Wildlife in Yellowstone: What Can You See?

Yellowstone National Park is known worldwide for the wildlife and natural wonders it contains. Photographers wait for hours to get the perfect photograph of anything they can find. If you find yourself in the northwestern United States, why not hop onto a Salt Lake Express bus to West Yellowstone and learn why?

Here is a short list of some of the wildlife you can see!

The Gray Wolf

The gray wolf, also known as the Timber Wolf, is on the endangered species list. Though they once roamed through about two thirds of the United States, they only have populations in seven states now. Gray wolves typically weigh between 60 and 145 pounds, with size varying by gender. Females are usually smaller. They are generally about 5-7 feet long from nose to tail (the tail is usually about 2 feet long) and move in packs of up to 15 members! To learn more about gray wolves, you can visit the National Wildlife Federation’s Website.

The Grizzly Bear

The Grizzly Bear is a type of brown bear. They actually come in a wide variety of colors ranging from almost white to a dark brown. One of their more distinguishing features is the hump on their shoulders, which is where muscle connects to their backbone. Females can reach up to 800lbs while males can reach up to 1700lbs. Apparently the term “Grizzly Bear” originated because during the colder months they can be seen with the tips of their fur coated in ice. This can give them a “grizzled” or gray look. Learn more here!

The Mountain Lion

The Mountain Lion has many names. Some of the common ones are Puma, Panther and Cougar. They are located all throughout the Americas, and where they live has a profound influence on their size! Near the equator, they are much smaller, and the further north you go the larger they get. Smaller cats weigh between 64 and 115 pounds and larger cats can reach 141-220 pounds depending on gender. They are solitary creatures with wide ranges, living wherever food and shelter can be found. If you are interested, you can learn more here.

Red Fox

Red Foxes typically have red fur, with white fur across their bellies and chest. They can have gray patches, however, which sometimes causes them to be mistaken for their cousin the gray fox. The best way to tell the difference is to check the tail: gray foxes have a black tipped tails and red foxes have white tipped tails. Red foxes prefer to eat rabbits and mice, but are efficient scavengers when necessary. Their hearing is so good they can hear mice and other rodents digging underground! Click here to learn more!

Coyote

Coyotes are close cousins to wolves and are some of the most common wild canines in North America. They are rated as being of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Coyotes weigh between 15 and 44 pounds, and mostly feed on bison, deer, moose, elk and other large herbivores, though they will hunt and eat smaller game when they can. They have been known to stalk and attack humans from time to time, though this has only resulted in 2 known deaths and 130 injuries in the last 30 years, mostly in California where humans are encroaching on their habitat.

River Otter

River otters are highly social, playful animals. They live in families, usually a female and her offspring, or a group of males. Otters like to eat fish, which they hunt by hiding and ambushing them. They also eat insects, birds and some frogs and lizards. Otters have have few water predators, but on land they are hunted by everything from bobcats to grizzly bears. They are not considered endangered or at risk. If you want to know more about otters, here is a good place to start.

American Buffalo

American Buffalo are commonly called Bison. They can stand up to 6 feet tall and weigh upwards of 900 pounds. They live about 20 years when not raised in captivity, that’s why we love seeing them free in Yellowstone. Bison are identifiable by the hump on their back and their shaggy brown fur, They often grow beards and and the fur on their front is longer than the fur towards their rump. The eat constantly, and often do so even while on the move. Find more information about Bison here.

Yellowstone Elk

There are between 10,000 and 20,000 Elk in Yellowstone at any given time. They are the most populous hooved animal in the park. Each elk weighs between 500 and 700 pounds. Males grow antlers which have on average 6 tines or points. They use them to establish dominance over other males during mating, or “rutting”, season. The word elk originated with European settlers. The closest thing they had seen to an elk was a Moose, and so they used their name for moose. European still use the term Elk to refer to Moose, and this causes some confusion among European visitors.

Moose

Moose are the largest members of the deer family. They stand 6 feet tall and weigh up to 1,000 pounds. Because Moose are so tall, they have a hard time bending over to eat grass. Instead, they eat twigs and leaves. The word “moose” was the Algonquin word meaning “eaters of twigs”. Interestingly, each of their hairs is hollow, which allows the them to act as insulation in the winter. Unlike females, males grow horns in the spring for use during mating season in the fall. The antlers can grow to up to 6 feet and are used to fight other bulls for territory or mates. To find out more about moose in Yellowstone, go here!

Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn Sheep are compact animals, with thickly bunched musculature. They are well adapted to living in steep places such as slopes and mountainsides. Typically, bighorn sheep are white and males can be distinguished by their large curved horns, which weigh up to 30 pounds. They can weigh between 160 and 350 pounds, and stand around 40 inches (3′ 4″) high. They have been on the endangered species list, but made a recovery. There are still efforts to continue protecting them. Read here for more.

Mule Deer

Mule deer get their name from their large ears, which reminded settlers of a mule. Their other defining feature is the “mask” on their face. Mule deer range between 3 and 3.5 feet tall and 4 to 7 feet long. They usually weigh between 130 and 280 pounds. They are actually very picky eaters: they will eat only the most nutritious foods. This means they have more robust requirements for foraging and fewer places to live.

Pronghorn Antelope

Pronghorn Antelope are easily identifiable by their horns, as shown in the picture above. They are remarkably agile, and can reach speeds of nearly 60 miles per hour. Pronghorns also have excellent vision, which allows them to spot predators from further away on their long migrations. They will eat grasses shrubs and most other greenery, and they seldom drink water since they get all the water they need from the plants they eat. If you’d like to know more, go here.

White Tailed Deer

White Tailed Deer are the smallest member of the deer family. They live throughout most of the Rocky Mountains, Arizona and most of Mexico. White Tailed Deer stand almost 3 feet tall and can weigh up to 300 pounds. Males grow antlers as seen in the photograph above and when frightened they raise their tail to signal other deer that danger is near by. More information on White Tailed Deer can be found here.

Beaver

The American Beaver is the largest rodent in America. The distinguishing feature of the beaver is it’s long flat tail, which it uses to navigate more easily in the water. It also uses its tail to raise the alarm when there is danger by slapping the water. The Beaver builds dams by chewing down trees or chewing through branches to build their homes. Their teeth are always growing, so chewing on trees prevents their teeth from getting too long. Find out more here!

Chipmunks

Chipmunks are rodents that can often be seen playing, fighting for food and generally scampering around the Yellowstone area. They are small and striped, and they hoard food in preparation for winter. This makes them an important part of the ecosystem because it moves seeds around for plants and trees. They are also an important source of food for predators, such as foxes and coyotes. Information on Chipmunks can be found here.

Yellow Bellied Marmots

Yellow bellied marmots are also called Rock Chucks and are a member of the ground squirrel family. They are found across the mountainous areas of Canada and the Western United States. Marmots are typically brown in color and weigh about 11 pounds. They are very common and not considered to be under threat. They like to poke their heads out of their burrows and look at anything they are curious about that might be passing by. If you’d like to learn more this is a good place to start.

Red Squirrels

While Red Squirrels may be very common they are also very cute! The are another animal that hoards nuts and berries leading up to the winter months and are therefore important for the life cycles of trees and other plants. They also serve as prey for most ground predators and even some larger birds. They can be fearless around humans when they live in cities and towns, and their habitat crosses readily into areas with large human populations. For more information about squirrels, here is a good place to start.

Bats

Yellowstone is home to 13 varieties of bats, and all eat insects and are active at night. Unfortunately, due to a fungal infection, many of the bats populations are falling. Several species of bats have become extinct, and the other cannot recover quickly because they raise only 1 pup per female per year. If you see a bat, don’t be scared! Instead, thank them for controlling the insect population and leave it in peace so the population can rise. To learn more about bats, you can go here or here.

While this may seem like an extensive list, there are many more animals to see in Yellowstone Park! Go to Yellowstone National Park’s Website to learn more.

disinfectant_handsanitizer_health_screenings_for_travel

Masks, Hand Sanitizer, Health Screenings, & More

How can we help you travel more confidently?

As we enter back into a realm of normalcy, we understand that it’s going to take some time. However, we’re here to help that process along. Our goal here at Salt Lake Express is to earn the trust of our travelers. Even if that takes a little time. In order to improve confidence among our travelers, we’re implementing the following practices on our buses.

Health Screenings

To ensure our riders’ safety on our end, we’re making sure that all of our drivers are taking necessary precautions. They will all receive a basic health screening before their shift. This will help us know if anyone is feeling ill or showing early signs of illness. If a driver is unfit, then a different driver will take their place.

We have and are considering screening our passengers. However, it is a large undertaking so at the current moment we are adhering to social distancing practices. We have scaled back the amount of passengers allowed on a single bus.

Hand Sanitizer

Along with health screenings and the current disinfecting practices employed, we are now offering hand sanitizer. To be direct, we know that it doesn’t matter how often we tell you that we clean our buses if you don’t see it happen with your own eyes. In order to help with this effort, we will provide hand sanitizer on our buses as well as cleaning wipes that you are able to wipe down your area with.

You will find the hand sanitizer near the passenger entry of each bus. This way you are able to use it before touching any surfaces on the bus.

Face Masks

Applying a face mask - step 1

In doing our part to continue to slow the spread, we have been providing masks for all travelers for weeks now. When used in accordance with CDC guidelines, face masks can be effective at helping slow the spread of the virus.

While our drivers and riders employ these safety standards combined with common sense, we believe our buses are a safe transportation option during this time. With the addition of these provided face masks in conjunction with the daily deep cleaning of our vehicles, we are prepared for people to start traveling again.

The CDC recommends wearing face masks in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

Social Distancing

We are able to accommodate social distancing whenever possible. What we mean by this is that it’s really difficult to have a true 6 foot separation on buses. We are social distancing by limiting capacity on our vehicles whenever possible. This will help to make way for better social distancing while riding one of our buses.

In sum, our goal is to continue to do everything in our power to ensure safety while traveling with us. We believe that by taking these measures we can help people begin to feel comfortable when resuming regular travel again.

5 Trips to Make With Salt Lake Express

From Great Falls, Montana to Las Vegas, Nevada, Salt Lake Express keeps you connected. To family, friends, events, recreation, and everything in between.

We wish to replicate your road trip experience as much as possible, plus every convenience and accommodation we can. That’s why we offer individual outlets and incomparable leg room.

So, we provide the shuttle and the experience. But where to go?

We love to keep you connected to the things and people we love. Usually, you won’t need advice on where to go or reasons to travel. But here are a few trips you can take that Salt Lake Express can offer you.

Visit relatives

Along our route are various college towns and places with growing industry. If you have flocked to one of these towns for your education or work, you have a lot going on in your life! But be sure to make time to visit relatives along our route. Keep those connections alive and vibrant. They, even more so than school or work, can make your life all the more fulfilling.

See a concert

Performers love Salt Lake City. As one of the larger Intermountain metropolis’, it naturally attracts a variety of culture, art, and entertainment. This is the bread and butter for many musicians. Artists or bands often comment on not only the enthusiastic crowds and great reception, but the beautiful scenery and awesome venues. With such a draw toward famous and underground performers alike, there are always stellar concerts coming to Salt Lake.

And of course, Vegas is no stranger to performance and performers. To catch big ticket concerts and other Vegas shows, schedule your trip through Salt Lake Express and we’ll get you there and back again.

The big events

The Festival of Colors in Spanish Fork. Comic-Con in Salt Lake. The Great American Eclipse in Rexburg. Burning Man in the Black Rock Desert. We have the privilege in this part of the country to be privy to all sorts of iconic and exciting events. Some of these are once in a lifetime spectacles, others you may go back to year after year. But don’t waste gas and miles going down yourself. We’ve got you covered! We’re happy to be your vessel to adventure and lifelong memories!

Hiking, fishing, and recreation

Sometimes we aren’t lucky enough to have sweeping vistas and thrilling landscape in our backyards. But Salt Lake Express is glad to take you to those enchanting places. From world famous hiking, to unparalleled fishing, to historic landmarks, to national parks, we take you there.

There is no number or limit to the opportunities waiting for you out there. But there is an easy and efficient way to get you there. Salt Lake Express shuttles have six wheels and many amenities designed to serve you and take you to your destination.

Regardless of what adventure you have in mind, Salt Lake Express has your back.

Top 5 Water Parks To Cool Down at This Summer – Salt Lake Express

The temperatures are really starting to heat up lately into the high 90’s and 100’s. If you have not already pulled out your swimming wear from the bottom of your dresser draws, it’s time to do it and hit those water parks. There are plenty of amazing waterpark locations from Rexburg, Idaho to Provo, Utah to get wet in and enjoy.

There are so many great waterparks to enjoy in Idaho and Utah so below you’ll find a list of our best attempt to identify five locations with great options. Most locations have really fun water slides, diving boards, lap pools, hot tubs, and so much more.

Lava Hot Springs

Lava Hot Springs is a city in Bannock County, Idaho. It is referred to as, “The World Famous Hot Springs” and that reference definitely lives up to the hype. One of the best features of this park is the relaxing geothermal hot springs that range from 102 degrees to 112 degrees. They’re perfect for cold winter days or during the summer when the sun goes down.

Besides the hot springs, it also has an outdoor olympic pool, diving platforms, water slides, and a aquatic center. The diving platforms are 5 m (16.4 ft.), 7 m (22.9 ft.), and 10 m (32.8 ft.) high. There are two speed and two curly water slides as well. The two speed slides have a “60 foot vertical drop and terminal velocity of 38 mph!” It is really a great water park.

Rexburg Rapids

Rexburg Rapids opened its doors in the summer of 2011. Some of the water park features include a outdoor pool, two water slides, a rock climbing wall, kids section, and a mini river to ride your tube on.  The park is also very kid friendly and has a slide and other water toys for kids to use.

Some other great options that make the visit worthwhile are a grass volleyball area, plenty of places to sit, and the option of parties and rentals.

Ross Park Aquatic Complex

Ross Park Aquatic Complex (RPAC) is located in Pocatello, Idaho. The water park was built to provide a positive summer recreational experience for the local community, and it definitely does that. Park features include a main pool with two lanes as a lap pool, a pool with a cargo net and lily pads, concession stands, lazy tube river, and large waterslide. The park is also kid friendly with a zero depth pool and playground.

Seven Peaks Resort Water Park

Seven Peaks Resort has locations beyond Provo, Utah but here we’ll be talking about the location in Provo. The water park has been redone with upgrades across the park. Some of those upgrades include healthier food options, rentable cabanas and free park seating. They’re also extending their hours to include late night weekend and a Friday night concert series.

Seven Peaks features include wave pools, lazy rivers, water slides, and more. The lazy river is just under a quarter mile long and is a great way to relax as you ride on a rube. The slides are great for kids as well as adults who want to have the ride of their life. The Sky Breaker slide can descend more than six stories in less than 4.5 seconds.

Cherry Hill Water Park

Cherry Hill Water Park is located in Kaysville, Utah and has some amazing features as well. One of the new additions to the park is a racing slide called The Little Dipper. It’s basically four slides for kids to race down and have some fun. There’s also a 40 foot pirate ship and a 18″ splash pool with mermaids and pirates.

For adults, there is a lazy river, water slides with fog and lighting, and a guest pool free to camping guests. The lazy river loops around a themed mining town and every 45 minutes, “explosive” water blasts shoot out.

 

Best Fireworks Shows in East Idaho – July 2017

If you’re going to be up in Idaho this weekend, you’re in luck. While it might not normally seem like the best place to be, it definitely is for the Fourth of July weekend. Check out these places to watch the best fireworks shows in East Idaho.

Fireworks shows are the best

Rexburg

If you’re a true fireworks junkie, stop by Rexburg first. On Saturday, July 1st, after the Whoopee Days Rodeo (which starts at 7:00 pm), the fireworks will light up the Rexburg sky. It’s planned for 9:45. Because it’s on Saturday, you can watch both this one and other fireworks shows on the Fourth.

Idaho Falls

As for fireworks shows on the Fourth, here’s the big one – The Melaleuca Freedom Celebration. Thousands of people attend this event every year. The celebration has even got so big, in fact, that it had to be moved this year. Instead of being at the John’s Hole Boat Dock, the fireworks will be launched from the Snake River Landing. This is one celebration that you don’t want to miss.

fireworks shows big time

Pocatello

This whole week, Pocatello is celebrating The Biggest Show in Idaho. With events like a Fishing Derby, Mud Volleyball, and Bull Ball, it should be a party even before Tuesday’s events. On Tuesday, the fun starts at 9:00 am with a parade, continues throughout the day with a beach party, and the fireworks show at 10:00 pm caps it all off. If you’re looking for a week of fun, this is the show to go to.

Driggs

Driggs is another city celebrating all week. Starting on Saturday and Sunday, the Teton Mountains won’t be the only thing on the horizon – hot air balloons will fill the sky. For the 36th year in a row, Driggs will celebrate the Teton Valley Balloon Rally by shooting hot air balloons into the early morning sky. On the Fourth, the city will celebrate with a Mud Lake Challenge 5k Run, a parade, and live music. Finally, to cap it all off, the city will feature a giant, 20+ minute fireworks show at 10:20 pm.

Fireworks shows over trees

Jackson Hole

Finally, for those of you who want to be more touristy this weekend, Jackson Hole features events all day long. The day starts at 7 am with an all-you-can-eat breakfast and continues with a parade at 10:30 am. As the day goes on, Jackson Hole hosts a live reenactment of a shootout at 6:00 pm and a rodeo at 8:00 pm. Finally, at 10:00 pm, two places will let fireworks fly: the base of Snow King Mountain in the town of Jackson and at the base of the Tetons in Teton Village.

 

Whichever fireworks show you choose, you’re sure to be happy. With most cities celebrating with events throughout the day and fireworks at night, there won’t be any excuses for being bored this weekend. Stay safe and have fun!

 

2017 Solar Eclipse

What You Need to Know About the 2017 Solar Eclipse

The last time a total solar eclipse swept from the Atlantic to the Pacific, the United States was still involved in World War I. Back then, thousands of people watched the solar eclipse. Now, officials expect hundreds of thousands to watch it. Here are a few things you need to know about the upcoming solar eclipse.

Thousands came to the 1918 solar eclipse

Solar Eclipse – Need-To-Know Facts

It’s happening on August 21. Scientists have been able to predict this particular eclipse for hundreds of years; it’s a big deal. Now, we know exactly where the eclipse will happen from minute to minute. The sun will cross Southeast Idaho at 11:30.

It won’t last long. Because they travel at over 2,000 miles per hour, the shadows won’t stay to hang out. Even if you’re at the center of the path, you’ll only see it for two and a half minutes.

The stars will come out. During the short period of totality, the sky will turn dark as the shadow of the moon races towards you. You’ll get to experience a sunset and sunrise in the middle of the day. While embraced in the shadow of the moon, stars and planets will come out from hiding and be completely visible.

Total solar eclipse

Utah Will Travel

Utah is well outside the zone of totality. The majority of Utah will only experience a 91% solar eclipse, which is a lot less than it sounds. Without solar glasses, most people won’t even notice it’s happening. Everybody from Utah who wishes to see it will have to travel. Luckily, they only have to travel a few hours. The southern half of the path passes through Shelley and Idaho Falls.

Idaho will be a great place for the solar eclipse

There’s Still Some Uncertainty

Two things are uncertain: the weather and because of that, the number of people flooding into the area. Depending on the weather, local government officials expect between fifty thousand and one million people to flock to Southeast Idaho and West Wyoming. While this might cause some traffic jams and problems with the cell phone service, it will be well worth it to see this once-in-a-lifetime event.

For more information, visit: https://www.greatamericaneclipse.com/idaho/