NOTE: Both this Mammoth area map and the terraces map on 263 have north at the top, so they differ slightly from some ocial NPS maps. The flat grassy area in the center of the Mammoth Hot Springs area was used as a parade ground when the U.S. Cavalry was in charge of the park (1886-1918). Imagine the fine displays of horsemanship the soldiers put on for the guests at the hotel, despite fears that the hollow ground might cave in under the horses’ hooves. There are still people alive who remember the years after the army left, when winter residents flooded the area for ice-skating. A Plant Special to Mammoth Why are there cultivated green lawns at Mammoth, when this is supposed to be a natural and wild place? The U.S.
Cavalry first created a bare parade ground at the base of the terraces but later brought in soil, seeded it with grass and clover, and installed an irrigation system. Perhaps the ocers and other residents also wanted grass to help them feel at home while stationed here. This is the only place in Yellowstone where you’ll see green grass lawns. @ The large store building, now closed, located at the edge of the open area along the road to Tower-Roosevelt, was built in 1929 as the headquarters for Haynes Picture Shops. All the other buildings you see in this part of Mammoth, with one exception, are oces and workshops and housing for employees, since this is the center of administration and maintenance for the entire park. The one public building found on the road toward Tower-Roosevelt is the Yellowstone National Park Chapel, the last stone building as you leave the developed area. Built in 1913 in the cruciform shape indicative of Episcopalian origin, the chapel has always been non-denominational and used for weddings as well as services. Times for Saturday mass and Sunday services are posted on the board in front of the building. The Y.N.P. Chapel was planned by year-round residents of Mammoth, including Judge John W. Meldrum, the U.S. Commissioner for the park who served from 1894 to 1935.
It was built of native sandstone by a Billings construction company and furnished in oak. The chapel vestibule is graced with painted and stained glass windows The resident elk herd at Mammoth helps keep the grass short. Windows in the chapel vestibule. showing Old Faithful, the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone, and common flora and fauna of the area. These windows, made and given to the park by Miss Jessie Van Brunt, were installed at the front entrance in 1939. Animals and Holes in the Ground Mammoth is the year-round home of a herd of elk (also called by its Shawnee name wapiti, meaning white rump). These elk are not tame, so keep a safe distance away the Park Service says 25 yards (23 m) away. In early summer, you’ll see mostly cows and calves grazing and resting in the shade. Sometimes they’ll be on the terraces themselves, since there are fewer bugs there, and the white travertine reflects the heat away. In the autumn, the bull elk round up their harems and sound off with their peculiar bugling sound. The males with small single-pronged antlers are yearlings. Watch your step if you’re walking on the grass! Deep burrows dug by Uinta ground squirrels are everywhere.
This rodent, which children love to watch, appears to be a cross between a red squirrel and a yellow-bellied marmot, both of which live elsewhere in the park. These squirrels stay underground for up to seven months of the year. Another animal you may see at the outskirts of Mammoth is the coyote. Coyotes are smaller and slimmer than wolves and much less shy. In fact, there have been some incidents of coyotes biting humans in recent years after they were fed human food. Special Caution: Do not approach or feed any animals in the park. While walking in front of the visitor center, you’ll see three holes in the ground that are much too wide and deep to be ground squirrel burrows. These are collapse features, where water has flowed through the travertine, weakened it, and dissolved it away until the ground above has caved in.
Yellowstone Mammoth Hot Springs Area Photo Gallery
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