By Austin Guide: Bryan Codi
I have been fortunate enough to guide for Austin Adventures in Yellowstone for almost a decade. Over the years, guests have often asked, “What is the craziest thing you’ve seen in Yellowstone?” While there have too many amazing adventures to count, I’ve narrowed it down to these five life-changing moments.
Grizzly Bears fighting the Hayden Valley Wolf pack
Several years ago while on our Family Yellowstone Adventure we were on the lookout during a drive from Lake Yellowstone to The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. This drive takes us through the glacially carved Hayden Valley and one of the premier wildlife viewing areas in North America. Just off the side of the road we got to see several of the Hayden Valley wolves waiting patiently while two grizzly bears were feeding on a bison carcass that the wolves had just taken down. Normally, wolves would never tangle with a bear but while we were watching the Alpha female began nipping at the bears.
2017 Solar Eclipse
A truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, we decided to amend our normal itinerary to head down to Jackson Lake to watch the eclipse. We got just over two minutes of totality, followed by a lovely Austin Adventure picnic lunch on the lawn.
Seeing a moose and her calves at sunrise
This summer while on our early morning wildlife safari in the Lamar Valley—known as Serengeti of North America—we came around a bend and spotted three moose at sunrise. Getting up early paid off as we got to see one of the rarest animals in Yellowstone, and totally away from crowds!
Geyser Hill in the winter
Geyser hill is home to Old Faithful, as well as the highest concentration of geysers on the planet. This area is breathtaking all summer long, but truly special on our Winter Adventures. Away from all the summer crowds, experiencing these geysers via cross country skis and snowshoes, and seeing a rare phenomenon where boiling hot geyser eruptions turn to diamond dust in mid-air!
Soaking in the Boiling River
This might be something that is on our itinerary week after week, but it never gets old. The soaking experience at Boiling River is truly unique among hot spring soaking anywhere in the world. The confluence of the 114-degree Boiling River, and the icy snowmelt of the Gardner River creates a “Goldilocks” zone where anyone can find their perfect temperature. Every time I relax in the warm water with my guests, I am reminded of why this is one of my favorite experiences.
While I have accumulated these favorites over the years, it’s a list that is constantly changing. Because Yellowstone is such an extraordinary place, what may be around the next corner could easily become number one.