The King

Make no mistake, not everyone is equal in this revered place.

There is a hierarchy in Yellowstone that is permanently established in the park code. All the animals, from the smallest to the largest, live by it and all the humans, from the tourists to the park rangers, carefully respect it.

That’s why the atmosphere is electric. The air is filled with steam as though in preparation for the grand entrance of a Hollywood celebrity.

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Initially it’s hard to see anything more than the outline of a hulking figure. Something is moving along forcefully, almost in a swagger, with nothing standing in its path.


Suddenly a male grizzly emerges – on a mission. With muscles effortlessly rippling over massive shoulders and mighty claws slicing the air with every step, he is a fine specimen. The onlookers nod their approval and whisper in awe.

He may be the main attraction but he chooses to ignore their presence, almost with disdain. It does nothing to quell their enthusiasm. Why? There is only one king in Yellowstone. And that gives the grizzly star power.

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Latest Comments

  1. Tim Timmis says:

    Congrat’s Lyle on the great photos and experience. That had to be a very cool trip. Thanks for sharing.


  2. Round River Reflections says:

    Incredible photography! I have just found your blog and glad I did! I too have found joy in sharing my photos and the stories they tell!


  3. Kodiak My Little Grizzly says:

    I’m so jealous….. Love these photos!!!


  4. doraiswamyganesh says:

    Dear Lyle, Absolutely stunning pictures of the great grizzly. As some one else has also said I am astounded by the claws of the right paw. Regards, Ganesh


  5. dda53 says:

    Awesome, such a powerful animal. Demands respect from a distance. How long did it take to get the smile off your face? 😉


    • lylekrahn says:

      There is incredible power locked up in those creatures. Later that day we ended up watching a fox hunt and I’m not sure the smile has ever completely left from that day.


  6. westerner54 says:

    These are just grand. I especially like the first one in the steam. Just returned from driving my father and a friend of his through Yellowstone. I did spot a grizzly on a far off hillside, but they never did manage to find it before it wandered out of sight. (“He’s straight in front of you – at 12 o’clock, right below that big fir!” “That big what?” “That pine tree.” “Oh, why didn’t you say pine tree, then? I still don’t see it. Are you sure it’s a bear??”) They loved the park anyway.


  7. Stefano says:

    Great series!


  8. Mike Powell says:

    Long live the King! Wonderful shots, Lyle. You did a great job in capturing both the beauty and the power of this amazing animal. That trip to Yellowstone really paid off in satisfying (at least temporarily) your desire to photograph big game.


    • lylekrahn says:

      Thanks. The power packed within that animal is remarkable. It’s funny how the desire to photograph big game can only get temporarily satisfied. We followed the Yellowstone trip with a shorter trip to Banff and saw a lot more bears – more temporary satisfaction.


  9. niasunset says:

    Great photographs you captured, Thanks and Love, nia


  10. webcentrick says:

    I’m gonna be there in just under 3 weeks! Great shots and awe-inspiring!





  11. queenlorene says:

    Wowwie wow wow! What pictures! What a memory keeper! I couldn’t stop staring that those enormous claws…..


  12. melodylowes says:

    Star power indeed! I’ve seen grizzlies – but never in my lens. Your heart must have been pumping!!


  13. Mind Margins/Run Nature says:

    Indeed, he is a most impressive king of Yellowstone. We had an up close encounter with a female grizzly just as we got into our car after deciding not to hike a trail that didn’t open until the next day (because of bear activity). I had a sixth sense that we shouldn’t jump the gun and go ahead and hike the trail, and as we returned to the car she came sauntering out, in all her rapacious glory. She had one intent only, and that was to eat. More than anything else, I remember her CLAWS. Great photos, Lyle!


  14. Deb W. Trotter says:

    Not much in the forest more impressive than the grizzly bear. You got some great photos. How far away was the furry king from you?


    • lylekrahn says:

      You certainly have that right. I think it was about 75-100 yards away but it was moving across in front of us. I learned to appreciate the park rangers in Yellowstone who allowed people to see what they came for and answered everyone’s questions while keeping it all safe.


  15. Gunta says:

    Utterly stunning shots. There’s something about the claws on that right front paw that are completely riveting. My eye keeps zooming back to it as if drawn by a magnet. Perhaps a metaphor for the power of this mighty beast.


    • Gunta says:

      Sorry, I meant to say I was referring to the second image in particular.


      • lylekrahn says:

        Thanks. I totally agree about the claws. Every step he took, he seemed to swat the air in a fluid motion and it got my full attention. I mostly see claws in that photo too and it’s sort of funny because they don’t represent a large amount of space on the photo. But they are powerful.


  16. Phil Lanoue says:

    Wonderful photos and commentary on this magnificent animal! He is at the top of the food chain there I’m guessing?


    • lylekrahn says:

      Glad you liked it. Yes quite comfortably sitting at the top of the food chain though he would leave the massive bison bulls alone since they have some game too.


  17. Mark Conway says:

    Just awesome. What an incredible animal. Well done Lyle!


  18. wordkate says:

    It’s a wonderful post


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