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Permits are required for boating, fishing, backcountry camping and weddings.
About 300 full time employees live there year round. "It pretty rural and only packed with visitors in the summer," he said. "We have seven months of winter, so you have to be really outdoorsy and love your surroundings."
It can also be brutal. "Nature is what driving life here," he said. "We seen the most brutal acts of nature happen in our front yard. I accept it because I know where I live, and I know what I seeing.
The location: Yellowstone is located on 2.2 million acres, mostly in Wyoming northwest corner. (Just 1% is in Idaho, and 3% is in Montana.) Although Yellowstone is open year round, just one road from Cooke City, Montana, to Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming, is plowed in winter.
If you go: Park admission is $25 for a private, non commercial vehicle, $20 for a snowmobile or motorcycle and $12 for visitors ages 16 and older arriving via foot, bike, skis, etc. Passes are valid for seven days and grant admission to Grand Teton National Park. (Save your receipt for proof of payment.)
"I think it the prettiest part of the park," Hottle said. "It got bears, elk, bison, wolves. If you going to see any animal, you going to see it in the middle of the park."
Marine vet finds home at Yellowstone
raging rivers. There aren a lot of visitors."
The series will run through Labor Day. Marine Dan Hottle knew he had found his dream job at Yellowstone National Park. Marine Corps in 2002, his combat tour in Afghanistan was still on his mind. Just walking into a convenience store created sensory overload. So he bought a backpack, filled it with camping gear and hiked national parks extending from California to the Midwest.
Most magical moment in the park: He remembers a moment with Puma Basket White Sale
About 55 miles from his home in Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming, "it the most rugged and mountainous part of the park," he said. "It feels like you in the Swiss Alps with rugged young mountains that pop up, getting most of the snowfall in the park and Puma Basket Heart Hot Pink
Hottle watched the elk swim to the side of the lake and climb out of the water.
As the sun was setting, "I sat down on a rock to look at the water, heard a snorting noise and saw a five point bull elk swim out into the water in front of me," he said. "I just saw his great big eyes and heard his breathing, swimming almost silently."
Early in the morning or later in the evening, when he driving the only car on the road, Hottle likes to stop at a pullout about halfway to Lamar Valley, where he can sometimes hear wolves howling. He doesn have to hike more than one or two miles for a good chance to see a wolf pack or any of other animals that live in the park.
Hottle had worked as an enlisted public affairs specialist in the military and Basket Heart Puma Trainers
"He shook himself off he weighed 1,500 pounds maybe and ran over the other side of the road into the trees. Before he disappeared into those trees, he looked at me. A wildlife to human moment."
had run his own video production business after being discharged. Keeping his eyes open for jobs in the federal government, he noticed a job posting for a spokesman at Yellowstone that seemed too good to be true. Army administered the park for the first 32 years of its existence, and many of its first park rangers were veterans. Yellowstone headquarters are old Army barracks dating to the early 1900s.
Park stats: Yellowstone National Park was the fourth most visited national park (PDF) in 2012, with 3.4 million visitors last year.
a five point bull elk at Phantom Lake in 2011. Near Blacktail Plateau, the lake usually fills during the spring melt and dries up by July. But sometimes it can last throughout the summer.
Favorite less traveled spot: Hottle favorite spot doesn have a name. It in the northeast corner of the park, just outside Lamar Valley and near Cooke City, Montana.
For a day trip, don miss: Canyon Village, in the center of the park. While Old Faithful Geyser is the big draw for first time visitors to Yellowstone, it can take the whole day to enjoy and get around the geyser basin where it located. Hottle likes to send people about 25 miles away to Canyon Village, which features the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Formed by the Yellowstone River, the canyon is about 20 miles long with widths ranging from 1,500 to 4,000 feet and depths of 800 to 1,200 feet. It also fairly young, estimated to be between 10,000 to 14,000 years old.
His family hikes there year round, snowshoes and skis there in the winter and has picnics there in the summer. "It where we see the most wildlife," he said.
Although the spot is well known in the wolf watching and backcountry hiking community, he Puma Basket Platform Black And Gold said, "most people would drive right through it."
Funniest moment at the park: Moments after he spotted that bull elk, a tourist asked him, "Where the wildlife?" Every day, people come up to him and ask him that question, and "behind them are 30 elk" or other wild animals, he says. "I think that pretty funny."
"I saw an injured bison on the road, and I know it going to be food for a grizzly bear later this afternoon. That hard for people to get their heads around. They think it cruel and inhumane for some of the natural processes to occur. But they get it when we explain it to them."
"Where I had just come from was so austere," he said. "So the national parks were the perfect place to be by myself. It the best thing I could do."
Favorite spot to view wildlife: The rangers will tell you that anytime you go off trail anywhere in the park, there a good chance you spot wildlife. Still, Hottle likes his chances on the drive through Blacktail Plateau.
If you determined to see Old Faithful, don miss the nearby Grand Prismatic Spring. "The vibrancy of the colors around the spring are created by natural bacteria," Hottle said. "Those are quintessential colors of science and Yellowstone."
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