Above, the Grand Prismatic Spring in the Midway Geyser Basin.
. . . and the buffalo do roam. Took around two hours to go from West Yellowstone to Madison Junction one day because of bison. First there were a group of females with young ones, then two young males walking down the center of the road. I should clarify that the bison were for the most part not causing the traffic jam–it was people wanting to get pictures. Later in the day, back in West Yellowstone, a young woman with children said her family just turned around and came back to town. Being in a car with young children would make the wait more difficult.
Gneiss Creek trail has two trailheads: one along the Madison River between West Yellowstone and Madison Junction, and another a few miles north of West Yellowstone. You can walk the whole 13 miles if you want! I just went maybe a mile along the Madison River and saw a number of birds, including the Clark’s nutcracker above. The trail is closed a lot of the year to allow for a bear habitat. Probably not a trail you should walk alone.
Pulled into a pullout for no particular reason and was surprised to see a family of sandhill cranes. Could not get close to them, but was thrilled to see the young one.
Near the campground I stayed at, along the Madison River, I was watching some osprey nests when I saw something stick it’s head out of the water. Found it was two river otters swimming upstream. They intermittently stuck their heads up out of the water to keep track of each other.