Yellowstone & Grand Tetons Wildlife

Mar 11th, 2014, 07:17 AM
  #1  
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Yellowstone & Grand Tetons Wildlife

I'm taking my married daughter and granddaughter to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons for 6 days in late July.

Other than bison (I know where they are) I'm looking for places that are frequented by the other wildlife. Bears, moose, deer, elk, etc.

I was there several years ago and other than bison, I didn't come across a lot of wildlife. One moose, a couple of deer, one bear, one in the fox-type family.

We'll be spending 2 nights each in OF, Canyon and Signal Mtn.

We most likely won't go to Mammoth and might get to Lamar depending how the Mt Washburn hike goes. My granddaughter has asked that we try this hike. I did it on my last trip. The trail is very easy though it's probably too long for a 7 year old. The problem is that it starts at 8,800 ft and ends over 10,300 ft.

In general I'm looking for locations frequented by wildlife.
Myer is offline  
Mar 11th, 2014, 07:49 AM
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Lamar Valley is the prime spot in Yellowstone.

Bears are totally unpredictable so consider yourself lucky if you see even one.

It always helps to be out and about around sunrise and sunset, you're more likely to see elk and deer then.
WhereAreWe is offline  
Mar 11th, 2014, 08:01 AM
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Bison (almost guaranteed) and wolves (if you're lucky) in the Lamar Valley. Elk around Mammoth Hot Springs. Bison and elk are also widely dispersed and can often be seen in other areas.

Coyotes throughout the park. As WhereAreWe said, bears are elusive but I have seen them more often the not in the mid-elevations as I was climbing from our descending to the valley floors.
dwooddon is offline  
Mar 11th, 2014, 11:34 AM
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I think early to mid-June is better for wildlife. I think the bears head to higher elevations as the summer goes on(escape heat and people and search for food).

I thought Mt. Washburn actually might be a good place to see bears in the summer.

We had a lot better luck with moose in Tetons than Yellowstone.
We were there about 4 or 5 years ago. In Yellowstone we saw a lazy bear just outside Lamar Valley. Saw Rosie and her cub at Tower area. Saw scarface crossing a road. Then saw another bear around Hayden Valley(this one up super close).
I'm pretty sure bears are fairly frequent around Jenny Lake area.
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Mar 11th, 2014, 11:35 AM
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If you get a ranger that is friendly enough to suggest places to catch wildlife, they a lot of the times have the most up to date knowledge of where things are happening
spirobulldog is offline  
Mar 11th, 2014, 02:17 PM
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Most of the moose are gone in Yellowstone :'( Last time we were there all the babies that were born that spring were killed by the wolves. You have a much better chance of seeing moose at the Grand Tetons. Ask the rangers, they know where to spot them each year.

Utahtea
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Mar 11th, 2014, 02:35 PM
  #7  
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Thanks. I'm finding in some parks viewing wildlife is a competition. Us against the rangers.
Myer is offline  
Mar 11th, 2014, 02:47 PM
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There's a really generalized map at this link which shows where you could expect to see certain species with more frequency.

http://www.nps.gov/yell/naturescience/mammalscheck.htm

Late July is the start of the bison rut so that will be quite a sight to see. Not that you aren't cautious around them already, but that time of year you'll want to be especially careful and aware of where the males are at all times.

In my experience the rangers are helpful when discussing wildlife with the exception of grizzlies - they tend to try to keep people away from them when they know one (or more) have been sighted in a certain location.
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Mar 11th, 2014, 05:32 PM
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http://forums.yellowstone.net/

I remember looking a this site a lot before our trip. It seems they really say a lot about where the wolves are in the winter. Not sure if they say much about the wildlife in the summer. It's a pretty neat site though.
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Mar 12th, 2014, 10:54 AM
  #10  
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WhereAreWe,
Good map. Thanks.

I know we'll be near Hayden. My almost eight year old granddaughter wants to try Mt Washburn (we only saw some big horn on the next mountain when I hiked up Mt Washburn).

Depending how her hike up the mountain goes I think we'll continue to Lamar.
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Mar 12th, 2014, 12:31 PM
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By far the largest herd of elk that I saw was at Mammoth.
Many other places I saw 1-2 in August last year.
Please obey the speed limits and DO NOT stop on the road surface. Pull completely off the road if you want to take a picture.
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Mar 13th, 2014, 04:41 PM
  #12  
 
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On our last 2 trips, 2 and 3 years ago we saw bears on the loop between Mammoth and Canyon near Tower. Also both times there was a large herd of Elk right in Mammoth.
sunbum2003 is offline  
Mar 14th, 2014, 01:50 AM
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Hie, Myer,
in our experience, seeing wildlife in Yellowstone seems easier on road than in Glacier, but less frequent while hiking.
We saw only 4 bears while hiking in Yellowstone, despite having done a lot of so-specified hikes with wildlife(Pelican valley, Riddle lake, Slough creek,Howard Eaton, Mystic falls, Fairy falls,..) but we saw every year a lot of "bears road"..;
Elk are frequent, in mammoth but also in the Pelican valley,
Bisons are in Lamar valley, but also Hidden valley. In Pelican Valley-really easy to hike, there are a lot.
As said by Utahtea, Mooses are rarely seen(only 2 in our sejours-we have been there 3 times, 8 days each time)...
In Lamar, with patience and chance you can grab wolves...
In Grand Teton, we saw both of the big three(Bisons, bears,Mooses) ,and more hiking than driving...
Hikes here are more challenging.
For both parks there are some "spots" where wildlife is quite always seen(bisons in Hidden and Lamar valley in Yellowstone, but also near canyon intersection and canyon village, Elks in Mammoth and Pelican valley, Mooses from the balcony in Jackson Lodge in Grand Teton, Wolves in Lamar or near Slough cmaping,...).
But the best friend is ...chance!!!
Erik.
PS : for us, 3 weeks in Jewell basin-Bigfork/Glacier/Waterton and Missoula with our daughter : a lot of hikes and we hope a lot of wildlife...
monpetit is offline  
Mar 14th, 2014, 07:00 PM
  #14  
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Erik,
Great to hear from you again.

Did we ever complete the job of "enhancing" your photos from last summer?

I see you're going back to Glacier.

As you can see I'm taking my daughter and granddaughter to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons. I was there with a friend several years ago. This trip is geared towards my granddaughter who will be almost 8 by then. She said she wants to hike Mt Washburn.

My wife wants to take a year off Europe though that may change for September.

We're going to New York and Washington at the end of May.
Myer is offline  
Mar 17th, 2014, 05:04 PM
  #15  
 
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Myer, have you checked out www.yellowstonereports.com ? For a donation of $20.00 per year you can support their cause and get inside info on the location of wolves and other animals.
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Mar 21st, 2014, 06:51 PM
  #16  
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ziggypo,
No I haven't. I have little interest in sitting all day in a chair drinking and taking an occasional look in a spotting scope to see if there are any wolves a mile or two down a valley.

I have a map where there's a better chance of seeing wildlife. The only thing certain is bison. The rest is a matter of luck.
Myer is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2014, 12:32 AM
  #17  
 
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To give arguments to Myer, in our last trip in Yellowstone we took a day with Yellowstone association with the goal to see wolves.
We saw driving and hiking bisons, bears and one moose, birds but even waiting on the usual spot no wolves.
We stay 45 mn on those spots while others seemed to stay for some half day...with large binoculars...
So not what we hope.
On our last day, driving to Red Lodge in rhe Lamar valley, where we waited 2 days ago we had chance to see a wolf eating a deer and then taking pieces to "his" family and not on the usual spots...
So as i wrote before it´s more chance...
Erik
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Mar 22nd, 2014, 04:46 AM
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Our Wolf sightings were in Lamar and Hayden valleys. Great grizz sightings up near Fishing Bridge/Lake area and Hayden. Just about everywhere we went, we saw something - antelope, coyotes, fox, bald eagles, bison, elk - it was amazing.
sharondi is offline  
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