Most visitors to most national parks never even leave the road system. I have found some of my best wildlife encounters off of the road on even just short hikes but away from the hustle and bustle that happens when wildlife make appearances along the roads. This is another one of the many reasons I love our national parks. The land that has been secured and protected to enjoy, explore and escape to the peace of nature is a luxury I enjoy as often as possible. Two days before taking this photo, I saw a herd of bighorn sheep on the ridge while a large group had gathered to watch a pack of wolves. I decided I would hike up to get a better view but didn't have the opportunity until two days later. As I started on the trail, I didn't see any sheep but figured it was a beautiful afternoon for a hike and went anyway up the trail. To my surprise and amazement, I found the herd of sheep - about 20 bighorn rams, ewes and lambs - enjoying a snowfield two ridges away from the road. There wasn't another soul around so I enjoyed, in a moment only I witnessed, the sheep playing in the snow for over an hour. After their playtime, they settled down on the high grassy ridges for a little relaxation. Moments like this are why I keep returning to my favorite national parks and why I keep exploring new national parks as frequently as possible. Photographed in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.