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Yellowstone HQ, Mammoth Hot Springs


The Thermal Terraces above the Village

Our next-to-last day in Yellowstone National Park began at Yellowstone Lake. We checked out of our cabin and discovered that the cabin bestowed upon us for our last night in the park was at Mammoth Hot Springs. We spent 5 nights in the park and felt we’d won the lottery 5 times.

 The Hotel, Cabins & Dining Rooms from the Terraces

From the lake we drove north on Grand Loop Road along the Yellowstone River, walked down to the water at LeHardy Rapids, continued through the Hayden Valley, lingered at points along the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and pulled over to enjoy bison and bighorn sheep. The road bends west and passes Northeast Entrance Road where we’d head next day, but today we were going to another utterly unique destination, also site of the park headquarters, Mammoth Hot Springs.

A Cozy Cabin for a Night

After checking into our cozy home-for-the-night, the facilities right where we like them, next door, we headed for the Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces, which I’ll show you next week. In the meantime, have a look at this historic Park Service community and, in my opinion, best visitor village in the park.


Dining Room, above, & Terrace Grill



1909 Albright Visitor Center, named for
the first Superintendent of Yellowstone.



My favorite of the Mammoth Park Service buildings.



Park Service employee housing, above & below.



Park Service interdenominational chapel.



Meet Touchdown

“Touchdown”, the bull elk, so named I was told for the upright conformation of his antlers, is kind of presidential (forgive me Touchdown). When he’s in town, crowds gather, heavy security materializes to protect his fans, not as we might assume, Touchdown from his admirers. It was that time of the year and as I watched him patrol his harem and charge vehicles, mostly red ones, Park Service employees patrolled in cars and on foot and it was a constant battle to keep photo-takers at a safe distance. In some cases I expected an arrest, though in the short time I observed, it didn’t quite come to that. I suspect Touchdown duty is not a favorite assignment.


Touchdown, above, with headgear.  Below, some of his harem around town.


Watch Touchdown in action:

  (Google "youtube yellowstone touchdown" for many more.)



Yellowstone National Park (U.S. National Park Service)



Next week, Yellowstone’s Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces.


All chapters of PortMoresby's Yellowstone.




Find more of PortMoresby's contributions here.





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Comments (4)

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I agree with you about this being the most interesting visitor site in the park, although my heart does belong to Old Faithful region.

I never came across Touchdown -- probably to my advantage -- but I do admire an animal with spunk!

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

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