Rocky Mountain Christmas 2012 – re-written and re-located

Welcome to our 2012 Holiday Trip to Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming, including Yellowstone National Park

The Roosevelt Arch is a rusticated triumphal arch at the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner, Montana, USA. Constructed under the supervision of the U.S. Army at Fort Yellowstone, its cornerstone was laid down by President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt in 1903. The top of the arch is inscribed with a quote from the Organic Act of 1872, legislation which created Yellowstone, and reads "For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People."

The most dangerous animal in the park, after humans, and we agreed, it's his road!

Next stop

Mammoth Springs is a large complex of hot springs on a hill of travertine in Yellowstone National Park adjacent to Fort Yellowstone and the Mammoth Hot Springs Historic District. It was created over thousands of years as hot water from the spring cooled and deposited calcium carbonate(over two tons flow into Mammoth each day in a solution). Although these springs lie outside the caldera boundary, their energy has been attributed to the same magmatic system that fuels other Yellowstone geothermal areas.

Mammoth Hot Springs would be our home for the remainder of Christmas Day, and we stayed two nights. As soon as we arrived, I visited my first ever ski shop to get fitted for cross-country skis and boots. Then off we went, my only lessons being a few YouTube videos, to the groomed trails of the upper springs. Falling was not so bad, but getting up good grief! The next day's professional ski lesson cleared that up.

Mammoth Springs at night - Snow and Christmas lights, in the Rocky Mountains - fantastic

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone has always been one of my most favorite places on the planet. My first visit in winter, it did not disappoint. From the Elk and Bison to the Bald Eagle eating a swan in the river, a coyote hunting the riverbank, and Old Faithful on a bitterly cold, icy morning, it was purely magical. 

Skiing Yellowstone

It was a real aha moment. There I was, on skiis for the first time in my life, in YELLOWSTONE! GO ahead, fall down, who cares. There Bison to the left of me, Coyote to the left, and thermal springs bubbbling up through the frosty air. Sheree' planned this trip, it was a real winner, never to be forgotten. 

Image Gallery of Yellowstone National Park - click on any image to begin slideshow

Lone Mountain Ranch

If you’re looking to experience an all-around guest winter ranch vacation that embodies Montana and the spirit of the Mountain West, the Winter Discovery Package is the ideal choice. Guests enjoy farm-to-table cuisine, evenings around a glowing woodstove, miles of cross-country ski terrain, and live western music to name a few of the experiences that leave guests returning year after year for our Discovery Package. Recently voted “Best Family Ranch” by Top 50 Ranches, experience the adventure of a lifetime your whole family will enjoy!

Our home for a few wonderful nights

These horses pull a nightly sleigh ride into the snowy forest.

Cross-country Skiing at Lone Mountain

Looking back, I wondered how we got this photo since we were alone, but if you notice, I do not have my skis on. The camera, timer set, was propped up on a pile of snow. This was an excellent ski outing. Did I say scary? At times I was, scared. But Sheree' was a real trooper, waiting up for me each time I uncovered myself from inside a snowbank. I learned how to snowplow real quick. I hope we can go back to Lone Mountain one day, or that you can get yourself there, for an incredible winter adventure.

Cross-country Skiing at Lone Mountain

National Geographic has identified Lone Mountain Ranch as a special property that embodies the values and commitments of protecting natural and cultural heritage, with an innovative approach to sustainability, where guests are treated to a rich array of meaningful experiences. It’s an honor to be part of the historic National Geographic Society.

Lone Mountain Ranch gallery

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