Since Yellowstone was closed, we got this spring map to wildlife viewing around West Yellowstone and decided to give the drive around the lake a shot.
We started with a stop by Earthquake Lake, formed by a landslide during an earthquake in 1959. This giant boulder was thrown from one side of the valley to the other and is now a memorial to the people who died in the disaster.
Names of the people who died, most were tourists camping and staying along the river (now lake).
Earthquake lake and the skeletons of old trees that used to line this once-river.
It had snowed a few days prior so we were enjoying the views at about 25 degrees. Brr.
Snow and clearing skies.
And old cabin at a resort destroyed by the quake in 1959.
Steam rising off the lake on this cold morning.
Resort destroyed by the quake in 1959.
On our drive north the road cut through an unclosed portion of Yellowstone. This bull moose was kind enough to make an appearance! Not the greatest pic, but I shot it handheld at 200mm in a moving car, so I am quite pleased!
Bull Moose in yellowstone
The official rules said no stopping in the park due to the shutdown, but we stopped for the bull moose.
Mr Moose don't care 'bout no government shutdown.
Up in Big Sky, we first hiked to Ousel Falls for a nice waterfall view.
This hike reminded me a bit of Arkansas.
Along the river
Ousel Falls ice formations
Next, we drove up to Beehive Basin for a hike with some views. I am used to black bears, not these beasts! Yikes!
Hiking through the fresh but rapidly melting snow!
Beehive Basin Hike
Beehive Basin Hike. The trail was so muddy thanks to the melting snow.
Beehive Basin Hike with Lone Mountain behind us.
Looking north through Beehive Basin
I think that's Sphinx Mountain on the right
Soooo muddy. Happy for my goretex hikers.
After the hike we had a late lunch at the brewery in Big Sky (Lone Mountain brewing). The beer wasn't bad.
I ordered the prime rib sandwich for lunch, assuming it would be a shaved french dip style. Nope, full prime rib on a garlic roll. Hello yum.
We decided to wander around Bozeman a bit for the afternoon, found this nice local watering hole before heading back to West Yellowstone for the night.