"There is nothing so American as our national parks. The scenery and wildlife are native. The fundamental idea behind the parks is native. It is, in brief, that the country belongs to the people, that it is in process of making for the enrichment of the lives of all of us. The parks stand as the outward symbol of this great human principle." Franklin D. Roosevelt

Monday, January 24, 2011

Snowmobiling Through The Interior

The Adventure Store

After nearly two months missing the interior I finally made a trip into the Park.....and out the East Entrance. Patrick needed to check in on his cabin in Wapiti and the way there is via snowmobile from Mammoth to Pahaska about 2 miles beyond the East Entrance. On Friday afternoon we packed up our backpacks, bungee corded them to the back of his snowmobile and we climbed on. We exit the Yak Camp on the government trail which comes out by Golden Gate. Our first stop was the Canyon Visitor Center, which this year is being used instead of the warming hut.

Canyon Visitor Center

Patrick at Canyon

Our first wildlife spotting involved this small herd of bison lumbering down the road toward us by Indian Creek Campground. We later saw 2 coyotes in Hayden Valley. Using a pair of binoculars it appeared that one of them was chewing on the remains of what could have been another coyote.

80 miles after starting out on Friday we finally made it to Pahaska where government employees park their cars for when they snowmobile out the East Entrance.

On Sunday I realized that the view of the Buffalo Bill Cody Highway is much different in the winer with the snowcovered mountains. It is beautiful!

Bighorn Sheep were right next to the road in numerous locations. I also saw a bison grazing off from the road.

Getting the snowmobile ready at Pahaska for our return trip

Coming in the East Entrance

Snowmobiling over Sylvan Pass is an eerie feeling. While riding on the edge of the mountain I looked up in the Avalanche Zone and saw snow whipping around in the wind. To my left was a complete drop off and the snow on the trail was so high that we actually rode above the tops of the snow sticks in some locations. If snow decided to slide down that mountain when someone was riding on the trail they could be swept a long way down. It was snowing a bit and the wind was creating quite a bit of drifting as it was.

Sylvan Pass