Excited about upcoming trip!

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Excited about upcoming trip!

Post by MFFL »

Hello all! My wife and I are making our way to Yellowstone the first week of September and we couldn't be more excited! It will be her first visit and my second, but I still consider myself very much inexperienced as my first trip was cut short.

We are on a mission to see a large variety of wildlife. I was wondering how folks tend to get their info on when/where animals have been spotted or have been frequenting. Is it mostly just talking with people as you travel around the park? I have heard that some folks carry radios and track sightings that way. I also remember seeing one or two sign in logs in the park where people wrote down what they saw and where. Are these the best methods?

We will obviously run into wildlife as we drive through the park, but I would like to have some sort of idea where I am headed, instead of just hopping in the car and driving, haha! For instance, if I want to try to find some badgers, are there certain areas that are more likely to have badgers around? I would hate to drive in the opposite direction of the subject I am wanting to find!

We are winging the trip, for the most part. But knowing popular areas for different species of wildlife would go a long way! I wish I could access the plethora of information that was on the previous forum! I was all over that forum in 2012 prior to my first visit, and I have slept a bit since then, haha!

Any advice or suggestions are greatly appreciated! Particular species we are really hoping to see: wolves, moose, badger, otter, porcupine, wild horses, harlequin ducks, marten, bald eagle and great horned owl.

Thank you!

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Re: Excited about upcoming trip!

Post by RikWriter »

wolves: Hayden and Lamar Valley. Look for the people with the spotting scopes.

moose: Grand Teton, in the Gros Ventre campground

badger: Good luck. Probably Little America, maybe around the entrance to the Lamar Valley, maybe by Yellowstone Picnic Area.

otter: Probably near Bridge Bay if anywhere. Could be anywhere along any river

porcupine: I've seen them on the road at night between Madison Campground and West Yellowstone and on the road between Norris Junction and Canyon Junction

marten: Could be anywhere where there are pines. No way to tell. Saw one in May near West Thumb but they could be anywhere

bald eagle: Usually in the Lamar Valley and near Fishing Bridge towards Mary Bay, also towards West Yellowstone, but could be anywhere

great horned owl: No nests this time of year. Could be anywhere. There were nests at Calcite Springs and behind the visitor's center at Mammoth in Spring

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Re: Excited about upcoming trip!

Post by billandkaren »

Depending on the way you are coming in, there are several places to look for wild horses. Last winter we saw some off Hwy 191 just north of Rock Springs. I doubt if they will be close to the highway this time of year but there is a gravel road that you can take back into the range. I've seen a sign for a wild horse sanctuary just outside of Lander but have not checked it out. There is also a place not far from Red Lodge, I believe.

Otters can occasionally be seen at Trout Lake, but despite at least a dozen hikes, Karen and I have not seen them. I did see one last fall actually in Yellowstone Lake. The Harlequin ducks are best seen at LeHardy Rapids. Early spring is the best time of year though we did see a few females there last year around this time.

It may be difficult because you want to see it all, but I've found the best approach to take is just relax and enjoy whatever the park has to give you. Early mornings and evenings are usually the best times for seeing wildlife, but it can happen anytime and anywhere. No matter what, you can always enjoy the beauty and serenity of being there. Good luck!


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Re: Excited about upcoming trip!

Post by JimO »

Again, Not knowing which direction you will be coming from....

There is a Wild Horse Sanctuary south of Custer S.D. called the Institute of Range and Motion of the American Mustang, or IRAM for short, that is a pretty cool place to visit and see the different horses. They have a lot of Medicine Hat Paints ( Blue Eyes) and Spanish Mustangs.

We visited there about 10 years ago and really enjoyed the tour. Have a ton of pictures from it still. Our daughter is even used in one of their advertising brochures!

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Re: Excited about upcoming trip!

Post by MFFL »

Thanks for the tips! We know we won't see all the animals I listed, just wanted to get some up to date info on possible whereabouts.

We plan on doing a couple hikes...definitely want to do Mt. Washburn, and was also looking at the Lamar River trail. Might do Uncle Tom's Trail as it is short, but should provide some great photo opportunities! Any hiking suggestions? We are fairly inexperienced hikers, and my wife had meniscus surgery in April, so nothing too lengthy or strenuous (Washburn may be a stretch already).

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