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20 Unforgettable Yellowstone Moments of 2020

20 Unforgettable Yellowstone Moments of 2020

Written by: , December 01st, 2020
Categories: General

Unforgettable Yellowstone Moments

2020 was certainly a year for the record books. Before turning the calendar to 2021, we wanted to look back and share some of the most unforgettable moments that happened in Yellowstone in 2020. From animal encounters to viral moments and from rare geyser eruptions to milestone anniversaries, there are so many memories to reflect on. Here’s a look back at just a few of the highlights.

  1. Happy Anniversary to Wolves

    2020 marked the 25th anniversary of the return of wolves to the Yellowstone ecosystem. While on the job, one of our snowcoach drivers captured this incredible footage of wolves on the road.


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  2.  Winter Magic

    A bull elk leaps over the boardwalk during an early-evening stroll around Mammoth Hot Springs.

  3. “Oh no, Not Messing with You”

    A Montana reporter had the perfect reaction to an approaching herd of bison and his catchphrase went viral.

  4. March Madness Winner and Battle

    16 icons were included in our own March Madness, a bracket-style competition to honor Yellowstone’s best. We had to go into an overtime battle (aka tie-breaker) since the results were split between the bison and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. The winner of the 2020 Yellowstone March Madness bracket was…[drumroll, please]….THE BISON!

  5. Park Closes March 24-May 18

    On March 24, 2020, Yellowstone National Park modified its operations and decided to close temporarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic. No visitor access was permitted during that time. The park went virtual with our Roam from Home series (#roamfromhome).

  6. Bear Soaps of Yellowstone go Wild (the good kind of viral)

    These adorable sudsy guys are indeed icons for anyone who has stayed in one of the lodges inside Yellowstone National Park. @BearSoapsofYellowstone debuted on Instagram to share what bear soaps are up to both in Yellowstone and around the world.

  7. Opening Day of the Summer 2020 Season

    The park opened for the Summer 2020 season on May 18.


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  8. 100 Years of Roosevelt Lodge & Lake Lodge

    In 1920, Roosevelt Lodge and Lake Lodge opened as part of a transition from Wylie Permanent Tent Company site. In a nod to history, the newly remodeled Lake Lodge Cafeteria is now known as Wylie’s Canteen at Lake Lodge.


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  9. Picnics Perfected

    With sit-down dining closed, many guests purchased take-out meals and headed outdoors to one of the 52 designated picnic areas with tables in the park.


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  10. Masks Go Wild

    In indoor public areas of our facilities and in outdoor areas where proper distancing was not possible, our guests were required to wear face coverings to provide a safe and healthy experience. Our online store and in-park gift shops offer a selection of Yellowstone inspired face coverings.

  11. Getting Inspired By Yellowstone

    Unfortunately, due to Covid, we were not able to host artists in-person in the park. So, our ‘Inspired by Yellowstone’ series went digital this summer as we visited artists in their home studios.

  12. #GardinerStrong

    Yellowstone’s northern gateway community of Gardiner, MT suffered a tragedy when a fire destroyed several local businesses and residences in mid-July. Even as the fire began, community members were already stepping up to provide food, water, clothes, towels, and sheets for displaced residents and first responders. In the weeks after, donations continued to come in from people across the country and around the world.

  13. Christmas in August

    Christmas comes but twice each year: once at home and once up here! Celebrating Christmas in Yellowstone on August 25 is a staff tradition that dates back to the 1930s.

  14. Giantess Comes to Life

    On Tuesday, August 25, Giantess Geyser roared back to life after a period of more than 6-1/2 years without erupting.


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  15. Rowdy Rut

    September to mid-October is elk mating season in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Park visitors flock to the Mammoth area of the park, hoping to hear the haunting bugle of a bull elk or witness the males engage in battle firsthand.


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  16. Our Employees Can Do It!

    The success of the season would not have been possible without our employees. Food & Beverage, Housekeeping, Human Resources, Maintenance, and all other departments were able to provide memorable guest experiences while maintaining a safe and healthy environment for everyone. Thanks to all our staff who went above and beyond this season.

  17. Grizzly Bear Kills Bull Elk in Yellowstone River

    A grizzly chased a bull elk with a broken hind leg into the Madison River and drowned him before burying the elk carcass on the shore. He spent the next couple of weeks sleeping atop the pile and confronting other predators (like wolves) who tried to take his prize.


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  18. Steamboat’s Eruptions Continue

    The world’s tallest geyser (Steamboat) erupted more than 45 times in 2020 so far. Before 2018, Steamboat Geyser’s last major eruption occurred on September 3, 2014.


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  19. Yellowstone’s Winter Season Begins.

    As all things 2020, this winter season is a little different. Due to Covid, the Old Faithful Snow Lodge is not opening for overnight stays (day services only out of the Geyser Grill and Bear Den Gift Shop). The Mammoth Hotel is open, along with the Mammoth Dining Room, a new pizza delivery service for hotel guests, and a variety of tours into the park interior. While it’s different, there is still no better place to experience the silence and solitude of winter in Yellowstone.

  20. Hindsight is 2020.

    Our final moment of this year is saying goodbye to it! While it was full of some pretty unforgettable moments in Yellowstone National Park, we’re looking forward to a New Year in 2021 filled with more adventure and relaxation.

Have unforgettable moments of your own to share? Submit your own Yellowstone memories below!