GRANITE PEAK PUBLICATIONS: Accompanying travelers to the national park since 2002

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What to do on this website

Categories: Flora and Fauna, Trip planning
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lance-leaved stonecrop

Lance-leaved stonecrop

Besides finding out about the Yellowstone Treasures guidebook and learning of news in the Yellowstone area on Janet Chapple’s author blog, what else can you do on this website?

If you have kids, you can explore what it would be like to travel with them to the park in “Taking the family to Yellowstone Park” and “Itinerary for a family trip.” And now there’s another activity for kids: go to the new “Color a Wildflower” page to find coloring pages for the flowering plants and trees that grow in Yellowstone. In fact, one of the ones you can print out and color is the stonecrop, pictured above. If you want to be sure your pictures are botanically accurate, you can even use the coloring guide for each page, which shows you which color to use for each part. It’s a great way to familiarize yourself with the plants before you get there!

CREDITS: The photo is by Bruno Giletti.

Enjoy the website,
Beth Chapple, Editor

Grand GeyserNot having traveled with children in the park for a great many years, I learned a couple of things new to me that might be useful for other parents and grandparents to know about. Stuffed animal toys that Xanterra places in hotel rooms and that I have always pushed out of the way to make room for my own stuff are—not surprisingly—a magnet for little ones. My granddaughter Lexi ended the visit the proud owner of a cuddly bison and an even cuddlier black bear!

Be forewarned that the hotels no longer provide cots in your room for kids. But they are happy to loan you some bedding, so we made nests for Lexi on the floor—and she was out like a light in two minutes each night after crawling in with her animals.

One of our most delightful shared experiences was our geyser day at Upper Geyser Basin. Starting by going to the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center at 8:00 am to copy down the predictions for six major geysers, we set out after breakfast to catch the Grand Geyser eruption, predicted to erupt within about one-and-one-half hours of 10:40 am. Lexi did not complain at all about the wait, and when Grand accommodated us at 11:20 (above) and again with a second beautiful burst at 11:37, she was every bit as thrilled as the other hundred or so visitors watching it.

We went on to visit the wonderful pools and formations beyond Grand and were just in time to catch the Riverside Geyser eruption a little after 1:00 pm. Then our party split into two, and, fortuitously, Suzanne, David, and I caught Grotto Fountain and Grotto Geysers erupting on our way to see Punch Bowl Spring and Black Sand Pool. Returning from that extension of the trail, there was Daisy Geyser erupting as we came back to it! Not to be outdone, Beehive’s Indicator was going before we got back to the Inn, and we were able to see the whole Beehive Geyser eruption. Then, for “dessert,” Old Faithful joined the display not long afterwards. What a geyser day!


Who Are Yellowstone Country Guardians?

Categories: News, Park environs
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At a beautifully illustrated lecture about grizzly bears in Yellowstone Park, I was recently [April, 2012] introduced to a remarkable young organization, one whose main mission is to inspire the youth on the fringes of the Yellowstone Ecosystem to become aware of the wonders so near them and of what they can do to help preserve them—to become guardians of the Yellowstone country.

As future guardians, high school students from Bozeman, Emigrant, Gardiner, and Livingston, Montana, take the Yellowstone Leadership Challenge. They climb a mountain, watch Lamar Valley wildlife on an early morning, participate in a service project in the park, and learn about conservation issues.

Formed in 2009 and led by the enthusiastic and dedicated former ranger, Michael Leach, this group hopes to bridge a perceived gap between many of the hitherto unconcerned citizens living in and near Yellowstone gateway communities and the park’s delights and needs.

So far, the Guardians’ program has created a fly fishing school and a bear education program for high school students. It has begun to interview and film Yellowstone Country residents telling their stories about living in this unique environment. Its Regional Road Tour aims to foster greater understanding of the area’s wildlands and encourage community participation in their stewardship.

I wish them well. For more information or to learn how you can help the organization, see: