splits into three separate creeks as it races down into the valley to join the Lamar River. The trail is hard packed, but let’s put ice-traction cleats on our boots for safety. It is a little after 10am and about 8 degrees, but with no wind, it feels much warmer.  What a beautiful day! Don’t forget your sunglasses.

Let’s go . . .

20b gypsum further up trail

Naturalist’s View

Yellowstone Association, a non-profit partner of the National Park Service, is dedicated to educating us all on this amazing place called Yellowstone National Park. They offer seminars on a wide range of topics at their Yellowstone Institute, located at Lamar Buffalo Ranch. Not only do we get to learn surprising and interesting things about this vast land, but we get to stay at an historic location in the Serengeti of the West, Lamar Valley in the Northern Tier of Yellowstone. What an adventure today as our seminar group heads up into the mountains to see the only remaining wolf pens used for the 1995-96 reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone. Come, explore with us.sign-3

Continue our walk . . .