Friday, March 1st, 2013
Yellowstone is not only the U.S.A.‘s first National Park, but it is also the world’s first national park. Home to the world’s largest collection of Geysers including the famous Old Faithful. Today, Yellowstone National Park is the most recent result of a stationary mantle hotspot, same hotspot that created the Hawaiian Island Chain. Lewis & Clark bi-passed Yellowstone during their travels, but don’t let yourself make the same mistake! Come visit Yellowstone National Park for it’s 141st Birthday!
Blog post from Yellowstone National Park
Thursday, February 28th, 2013
A corner in the Northwestern Wyoming sky is dominated by thirteen thousand foot peaks that we call the Grand Tetons. This landscape wasn’t built over night. Ten million years ago the range began uplifting along the Teton fault. During this time earthquakes rattled the area reaching a magnitude of 7.5 on the Richter scale. Two million years ago glaciers began to carve the rugged terrain. A smorgasbord of jagged peaks with their snowy crevasses, glacial fed lakes, streams and wetlands are the perfect fixings for an expansively beautiful site to see. This area has a rich history dating back eleven thousand years beginning with the Paleo-Indians shorty after the Pleistocene Ice Age glaciers retreated. More recently, settlers caught wind of the Jackson Hole area twelve years after the Homestead Act of 1862 becoming the first year-round residents. The first vacationers arrived in the valley in 1908 keeping Jackson Hole a favorite destination for the cowboy experience.
Happy Birthday Grand Teton National Park!
Blog post from Grand Teton National Park
Thursday, February 28th, 2013
94 years ago a little over forty-four thousand visitors traveled to see this world wonder. Today, almost five million peer over the Colorado Plateau to catch a glimpse of the river one mile below. However, before visitors, eleven traditionally associated tribes and historic ethnic groups have been calling the Grand Canyon home for nearly twelve thousand years. With the Grand Canyon holding records of three of the four geological time eras, five of the seven life zones and three of the four desert types in North America, it is no wonder that this place is one of the most studied landscapes in the world. Any one of it’s countless caves could hold significant geological, archeological, paleontological and biological clues of the past.
Blog post from Grand Canyon National Park
Thursday, July 26th, 2012
What could be better than heading up the Many Glacier Valley to look for wildlife? How about heading up to Logan Pass to look at snow and glacier lilies!!!!!!! Yep, summer’s officially begun in Glacier Country! The opening of the Logan Pass always attracts a lot of attention. I don’t really know why it’s such a big deal, since it’s always gray and cold during the first few days, and this year’s opener did not disappoint - cold, snow, fog - classic Logan pass!
The entire Sun Road officially opened with cloudy skies and cold wet and foggy conditions on June 19th at about noon. While most of the country’s feeling the heat, some escape that heat by heading to Logan Pass on Glacier’s going to the sun Highway. I suggest you do the same! Keep in mind that the parking lot is full early, so consider leaving the driving to the National Park Service, or a vendor, there are two, Glacier Park Incorporated runs the Jammers - the red buses - and my favorite if you want more local lore - Sun Tours owned and operated by Ed DeRosier, a local Blackfeet tribal member. You’ll see a lot more if you’re staring out the window rather than trying to watch the sharp curves and narrow lanes along the way.
If you’re on the east side and get hungry, check out Two Sisters for a great burger and pie. The truth is, burgers are not all made alike, check out the food and great atmosphere at the Two Sisters Cafe north of Saint Mary, MT and few miles before Babb. MT. The food is fantastic, and people are always happy to share local knowledge and the pie. Is the pie any good? You’ll just have to stop in and try it for yourself, you won’t be disappointed!
Right now, middle elevation areas around two medicine and Many Glacier are in full bloom. We’ve had an average to above average spring with rainfalls and cool days helping to bring the vegetation to life. The fields of red and purples and blues and whites are amazing!
On your way up to Logan Pass from Saint Mary, be sure to stop and take in the scenic overlook of Wild Goose Island in Saint Mary Lake, it’s one of our Nation’s top National Park scenic treasures and scene is recognized around the world . . .
(time lapse goes here - it’s a youtube video, check the link - it would be nice to have it embedded and a link if possible)
Here’s to a great trip to Glacier National Park this summer!
“We should come home from adventures, perils, and discoveries every day with a new experience and character.” - Henry David Thoreau -
To see more great photos of Glacier National Park, and Blackfeet Country visit www.tonybynum.com, visit Tony Bynum Photography on facebook or check out my blog at www.glacierparkphotographer.com
Blog post from Glacier National Park
Thursday, April 19th, 2012
Glacier National Park officially placed June 15, 2012 on the calendar as the date for opening the Going to the Sun Road (GTSR) to automobile traffic. Now, if you know one thing about Glacier Park, it’s that access and weather are always unpredictable. The weather from one day to the next offers unique challenges and sometimes even causes us to changes our plans, but that’s what adventure is all about, right! The cool thing is that stunning images, and great experiences can be found in Glacier National Park Year-round. You don’t have to wait for the GTSR to open to enjoy the splendor of North America’s crown jewel located in the Heart of the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem, Glacier National Park.
Knowing exactly when the GTSR will open is pure guesswork. The Park service needs a date for planning purposes, as do you. But predicting the opener of the GTSR is like trying to forecast when and where a tornado is going to hit - well, maybe not that elusive, but close. The Sun Road will open this summer sometime in late June or early July depending on mother nature. Exactly when that will be is still worth a guess. If I were you, I would never let that date stop you from making plans to visit this Park, whenever you have the time. The shoulder season are really where it’s at! There is so much to see and do that you could not possibly do it all in one trip, even if the GTSR were closed!
So lets play a game. I’m going give away a copy of the 2010 Glacier Park centennial book, “The First 100 years,” By Guthrie and a signed print of the cover, to the person who guesses closest to the opening day and time. Why that book, because it’s the best history book on the subject of Glacier National Park, and because I shot the cover as well as many of the modern color photos on the inside! I will personally sign the book fold, and the print, and mail them to the winner - the book retails for $50, and the print is $55, and I’m shipping it for free!
Here’s how it will work. The person that guesses nearest to the actual day and time the road will open will win the book, and a signed Tony Bynum print of the cover image - you can’t beat that! In order to win though, you must post a comment with your guess, on the Tony Bynum Photography page on Facebook (share a photo of glacier park too if you have one). I’ll have a post with a photo of the book, post your guess in that thread! As soon as the road opens, I’ll announce the winner on Facebook, my www.tonybynum.com/blog, on www.glacierparkphotographer.com and here on Glacier Park Central Reservations.
In the meantime, if you have other interests in the Park and its many photographic opportunities, let me know! I’ll be happy to answer your questions. Or, if you are already a “glacier park photographer,” and want to guest post to my glacier-park-photographer blog, I’d love to have you!
Click here (National Park Service site) for the complete story, and updated information about the Going to the Sun Road.
Blog post from Glacier National Park
Thursday, March 15th, 2012
At the viewing point from the bottom of Lower Yosemite Falls, park visitors—drenched from the spray—glance up in awe as over 2,000 gallons of water per second fall with a thundering roar 2,425 feet down from the granite cliffs above.
Yosemite’s waterfalls always provide a spectacular show, last year the 384% above normal snowpack for June gave birth to a breathtaking display of moving water later in the season than usual. (video-http://youtu.be/vrkTg7GcNhc) Waterfalls in the park usually peak in mid-May, and Yosemite Falls is often dry by the end of August.
When walking in Yosemite Valley during waterfall season, it’s impossible not to hear the thunderous music of the falling water, especially when hiking up the Mist Trail. The rocky staircase winds by Vernal and Nevada Falls, and the waterfalls douse visitors as they pass and roar as loud as a passing train. Other waterfalls, like Royal Arch Cascade, fall gentler and play a more subdued tune as it slides down the smooth granite above the Ahwahnee Meadow.
For intrepid hikers, the ultimate Yosemite waterfall experience is making the trip to the top of Yosemite Falls, the highest waterfall in North America. Although the trek is strenuous—three grueling miles with almost 3,000 feet of elevation gain—those who make it receive the ultimate reward: being able to stand next to the top of the mighty falls as it tumbles over the brink.
My favorite waterfall in Yosemite Valley? The graceful and somewhat hidden Illilouette Fall, it’s 370 foot drop best viewed from the top of the Panorama Trail. My other favorites, Tueeulala and Wapama Falls, are located outside the valley at Hetch Hetchy and definitely worth the drive to view in the spring.
For more information on visiting Yosemite, see the official site of the National Park Service.
Beth Pratt, biography
Beth Pratt is the California Director for the National Wildlife Federation and loves frogs, pika and wandering in the backcountry of Yosemite National Park. She has worked in environmental leadership roles for almost twenty years, and in two of the country’s largest national parks: Yosemite and Yellowstone. Before joining NWF in 2011, she worked on sustainability and climate change programs for Xanterra Parks & Resorts in Yellowstone as its Director of Environmental Affairs. Prior to her role in Yellowstone, for nine years she served as Vice President/CFO for the non-profit Yosemite Association. Beth lives outside of Yosemite with her dogs Tioga, Dante, and Aysun, two cats, and the many frogs who frequent her backyard frog pond.
Blog post from Yosemite National Park
Monday, March 5th, 2012
Glacier Park is a huge place and to help you have the best adventure possible, I’m going to share with you some of the details that only locals know . . . I say some details, because there’s a lot of things that happen here that are so magical that sharing would be like telling you how Casablanca ends two minutes before you see the ending yourself.
People from all over the world trek to Glacier National Park. Some arrive by bus, some by train, or car, and some even come by way of horse.
Glacier Park and its surrounding area is collectively becoming known as, “the Crown of the Continent.” Glacier National Park occupies the heart of the Crown ecosystem, the rest of it stretches north into southern BC and Alberta, Canada, while the southern end terminates respecify near Lincoln, MT at the south end of the Bob Marshal Wilderness Area. But, long before we knew it as, “the Crown of the Continent” or even Glacier National Park, the Blackfeet people knew the rugged peaks and steep chasms simply as, “the Backbone of the World.” Perfectly fitting if you ask me.
What do these names have in common? They all create a mental image. They elicit an emotion and conger up scenes of dramatic landscapes, snow covered peaks and an abundance of natural beauty. Glacier National Park is a outdoor adventure seeker’s dream and one of main reasons I make my home here.
This is my first post of what will become a regular series of short pieces, with photographs, where I briefly describe adventures in and around Glacier National Park and the Crown of the Continent region. I’m a year around resident who makes a living here as an adventurer, more specifically, a professional outdoor and nature photographer. And like many of you, I’m always seeking adventure, beauty, and an authentic, real experience. I’ll share with you things about this wonderful region that only a local would know. This is your chance to become a part of this magical destination and while here, experience more than just your hotel. It’s a chance for you to find out how and where meet real people and turn your Glacier Park vacation into an experience of a lifetime!
Looking forward to sharing!
Blog post from Glacier National Park
Saturday, January 28th, 2012
The panoramic views and abundant wildlife are largely responsible for the park drawing thousands of fishermen to the shores of its waterways each year. You may spot water ouzels, harlequin ducks, beavers, otters, and kingfishers enjoying the waters. After all, Glacier should be considered the headwaters of the entire continent since a single droplet from Triple Divide peak can make it to the Pacific, Atlantic, and Hudson Bay watersheds. But, glacier’s appeal goes beyond the talked about to something simpler: it’s the lost sense of natural tranquility, I think, that draws people. The quiet is pervasive and still retains a long-lost sense of simplicity and stillness from yesteryear. It feels untouched, from the architecture and campground facilities to the attitude adopted and respected by those who visit. Fishing in such a place, is an experience as much as it is an outing and it’s one that you’ll want to schedule during your summers, if possible.
Within its ample grounds, Glacier houses 653 lakes totaling 27,000 acres and 392 miles of shoreline, as well as 653 streams totaling over 1,600 miles. The North Fork and Middle Fork of the Flathead bound the park on the west and south, forming its boundary.
The glacier-fed waters are home to bull trout, Yellowstone cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, brook trout, kokanee, lake whitefish, grayling. Northern pikeminnow, peamouth, and several species of sculpins round out the parks’ fishery. Of those, It is the rainbows and cutthroats that have become the coveted catch of anglers since bulltrout are now a protected species.
If you do make it to the Park this spring or summer, there are several lakes that combine great fishing with even better views.
Lake McDonald holds good populations of lake trout, as well as smaller populations of cutthroat. In spring and early summer they can be caught with spinners in shallow waters, but as the water warms they head for the depths.
Swiftcurrent Lake is an ample source of brook trout that rise to dry flies in the evenings and mornings, but for daytime fishing go with streamers near rock pies or silver spinners. Two Medicine Lake holds both rainbows and brook trout that like dry flies in the mornings and evenings on calm waters. Large stimulator and hopper patterns work great as long as the water is not too warm. The rainbows can be caught with spinners deep in the day time and the outlet from Two Medicine into Pray Lake can be rewarding, though crowded at times. Upper Two Medicine Lake is just a short hike uptrail from its namesake and is another good resource for brook trout.
St. Mary’s Lake is spectacular in nearly every way, and fishing is no exception. It houses cutthroats, rainbows, lake trout, whitefish, and bull trout, but it’s a deep lake and fishing is difficult to access. It’s also often windy and unsuitable for float tubes on rough days.
The Flathead River system that forms the boundary lines of the park is also an exceptional resource for fly fishing. The Middle Fork of the Flathead River begins just outside the Great Bear wilderness south of the park and is Montana’s premier wilderness river. It begins a beautiful and wild ride through the heart of the wilderness area and then parallels MT Highway 2 down to Glacier Park, though it is often well back and hundreds of feet below the road. The towering mountains of Glacier National Park and the Great Bear Wilderness create the backdrop as the river approaches West Glacier, where it gains numerous rapids and becomes a popular place for individual and guided float trips. Spring run-off can continue into July some years and anglers with a pension for whitewater love the challenges afforded by the Middle Fork.
The Middle Fork, along with the North Fork and South Fork, contains a healthy amount of decent sized cutthroats of up to 16 inches. For fly fishermen, bushy and dry flies floated around likely locations will yield good results. Another technique to try is to use a weighted sink tip line and drag wet streamers or flies through deep pools along the river. Both the Middle Fork and North Fork of the Flathead River system are prime waters for bull trout, though it is illegal to intentionally fish or harvest these ravenous river dwellers.
The waters of the Park are renowned for a reason, and for those lucky enough to tempt its inhabitants this year, a beautiful experience is almost surely in store. A fishing permit is not required to fish Glacier National Park, nor is a Montana fishing license, making it easy for one-time visitors to enjoy one of the great outdoor pastimes. However, if you prefer to travel light and learn from a fishing guide’s expertise, then contact Great Northern Resort on 406 387 5340 or there is more information online at Montana Fly Fishing.