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Trip May 20-23

Posted: Fri May 25, 2018 10:50 pm
by billandkaren
We were able to take a quick trip with our son and his girlfriend. Saw a few bears and the Wapiti female nursing a black pup through a scope at the den. Golden eagle on the nest at Slough. Moose and cinnamon bear at Pebble Creek. But the highlight of the trip was our hike up to Trout and Buck lakes. We decided to stay up along the ridge to hike over to Buck Lake. As a resut we had a good view of the hills behind Trout Lake and out from the trees ambled a black bear. First time we have ever seen a bear in the vicinity of Trout Lake.

After our hike to Buck Lake we came back along the creek that flows into Trout Lake. The cascades were beautiful. As we were hiking back along the lake shore I was in the lead and a bit ahead of the others. I was watching where I stepped and was looking down when my son yelled, "Hey Dad, look what's in front of you." A huge male bison was just off the trail no more than 10 yards in front of me. Needless to say we took a detour up the hill and around!

We have always enjoyed our hikes around Trout Lake but had been disappointed by never seeing the otters. My wife and son were joking that they must be "mythical" creatures, at least in Yellowstone. As we were getting ready to head back down the hill to the car, my son suggested hiking west along the shore for a while. Then there they were--finally--2 otters swimming and diving out in the middle of the lake heading to the opposite shore. Not a great look for us but at least we saw them well enough to know what they were. They soon disappeared along the opposite shore.

We were hanging out just taking in the beautiful scenery and snapping some pictures when my son spotted them again and this time, they were moving closer diving and eating along the shore. We sat down behind a pine tree and just watched. They were just diving and coming up with what looked to be small fish that they quickly chewed and swallowed.

They came a little closer, scrambled into some reeds when out popped two more--looked to be last years' pups. The adults lingered behind while the two pups started diving and eating like the parents, all the time moving closer to us. Eventually they were no more than 10 feet away when one popped out of the water right by the shore! We didn't want to disturb them but they seemed unaware of our presence or did not care. As we moved away to give them space the one adult called them and they swam back towards her. What an experience!

My son has some good pictures that I will post if I can figure out how to get them saved and uploaded.

We will be heading out again next week. Can't wait to see what the park has in store for us, but it will be hard to top this one.

Re: Trip May 20-23

Posted: Sat May 26, 2018 9:27 am
by lah
Sounds like a wonderful trip, and you certainly saw stuff I didn't find! Jealous! Especially of seeing the Wapiti alpha.

Re: Trip May 20-23

Posted: Sat May 26, 2018 9:45 pm
by Dorothy
What a great story! We have never made it to Trout Lake, but always wanted to, and if there is a chance of seeing an otter or two ... well ... How long is the hike from the Trout Lake trail head? I'd love to give it a try.

Anyway, thanks for sharing, loved the report! And congrats on the otters (and other things).

Re: Trip May 20-23

Posted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:32 am
by billandkaren

The hike up to Trout Lake is short, I'd say less than 1/2 mile, but it is somewhat steep. It was the first hike I took Karen on during her first trip to Yellowstone and she absolutely fell in love with the place. Especially if the wind is calm, the view of the mountains reflecting in the lake is fantastic.

I hope you can make the hike sometime. Just take your time and you should be OK.