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Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park
Fast Facts




Yellowstone Nat'l Park
Wyoming 82190
Horseback Riding
X-Country Skiing
Natural Wonder
Points of Interest Nearby
Family Travel Tips

Child with Park Ranger


Photo by Alfredo De Simone

Mammoth Hot Springs is one of the most dynamic hydrothermal areas in Yellowstone National Park. And it is one of the park's most popular destinations. View travertine terraces. See multi-colored hot springs. Take a ranger-led walk. Learn about thermophiles and geothermal features. Tour Fort Yellowstone, a cavalry post from 1886 to 1916. Visit Albright Visitor Center and, in addition to exploring the exhibits, watch a short film on the history of Yellowstone. But don't limit your discovery to natural phenomena and history. Discover the habitats and terrain of the Northwest Yellowstone. Hike Beaver Ponds Trail, a moderate 5-mile loop, and catch sight of elk, mule deer, pronghorn, moose and beaver (dams and lodges). Head to the Boiling River, one of only two safe soaks in Yellowstone, and take a fun break from family touring. Follow Grand Loop Road south to Willow Park and watch wildlife in solitude in the early morning and late afternoon. Ride horseback in Gardners Hole and survey the backcountry from the saddle. Watch elk on the front lawn of the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel before you retire each evening. In winter, snowshoe and x-country ski in a group or individually.
Elk Facts
Bull Elk

Bull Elk

Alfredo De Simone


There are lots of fun facts about Elk. Did you know that:

  • Elk are a member of the deer family and subspecies of Red Deer.
  • Elk and wapiti are one and the same. Wapiti, white rump in Shawnee, is the Native American name and term most Canadians use.
  • Elk live in forested habitats. They are found in North America (western Canada and north central and western U.S.) as well as the high mountains of Central Asia.
  • Elk are both grazers and browsers meaning they eat grasses (grazers) as well as plants, leaves and bark (browsers).
  • Elk are ruminants. They have four-chambered stomachs and chew their cud.
  • Male elk are called bulls; females are called cows.
  • Bull elk are easily identified by their large antlers and dark shaggy mane as well as the bugling sound they make. All elk have a light colored rump as the name wapiti suggests.
  • Bull elk shed their antlers once a year. New antlers are covered with velvet, a fuzzy skin that carries oxygen and nutrients to the growing bones. The antlers of a mature bull can weigh as much as 40 pounds.
  • Cows live, feed and move in large herds up to 50 members in size. Bulls also travel in herds but they are single sex and much smaller in size. Males join female herds during the mating season called the rut.
  • Elk are prey for wolves, coyotes, cougars, mountain lions and bears both grizzly and black.
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