The road less travelled

The road less travelled

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Tower Fall and Lamar Valley

As I said before we had a day off and we wanted to do some exploring in this area. We get so many questions about the area or people tell us that they went to a certain area and we wanted to be more informed.

So first off we went to Tower Fall. The falls that is near our store. It is a short 150 yard walk to the over look. The falls got its name because of the pinnacles near it. It drops 137 feet.
Tower Fall
At the overlook there is a 1/4 mile hike down to the Yellowstone River. There is another falls overlook down that trail but it is closed because it had washed out a couple of years ago. So we did the short hike and had some great views of the river.
A view of the Yellowstone river
Another view near the bottom of the trail.

After that we went to find the Lamar Valley. We have been hearing about a lot of animal sightings there and we just had to check it out. But on the way we stopped at Calcite Springs, not far from the store. There was a lot of traffic there so we figured there was an animal sighting. Sure enough, there was a bear. We didn't get a good picture of him but got a picture of the springs.
Calcite springs
I don't know if you can see from the photo, but in the bottom left near the river there is a thermal vent.

We then turned into the Lamar valley. We heard there was a wolf den near Slough Creek so that is where we headed next.
The Lama Valley
The Lamar Valley is home to one of the largest Buffalo herds in Yellowstone. This valley is huge. We found the spot where the wolf den was but it was midday and the pups were down for their naps. There are people with spotting scopes and binoculars that will sit there for hours just to get a glimpse of them. We are not that die hard so we looked, didn't see them and moved on. Besides, we have seen wolves in zoo's and on TV, right?

Next stop was Ice Box Canyon. It is a small narrow canyon that never gets complete sunshine in it. So the snow and ice never melt. The ice had a blue sheen to it that reminded us of glacial ice.
Mountain view 
We then decided to head to Cooke City, Montana. One of the perks of this job is that we get free entrance into Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. We can come and go as much as we please. So we had lunch in this quaint little mountain town. There is not really a lot there but a few shops and small cafes.
Downtown Cooke City
After lunch we went back into the park. Headed towards Mammoth Hot Springs to see Kendra. On the way there was a stop for a petrified redwood tree. It is unusual because the tree is still standing upright. Most have been knocked over.
Petrified Redwood  from another age
We met Kendra at Mammoth Hot Springs. She is working for the same company we are but in Mammoth. I was going to include some photos of our little walking tour of the hot spring but it would just be a partial look at it so I will wait and do that another day.
Elk in Mammoth
There are Elk right in the area of Mammoth. Kendra calls them annoying because of the traffic jams they can cause.

I said earlier that Tower Fall is known for its bear activity. There is a momma bear with two cubs that live in the area. We see her nearly every day and the little cubs are pretty cute. There is also a male in the area.

This was the male on the road out of our campground. So we don't walk anywhere without our bear spray. 

So that is it for our one day off. We got two days off now so we will do more exploring. Stay tuned.


  1. Great pics - sounds like an awesome day! Keep all the info coming - I'm taking notes! Our current co-workers have worked in Yellowstone many times and LOVE it there! Bill and I are thinking maybe 2018 - although it's still far away - who knows?

  2. I would love to see all the wildlife. Keep scoping it out, we might want to spend a summer there sometime.

    1. You can only see so many buffalo and elk in your lifetime. After so many its like looking at a squirrel or something.