Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Afternoon Hikes

Friday August 19, 2011
Mammoth Hot Springs Campground
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming


We fiddled around and it was 11:30
before we started up the sage path to “town”. 
We went to the Visitors Center to get some postcards
to send to family and over to the post office
to write them and mail them.


We stopped in at the Mammoth Hotel Dining room
which had a menu with some appealing choices.
I’m going to have to figure out a way to
redo our budget to include more possibilities
than Subway for eating out.




The hotel had a couple of these cute little carts filled with
flowers.  Notice the protection necessary to keep
the town square elk herd from eating them.




While in the hotel,  we went into their
shop which has a poster showing
all the sustainability symbols on the goods they carry.
Wish I’d taken a picture of it, quite impressive!


Inside the door I met up with T. R Bear.
He gallantly posed with me but would not
let me try on his hat which says Junior Rough Rider on the side.
NOTICE, I AM taller than Mr. Bear.




David and I tried on some hats that
looked perfect for the Montana
winter.  The Buffalo
comes complete with a tail .






After all that fooling around
we went back out to get on
to the trail head.

I won’t pass on the jokes made
about these signs.   Although
i sure wish the Dahls had been along
to hear Paul’s comments.







We had intended to do the major
terrace hikes but with our late start,
and fiddling
it was too hot to be out in the sun in mid afternoon.
So I did a quick plan change and we set off for a
more wooded 1 mile hike to
a terrace off the beaten path
known as Narrow Gauge Terrace.


We crossed the stream

Beaver Pond & Narrow Gauge Terrace (21)


and headed up a nice wooded trail.

Beaver Pond & Narrow Gauge Terrace (24)


And came to the sign for the Narrow Gauge Terrace.




Very interesting long berm with lovely coloring. 
I walked further on just to see if there was another angle
and what a surprise.


Stunning but hard to photograph with all the dead trees.
Really beautiful terraces and pools.
Sure hope others don’t stop at the sign
but continue down the trail which actually
has a different name and leads eventually to a different place.














I know, I know enough all ready but
It was SO beautiful!!!


I could have just stayed all day watching this
terrace but sadly for me, no benches, no chairs
and finally I had to get on with the next hike.

We walked back down the path and took up
the Beaver Ponds Loop.  Just as we started
up that trail, this guy slithered across
and into the grass right in front of David. 
He was about as long as I am tall.




This trail went through a variety of habitats
over the course of its 5 mile loop.

There were sage brush flats
leading to spruce forests




wide vistas with big blue skies



and of course eventually Beaver Ponds
although no evidence of the architects
themselves in the mid afternoon.


Beaver Pond & Narrow Gauge Terrace (72)


There were 5 ponds in all.




The largest was the last.






This blue eyed blue billed fellow was enjoying the water.




The trail wound around two sides of the pond which
had been dammed at one side.




And then dammed again at the bottom of the second
pool.  Here’s a look at the handiwork.


Beaver Pond & Narrow Gauge Terrace (119)


We decided it was lunch time and sat down on
the bridge going over the stream at the bottom
of the second pond.

Here’s the spot.



Here’s our view from the spot.
You can see the path leading up to
on the right and away from on the left.


Beaver Pond & Narrow Gauge Terrace (124)


And here’s the “lunch time” picture




After this nice pensive break it was time to head back.


Beaver Pond & Narrow Gauge Terrace (126)


The beavers weren’t at work this afternoon but some folks were.




David found these ripening raspberries
and thought that within a week the
bears would be here to get them so he ate the ripest one.


Beaver Pond & Narrow Gauge Terrace (85)


Be sure to take time to smell the roses sage.



And then, all of a sudden, boom
there we were on the top of a hill
above the town.


Beaver Pond & Narrow Gauge Terrace (133)


Here’s a close up from above of what was going on.
Notice who is lounging around.




And look who showed up in
the grass just past the hotel as we walked by.
Surprise for the guests and maybe the elk too!




We hiked a total of 6.14 miles, had a lovely time
and were happily tired when we got back.


Here’s my favorite picture of the day.
Doesn’t he look like he’s saying
“Hey you, put down that camera”.




  1. Those terraces are spectacular!

    You're gonna miss all those elk and buffalo when you head back east.

  2. So the Mammoths get to have their own rest room while the Elks have to hold it? That's pretty unfriendly.

    Love that buffalo hat, you could scare all the buffalo off that block the roads! ;c)

    Do you see yourselves as "Snake Magnets?" They seem to be attracted to you. (Eeek!!!)

  3. Ok, I am terrified of snakes...what was that?? beautiful pictures, except for those rotten snakes!

  4. Well, there is no such thing as too much beauty!! Those terraces were spectacular!!

    I would love to see a picture of gorrilla pod...he takes great pictures;o))

    I am sure I would rather be stalked by buffalo than snakes;o((
    Was that a rattlesnake?!?!?

    Mr. Elk was definitely letting you know that he is in charge there:o)) Great Photo!!!

  5. Snakes ... can't stand them ... and now I'll have to remember that they do exist in YNP. You just keep coming up with ways to remind me why spring, fall, and winter are better times to visit this grand park. P.S. that was a nice surprise at the end of the trail.

  6. Ok. I'm the worlds biggest wuss when it comes to snakes. Just a picture will set me off running! If I don't know they are there, I'm good. I'll play with the buffalo any day of the week!
    I propose a *snake alert* for future posts(for those of us that can't take it). Ok, for me :)


Your comments are the best part of this blog for me.
I LOVE hearing from you!