Holwick Yellowstone vacation, 1995

On the right is what the average tourist seeks and finds. We loved it but found there is a better way to see buffalo in their natural environment - HAYDEN VALLEY. You are required to register at the Old Faithful ranger station and should start out early because it can turn out to be quite a hike. The path is well-worn (unlike the first time Celeste and I explored it in 1989) and has a very gentle grade. And tons of buffalo.

 Ranger talks are a good way to get oriented. We found that we enjoyed them as much as the kids. A warning -- sign up early because the best ones fill up fast.

(The buffalo above are stampeding)

 

Above is what the Valley path looks like. In 1989 we found an old stage coach wheel just off the path, from when this was a main road to Old Faithful.

Left -- buffalo!! We kept a respectful distance unlike some tourists we saw who apparently wanted to pet them, even with rangers yelling at them to stop. On this little knoll we stopped to have lunch (below) and enjoyed the bellowing of the critters. We lost count at 300. All the little dots on the hillside are buffalo.

 

(Left) The stream in the valley is marked by small steam vents and hot springs. It was very refreshing to warm our feet - carefully! - in the water, then swing them over to a cool part. We were careful not to damage formations.

 Some of our favorite swimming holes in Yellowstone > > >