Winter in Yellowstone, Coyote.
Being hopeful that the Government Shutdown ends any day now, I thought I would provide some helpful alternative photo locations for those who have been shut out and stranded on their Yellowstone & Glacier National Parks vacations. And to all the locals who had plans to visit as well. October in Montana is probably one of the best (IMO) times to visit both Yellowstone & Glacier, but this year so far we are out of luck.
Here are some top fall locations to consider:
The Yaak & Ross Creek Cedars
Located in extreme northwest Montana, this area is not only phenomenal in fall, but has some of the most unique and remote forested country in Montana. Check out Ross Creek Cedars for amazing photography in the old growth cedar groves and nearby lakes & rivers for some scenic landscapes. Up north in the Yaak, awesome colors and views are to be found. Best route here is to take Hwy 2 west from Kalispell. You can take Hwy 56 south off of Hwy 2 to Ross Creek Cedars or continue on past the town of Troy and then head north into the Yaak. Either way, it’s some sweet country.
Head south from Kalispell on Hwy 83 into Montana’s Seeley-Swan Valley. Golden Larch or Tamaracks as the locals call them line the valley and many different lakes give way to some of the best fall photography in the area. Stop in the town of Seeley Lake for a great hike to a local waterfall nearby or checkout the handful of lakes down the road for some amazing fall photo ops.
Big Hole River
You can’t go wrong here, the Big Hole is just plain awesome in the fall. Fantastic colors line the banks and there’s a ton of wildlife out this time of year. Take I-15 to Hwy 43. The Big Hole River follows Hwy 43 through the towns of Wise River and Wisdom. You can finish up at the the Big Hole Battlefield just a few minutes out of Wisdom for a popular historic destination.
Just north of Yellowstone, the Paradise Valley offers awesome landscapes and wildlife, with spectacular views of the Absaroka & Gallatin mountain ranges. Hang out south, just north of the the town of Gardiner for some excellent wildlife photography, bighorn sheep, pronghorn, and elk. Just off I-90, Hwy 89 runs from Livingston to Gardiner, just on the border of the park.
Whether the shutdown ends tomorrow or continues on bleakly, these are still some of the best spots to visit outside the parks. Of course there are many other fantastic locations around the state, these are just a handful of my favorites nearby. Have fun out there!
I was out photographing a job yesterday for a Glamping client down near Yellowstone when we had a heck of storm roll in.
When you get lemons, make lemonade! Actually I find heading out when the weather is bad makes for some of the best images, adding a bit more drama. Just don’t want to use that tripod as a lighting rod!
Pronghorn taken near Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park.
Paradise Valley – Images by Jason Savage
Happy Holidays! Thought I would share a few images from around the Paradise Valley and Yellowstone that I shot recently. Winter’s here and what an amazing time to be out, especially around Yellowstone.
Currently I am stuck in front of my computer editing like a mad man trying to get caught up with all my work from this last year with high hopes to be back out on the road soon.
I should have some of my favorites from this year to share here soon and will be posting some new winter photography in the coming weeks.
Happy new year!
Fall Yellowstone – Images by Jason Savage
Here are a few images from a recent trip out to Yellowstone last week. Fall is looking pretty nice down there right now and you can’t beat September and October in the park. I use to think that was our little local secret here in Montana but I think the cat’s out of the bag on that one. This year the park has been packed and surprisingly even October is seeing a much larger than usual visitation. Here’s some interesting stats on visitation this year : http://www.nps.gov/yell/parknews/12084.htm
Hard to say exactly why, but wouldn’t be surprised if some of our warmer fall weather has people extending their traveling a bit. In the past it seemed like the fall was a sure bet to have some of the park to yourself and beat the crowds, not so much at least lately, but it’s still a far cry from mid-summer.
Last week was sure a nice trip with a lot of elk sightings, one griz and of course many, many bison. Had some wolves close by while I was photographing some elk on Swan Lake Flats, but I wasn’t able to get any shots. All I could hear was their nearby howling and growling as they worked their way along a ridge nearby.
Elk were abundent and some great photo ops all throughout the park, especially up north near Mammoth and Swan Lake Flats.
This week I head off to Seeley Lake for an annual Fall Workshop I do and should be a great trip as the Tamaracks and the rest of the fall foliage should be about prime. Hopefully will have a few images to share this next week from that and then I’m off to Churchill for a couple weeks with Natural Habitat Adventures photographing Polar Bears along the Hudson Bay. Will make sure to share some images for sure. In the meantime, hope everyone is enjoying their fall and getting some great shots!
Yellowstone – Images by Jason Savage
It was great to be in Yellowstone last week as it had been quite a while since I had been there during the summer season. Most years it seems I spend most of my time there during the winter months, so it was nice to see some green along with all the bison and elk calves running around. Always a treat! Hopefully will make a longer trip down later this summer, here’s a few images from last weeks trip.