Yellowstone was the world’s first national park, and is home to the largest concentration of mammals in the lower 48 states. RealClearLife has selected its favorite images from this month’s issue of National Geographic, which focuses on all aspects of Yellowstone—from its geysers and extreme seasonal conditions to its ever-present, up-close-and-personal wildlife. Be sure to check our Nat Geo’s Yellowstone interactives, including this multimedia feature from a bear’s perspective.
What wilderness means to people has steadily changed since Yellowstone was founded. The Park Service no longer tries to make tame spectacles of wild animals. But today, as in 1972, when this photo was taken, most visitors to the park never get far from the road; and a black bear is still a reason to pull over. (Jonathan Blair/National Geographic Creative)
JONATHAN BLAIR/National Geographic Creative
A moose fords Buffalo Fork River near Grand Teton. (Charlie Hamilton James/National Geographic)
Charlie Hamilton James
Bison and elk share winter ranges in Greater Yellowstone—these are in the National Elk Refuge near Jackson, Wyoming. (Charlie Hamilton James/National Geographic)
Charlie Hamilton James
Notoriously elusive, cougars vary their range in response to their prey, mostly elk and deer. In winter they favor the shallow snow in the northern reaches of Yellowstone. This cougar was caught on the prowl by a camera trap set behind an elk rack on a cliff. (Drew Rush/National Geographic)
The colors of Grand Prismatic Spring come from thermophiles: microbes that thrive in scalding water. The green is chlorophyll they use to absorb sunlight. (Michael Nichols/National Geographic)
Two grizzly bears fighting near Firehole River in Wyoming. (Michael Nichols/National Geographic)
On their first migration to their summer range in southeastern Yellowstone, three-week-old calves of the Cody elk herd follow their mothers up a 4,600-foot slope. A few hours earlier they swam the swollen South Fork of the Shoshone River. (Joe Riis/National Geographic)
Park Service Biologist Doug Smith races toward a gray wolf that he shot from the air with a tranquilizer dart. Before it awakens, he’ll give it a quick physcial exam and fit it with a radio collar. Wolves are now thriving in Yellowstone, but researchers monitor them closely. (Michael Nichols/National Geographic)
A grizzly fends off ravens from a bison carcass in Grand Teton National Park. (Charlie Hamilton James/National Geographic)
A lone woman vanishes into the steam clouds billowing from Tardy Geyser in Yellowstone’s Upper Geyser Basin. Geysers are formed when underground water meets superheated rock and blasts back out through a narrow hole. (Michael Nichols/National Geographic)
May Issue ©National Geographic
This article was featured in the InsideHook newsletter. Sign up now.