Big Sky -Yellowstone and Gallatin Valley


This site contains information about and pictures of an Elderhostel Program "Big Sky" in September, 2002. This program was provided by University of Montana - Western


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Buck's T-4 Lodge

Our lodgings were at Buck's T-4 Lodge a former hunting and fishing lodge located in the beautifully scenic Gallatin Canyon 15 miles from Yellowstone National Park. Big Sky is a year-round resort community at the base of Lone Mountain. Elevation 6,200'.

Photo by Sandy Cobb

On Monday, Denise Wade provided a informative presentation on the Yellowstone Ecology and Geology.


On Tuesday, We boarded the bus for a field trip to Yellowstone National Park.

Bison Comments

This was the first of many wild life we were to see.

Photo by Sandy Cobb
Fire Hole Canyon Walls
Photo by Sandy Cobb
Cliff Geyser

Nowhere else in the world can we find the array or number of geysers, hot springs, mud pots, and fumaroles found in Yellowstone. More than 75% of the world's geysers, including the world's largest are here in 7 major basins.

Photo by Sandy Cobb
Another view of the Cliff Geyser

Cliff Geyser is located on the edge of Iron Creek and is quite picturesque. It was named for the low cliff-like wall that separates the geyser from the creek. Cliff is a fountain-type geyser. Intervals and durations have ranged from a few minutes to hours. During much of the history of the park, Cliff was dormant or an infrequent performer but for a number of years now, Cliff has often been in eruption more than half the time.
The eruption starts from a low pool with the water slowly rising as the eruption continues. Many eruptions stop shortly after the pool reaches overflow but some long duration eruptions may continue long after overflow is reached. Short duration eruptions rarely reach overflow.
Because there is little water to impede the bursts at the start of the eruption, the bursts tend to spread out and be erratic in shape at the beginning. As the pool fills the bursts become more focused and the height increases. The maximum height of about 35 to 50 feet is often reached towards the end of the eruption.

Photo by Sandy Cobb

Geysers and runoff


Photo by Sandy Cobb
Fumeroles


Photo by Sandy Cobb
Fumeroles


Photo by Sandy Cobb
Thermal Springs at Biscuit Basin

Vivid Colors

Photo by Sandy Cobb
Male Elk

This Elk trumpeted to his harem but was ignored.

Photo by Sandy Cobb
Kepler Caascades


Photo by Sandy Cobb
Lewis Falls


Photo by Sandy Cobb
Old Faithful Lodge - Yellowstone

We had our lunches here and observed the Geyser activity.

Photo by Sandy Cobb
Old Faithful Geyser Webcam

This picture is updated each minute. This picture is provide by the Yellowstone National Park WebCams


Old Faithful Lodge

View of the main lobby.

Photo by Sandy Cobb

On Wednesday, Denise tolds more about the rivers, habitats, and wildlife. We also enjoyed a Gallatin River Raft trip provided by Geyser Whitewater Expeditions.

Pete H's crew on the Gallatin River

Just before that rock trapped us.

Click here to view photographs taken of the Gallatin River Raft trip


On Thursday morning, we visited the Missouri Headwaters State Park

Missouri Headwaters State Park

Missouri Headwaters
This park encompasses the confluence of the Jefferson, Madison and Gallatin Rivers. Lewis and Clark anticipated this important headwaters all the way up the Missouri River.

Photo by Sandy Cobb

On Thursday afternoon, we visited the Lewis and Clark Caverns site

View from The Lewis and Clark Caverns entrance

The entrance to the caverns appears after a long trail.

Photo by Sandy Cobb
Lewis and Clark Caverns

Photo by Sandy Cobb
Lewis and Clark Caverns Slide

It was necessary to slide through this portion of the cavern.

Photo by Sandy Cobb
Lewis and Clark Caverns

Photo by Sandy Cobb

On Friday, We rode the gondola up Lone Mountain

Denise and Nicholas
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Denise Wade is a University of Colorado graduate, in Land Use Planning with a minor in Biology. The love of the outdoors and wild places brought her to Montana in 1984. Denise has worked as a naturalist and Nordic guide for Lone Mountain Ranch for 11 years. Denise has an avid interest in ecosystem management and has taken many trips to Alaska, Mexico, Costa Rica, Europe, and within the continental US. following species habitat management patterns, especially those concerning migratory birds and indicator species. Denise can be found regularly hiking or cross-country skiing around SouthwestMontana and the Yellowstone National Park

Photo by Sandy Cobb
Lone Mountain Gondola

Keith and Marilyn - on the way up

Photo by Sandy Cobb
Lone Mountain Gondola

View from the top.

Photo by Sandy Cobb
Lone Mountain Gondola

View of the Lone Mountain cirque with glacial ice under gravel.

Photo by Sandy Cobb
Lone Mountain Gondola

View going down

Photo by Sandy Cobb

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Changes last made on: February 26, 2005

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Other Links:
Elderhostel
University of Montana - Western
Yellowstone National Park (National Park Service)
Lewis and Clark Caverns site
Best Western Buck's T-4 Lodge in Big Sky. Northwest border of Yellowstone Park
Old Faithful Lodge - Yellowstone
Yellowstone National Park's Official "Nature" Page
Yellowstone National Park WebCams
Yellowstone National Park Chat Page