Today marks Yellowstone National Park’s 140th birthday! Yellowstone is practically in Bozeman’s backyard, so when I lived in Montana we made several trips to the park each year. It’s one of my favorite places and has such a diverse landscape within its borders. There are the geysers and thermal features, the soaring mountains, the forest-fire regrowth areas, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and Yellowstone Lake. One could spend months in the park and never see the same scene twice.
Before we moved to California last summer, we made one last trip, staying in cabins along Lake Yellowstone for a night. I set my alarm for the dark pre-dawn hours and dragged myself out for a dawn photo expedition. I headed straight for one of my favorite spots in the park, the Hayden Valley. I got some of my absolute favorite images from the park in that spot a few years earlier. And in the early morning hours, it did not disappoint.
After soaking in the serenity, I headed south back toward Lake Yellowstone, stopping along the way for some more shots along the river.
I’m not much of a morning person — especially when it involves being up before the sun — but this particular morning, it was worth it. So serene, refreshing, reflecting, and centering. I think everyone needs to experience this at least once in your life! If Yellowstone isn’t on your “bucket list,” please add it! And while you’re there make sure you get up before the sun at least once.
One more image to share in this post (this was taken later that day) — the iconic bison, whom I consider the unofficial mascot of the park. Whether in a huge herd or solely resting in the grass, they are such majestic creatures.