Great Northern PT’s Guide to Yellowstone National Park

Far too often we hear locals say they avoid Yellowstone because of the people and crowds.  We at Great Northern PT enjoy Yellowstone during all months of the year. In this blog we will share some of our secrets to escaping the crowds.


Spring Is One of the Best Times to See Wildlife and Avoid the Crowds:

When I think of spring, I immediately get excited about seeing Grizzlies who have emerged from their dens or perhaps a black bear and cubs near Tower. In May the Lamar Valley is dotted with bison and their red calves. FYI…the wolf puppies are starting to emerge from their dens near Slough creek.

There are a few magical weeks every spring when some road segments are only opened to cyclists.

And Spring means babies…

Here are a few photos from Christian and Amy’s trip into Yellowstone on Mother’s Day this year.


Summer in Yellowstone (head to the backcountry)

The best way to avoid the crowds is to head to the backcountry. Backcountry camping permits can be obtained through We have been able to enjoy multiple day trips without seeing another person once we are 3 miles from the road. Yellowstone National Park maintains 293 designated backcountry campsites. Get in the backcountry of Yellowstone and you can feel like you have Yellowstone all to yourself. Pull out a map and start planning to disappear into the Yellowstone’s 3,472 square miles for a few days.

Fall In Yellowstone (think Fall Colors and Bugling Elk)

Elk Bugling and sparing in their fall mating ritual is a sight to behold.

Yellowstone is a Winter Wonderland

Whether you choose to ski Fawn Pass, ski the Blacktail Plateau, take a snow coach into Canyon or Old Faithful or drive through the Lamar Valley Yellowstone in Winter is Magical!

We look forward to hearing your Yellowstone Stories and Photos.

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Breathing and Your Pelvic Floor

The pelvic floor is certainly a hot topic of conversation for many men and women. Specifically, people begin to focus on their pelvic floor when they are having incontinence, urgency/frequency, prolapse, or pain associated with going to the bathroom or having sex. These are all issues related to pelvic floor dysfunction. But, what many don’t realize, is that your pelvic floor is also integral in one of our most basic functions: breath.

The diaphragm, our respiratory muscle, is located at the bottom of the ribcage. At rest, the diaphragm is a domelike shape, and with inhalation the diaphragm muscle contracts and drops downward toward your pelvis. This downward motion is followed by a shifting downward of internal organs, into the pelvic bowl. The pelvic floor muscles and fascia make up the bottom of the pelvic bowl. So, with this downward force during inhalation, the pelvic floor muscles also descend or stretch slightly downward. Immediately following inhalation and pelvic floor descent, is exhalation, and similarly, the pelvic floor follows the diaphragm as it rises upward to a resting position. This synchronous rising and falling of the diaphragm and pelvic floor is often referred to as the “piston effect”.

Not to be left out, the lower abdominal muscles (transverse abdominis) also contribute to this synchronous movement pattern. Working together by relaxing and stretching with inhalation and a “belly breath”, and tightening and drawing inward slightly with exhalation. In this way, the diaphragm, abdominals, and pelvic floor make up an abdominal cylinder that modulates intra-abdominal forces and pressure changes.

When this cylinder isn’t coordinating well together, or if there is tightness or weakness within the system, we see common musculoskeletal complaints: low back pain, SIJ pain, poor stability through the back and pelvis, hip pain, pelvic pain, incontinence, urgency/frequency of urine or stool, prolapse, poor posture, balance issues, and intolerance to exercise.

Our pelvic floor physical therapists can help evaluate these movement patterns and coordination of these systems, and create a treatment approach specific to you and your individual challenges.