Saturday, September 20, 2014

Hayden Valley, Mary Mountain Trail, Yellowstone National Park

Mary Mountain Trail
In the middle of Yellowstone there is a place called Hayden Valley. This is where a large herd of buffalo can be found most anytime.  It is a long valley that reaches across the center of Yellowstone.  There is a hiking trail that runs through the valley that I have wanted to explore ever since I got to Yellowstone.  

For most of the four and a half months that I have been in Yellowstone the Mary Mountain Trail has been closed due to bear activity.  This usually happens because somewhere along the trail there is a carcass and bears are feeding on it. Getting between a bear and a carcass in not a good idea. 

 The trail is over twenty-five mile in length.  I am not able to do that kind of hike in one day.  I had to settle for walking a couple of hours down the trail.  The valley is a desolate place.  The wide open valley allows the buffalo and other grass eating animal the ability to see a predator coming from a long way off.   On the day I made this hike there was only a bear warning in effect for the trail.  I had bear spray on my belt so I was good to go.  I did see a coyote on the hike.  The buffalo herd was on the other side of the valley and there was only the occasional solo male grazing.

The valley seems to go on forever winding back across the spine of Yellowstone.  There is a Creek that runs through it.  The creek is called Alum Creek and is amazingly warm for a body of water at eight thousand feet.  The creek gets some if its water from the thermal features that a found all over the park.  While I would not call it bath water, it was certainly warm enough to swim in. 






1 comment:

David Paul said...

I had a lovely experience at Yellowstone National Park just before my thousand islands bus tour. It was a great fun to explore the beauty of this gorgeous park including its wildlife, waterfalls, hot spots as well as its beautiful surrounded trails. Hiking though the Mary Mountain Trail was amazing.