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Yellowstone/Grand Teton Trip

Day 6 of 11

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Wednesday, July 27th
Bunsen Peak

This morning we went to the information center; the boys said the junior ranger pledge and got their Yellowstone patches. We asked the ranger about laundry, and he said that there were laundry services in Colter Bay, where we'd be tomorrow. So we decided to wait until then to do our laundry. Today, I had to decide between a hike to Shoshone Lake and Bunsen Peak. Since I knew we'd be hiking to lakes in Grand Teton National Park, and we'd just done a lake hike yesterday, I decided we'd go for Bunsen Peak.

We made the roughly 40 minute drive, then hiked to the top of Bunsen Peak.

After the hike, we continued along the road for another 5 to 10 minutes to Mammoth Hot Springs, where we were just in time for an elk-induced traffic jam. Several elk were sprawled out on the grassy area on the right, across from all the buildings. We parked and got ice cream, ice, and groceries, then found a picnic table outside. From here, we could see a ranger waving visitors away from the elk. A lot of visitors either didn't know or ignored the rule about keeping a safe distance from the animals. Thus, the ranger in the orange vest waving people away.

Elk at Mammoth Hot Springs

Elk being shooed away by ranger

While we were eating, suddenly we realized one of them had snuck up behind us and was eating grass under a tree just about 40 feet to our right. Another ranger shooed him away. Later, when I whipped out my 500mm lens to take some pictures from afar, I noticed a crowd gathering around an elk near the public bathrooms. I snapped a few pictures before we headed back to Madison campground.


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