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12 Gifts of Yellowstone

12 Gifts of Yellowstone

Written by: , December 05th, 2016

To start the holiday season out right, we want to countdown your favorite things about Yellowstone National Park. That’s why we’re counting down the 12 Days of Christmas with your stories and photos!

On the 1st Day of Christmas, Yellowstone Gave Us: Spectacular Scenery.

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Your favorite scenic spot…the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.
Runners Up: Lamar Valley, Hayden Valley, and Tower Falls.

“We were driving through the park, stopping at observation points. At one stop, there was a man looking over a beautiful panoramic vista. We greeted him and said “How are you?” He replied, “Best day of my life.” We knew exactly what he meant.” -Julie Bear

View more scenic photos and stories on Facebook.

On the 2nd Day of Christmas, Yellowstone Gave Us: Walks in Nature

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Your favorite place to hike: Yellowstone River Trail.
Runners Up: Uncle Tom’s Trail and Mount Washburn.

“My favorite thing about Yellowstone is just the just pure wonder of it. You could go every year and never see all of it. There is always something beautiful to view. Whether you like to hike, fish or just watch animals there is always something  to discover.”  – Josie Grandfield

View more hiking photos and stories on Facebook.

On the 3rd Day of Christmas, Yellowstone Gave Us: A Bubbling Earth

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Your favorite geyser: Old Faithful. Runners up: Beehive and Steamboat.
Your favorite hot spring: Grand Prismatic. Runner Up: Mammoth.

“At sunset, we watched Old Faithful Geyser in all its glory. When it was over, the spectators spontaneously broke into applause – as if to thank Nature herself for this beautiful treasure.” -Kerry Bauerle

“After our ten year old twin grandsons were totally enveloped by clouds of steam from Emerald hot springs, Diego shouted, “I won’t forget this for a thousand years!” “Me neither!” enthused brother Max!” -James and Irma Cowperthwaite

View more thermal photos and stories on Facebook.

On the 4th Day of Christmas, Yellowstone Gave Us: Sustainable Cuisine

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Your favorite geyser: Old Faithful. Runners up: Beehive and Steamboat.
Your favorite hot spring: Grand Prismatic. Runner Up: Mammoth.

“At sunset, we watched Old Faithful Geyser in all its glory. When it was over, the spectators spontaneously broke into applause – as if to thank Nature herself for this beautiful treasure.” -Kerry Bauerle

“After our ten year old twin grandsons were totally enveloped by clouds of steam from Emerald hot springs, Diego shouted, “I won’t forget this for a thousand years!” “Me neither!” enthused brother Max!” -James and Irma Cowperthwaite

View more dining photos and stories on Facebook.

On the 5th Day of Christmas, Yellowstone Gave Us: Camping Under the Stars

Yellowstone Stars Night

Your favorite campground: Slough Creek. Runner Up: Canyon.

“I will always remember my quiet nights spent in the campgrounds listening to the hum of families settling in for the night. My favorite memories are of times spent snuggled around the campfire or in blankets on cool summer nights listening to the ranger presentations at the amphitheaters. Yellowstone in engrained in the fiber of who I am. It brings out the best in all of us.” -Cindy Gunter

View more camping photos and stories on Facebook.

On the 6th Day of Christmas, Yellowstone Gave Us: Grand Gateways

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Your favorite entrance: North (Gardiner, Montana). Runner Up: South (Grand Teton, Wyoming)

“As we were leaving the park, my son who was 10 at the time, started crying because he did not want to leave! We explained that we were coming back, but he still was extremely upset. I could relate with him. I hate leaving the park every time we go. Yellowstone feels like home.” -Lisa Garcia

View more entrance photos and stories on Facebook.

On the 7th Day of Christmas, Yellowstone Gave Us: Transformative Tours.

Historic Yellow Bus (45)

Your favorite tour: Lamar Wildlife Excursion. Runner Up: Wake Up to Wildlife.

“Sitting in a nostalgic bus watching the bison walk up the road toward you, and all the cars waiting patiently for them to pass.  We were able to photograph even the young bison from our windows and see how huge these creatures are.  This is a typical occurrence at Yellowstone, and our first experience with seeing these wondrous bison up close without being too close.  What a marvel!” -Sandi Hamilton

On the 8th Day of Christmas, Yellowstone Gave Us: Wildflowers

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Your favorite wildflower: Paintbrush. Runners Up: Lupine, Mountain Irin.

“Yellowstone Park reminds me that change is an essential component in the life cycle. In a similar manner to the changing seasons of Yellowstone, I am reminded that in my own life, I must be ready to endure changes, to accept that nothing remains the same, and that with death springs the possibility of new life. I have come to realize each season offers rewards and risks, joys and sorrows, exciting beginnings and sorrowful endings. Yellowstone reminds me to pay attention to my every breath and to live every day to the fullest. Yellowstone feeds my soul.” -Terry Smith

View more wildflower photos and stories on Facebook.

On the 9th Day of Christmas, Yellowstone Gave Us: Iconic Architecture.

Old Faithful Inn Interior Lobby

Your favorite lodge: Old Faithful Inn. Runner Up: Lake Yellowstone Hotel.

“Even though the outdoor scenery in Yellowstone is fantastic there is nothing like sitting in Old Faithful Inn after dinner and enjoying the ambiance of the fireplace and live music. It is just magical.” -Lynn Roberts

View more lodging photos and stories on Facebook.

On the 10th Day of Christmas, Yellowstone Gave Us: Amazing Adventures.

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Your favorite Adventure: Wildlife Watching. Runner Up: Hiking.

“We really enjoy visiting Yellowstone because of the diversity of the park. Every day can be a different adventure whether you are visiting the geysers, watching the wildlife, or taking in the amazing views of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone…not to mention the great hikes, fishing, and Yellowstone Lake. Theses are the reasons we return year after year.” -Dave Ohler

View more adventure photos and stories on Facebook.

On the 11th Day of Christmas, Yellowstone Gave Us: Charismatic Megafauna.

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Your favorite wildlife: Bison. Runner Up: Bear, Wolf, Moose.

“My Daddy and I were walking on the South Rim Trail. It was SUPER FUN and breathtaking. After we walked on a couple of sharp turns, my Daddy suddenly grabbed me on my forearm and put me behind a tree. I looked from behind the tree and saw a HUMUNGOUS BUFFALO!!!!. My heart skipped a few beats when I saw that buffalo. It was bigger than a Honda Element car! So after I saw the buffalo, my Daddy swiftly but silently sped us away like a NINJA! That is something I will never forget.” -Ella Otto (Age 11)

View more wildlife photos and stories on Facebook.

On the 12th Day of Christmas, Yellowstone Gave Us: Unforgettable Memories.

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Reading through your countless Yellowstone stories, it’s clear that the greatest gift that Yellowstone gives us is our memories. Whether those experiences are shared with our parents, children, spouse, friends, or on our own- they are forever etched in our being. Yellowstone brings us together to experience the wonder and power of our national parks and nature.

“I have made over 50 trips to the park since 1987 and have introduced countless nieces, nephews & friends to all the greatness Yellowstone has to offer. Backpacked, photographed and hiked many of the area trails. Stayed at most all the park lodging locations over the years and camped at all the campgrounds. You can’t beat Yellowstone for a complete nature experience! It changes from hour to hour but is the most constant and trusted love in my life.” -Sandy Zelasko

View more of your Yellowstone memories, stories and photos on Facebook.