Friday, June 22, 2007

Yellowstone River/Specimen Ridge trail

I've been meaning to finish up my series of hikes in Yellowstone this May/June but work has been very demanding. Here is another entry for a favorite trail.

I started at the Yellowstone Picnic area not far from Tower junction on the NE Entrance road. This trail goes up to look over into the Yellowstone canyon between Tower and the bridge but on the north side of the river away from the road. This is a good area for black bear, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, coyotes, and ospreys. The trail goes right along the edge of the canyon affording nice views of the river and colored rocks. I was lucky enough to see 3 bighorn ewes resting along the trail, one lying down in the shade of a tree. As you can see, they weren't too upset by my presense. I also saw some pronghorn at a distance.

I stopped near the trail junction for the Specimen Ridge trail and took this view of the river looking upstream toward the Canyon, not visible here. I continued past the trail junction on the Specimen Ridge trail to another trail which heads down into the canyon. While the trail isn't visible from this picture, it goes through the trees and past the white thermal area in the lower left. I ate lunch not far from this spot and then I went a short way down into the canyon but decided I had hiked enough for a warm sunny day and went back up and back to Yellowstone Picnic area. Only 2 other sets of hikers on this trail today and I only met 1 group. Surprising for such a nice day. Much of this trail is fairly level and easy but the beginning and end are somewhat steep.



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