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Yellowstone Sept. 2020


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Wonderful Wildlife Week 9/19-27.

 Been to Yellowstone five times before so this trip was for wildlife viewing only.

Day 1, Flight lands early rush out to Gros Ventre Campground got a spot at 11:30 camp fills up at 12:30 see two Moose far from road on the way don’t stop. After putting tent up go to Creekside market which has good food but not much groceries. Drive Moose Road see two more Moose than drive around park,  see  Pronghorns, Bison and far  away Elk. Rains for a hour campsite next to washroom.  Gros Ventre Campground is a really nice place but had one noisy group not far away.

Day  2, Drive to Madison campground. First special wildlife sighting on Gros Ventre road right before 89 a big bull Moose and two cows out a distance, saw a small group of photographers out there so I hiked out and got some good photo’s of the bull. Saw more Elk, Pronghorn and Bison then I hit a bear jam at the end of Hayden Valley. Bear 791 on the Elk kill(plenty of video's on you tube). He was in and out of the water when I was there. Lots of people and two Bison started walking the road which really got the rangers nervous. Two nice woman(with mask on) told me the story about Bear 791. Also saw a muskrat. Some wore mask as I did but one guy came up to the woman and talked about their camera and lens without a mask and was a lot closer than six feet. Madison campground nice but near the washroom, sites closer together than Gros Ventre Campground.

Day 3, Drive to Grizzly lodge Silver Gate. Saw a bull Elk bugling near Mammoth and plenty in Mammoth. Drove outside Gardiner looking for Big Horns than to Lamar Valley. Did then Yellowstone Picnic hike with bear spray but only saw squirrels. In Lamer saw wolves, coyotes, lots of Bison, special sighting of a Badger. Than near the NE entrance another big bull Moose and two cows(Special Sighting). Caused a Moose jam when I saw a young bull in the creek(another special sighting). Grizzly lodge was ok, cramp, nice people. Went into two stores in Cooke City guy in one store not wearing a mask or was he friendly. Silver gate went into many stores and everyone wearing mask and all nice. Good ice cream at Stop the car and dinner at the Log Cabin Cafe which I did enjoy outside.

Day 4, Up early to wait in line for a campsite at Pebble Creek. Saw the same big bull Moose chase the two cows away from the road. I was fifth in line for a spot ended up ten spots opened up camp filled at 8:00. Drive back and forth Lamer Valley and did the Trout lake hike. Animals I saw this day Moose, Wolves, Bison, Mountain Goat, Coyote, Grizzly, Pronghorn. Pebble Creek was my favorite place I stayed on my whole trip, it was peaceful outstanding views and the host was helpful. When it gets dark a red Fox takes a camper’s hot dog bun.

Day 5,  Two young Moose fighting but not light enough to get a picture than a car pulls up right in front of them and they run into the woods. More of the same as day 4 except hike near the bridge east of Yellowstone Picnic, saw a Black Bear hiking(special sighting) that cause a jam on the bridge. He walk under the bridge.

Day 6, First drive through Lamer Valley. Than take Chief Joseph highway to Cody. Saw Moose, Wolves, Bison, Mountain Goats, Pronghorns and Prairie dogs. Went to the Museum and Old west town. Most people not wearing mask. Than drove to Shoshone Lodge checked in young man was very nice. Later drive to fishing bridge and back. Animals I saw Whitetail deer, Bison and a Black Bear feeding on berries which cause an another bear jam. Dinner at Shoshone lodge was good. The lodge and the people all friendly but with the bar and restaurant is can seem busy.

Day 7, Back to Pebble creek, the long way Saw Grizzly, Bison, Deer, Elk, Wolves, Mountain Goat, Moose and another Black Bear. Hike Lamer River see Bison. Rains all night.

Day 8, Drive to Jackson. In Yellowstone saw Bison, Wolves, Elk than just missed 791 fighting another Grizzly, did see both. Then nothing else checked in at Kudar cabins in Jackson. Return the bear spray and tried to get dinner but over two hour wait at two places. Dinner at Creekside again. Last game day. Saw a cow Moose at the beginning of Moose Road so was able to take photo’s then some Pronghorns and Mule deer. Just south of Signal Mountain a beautiful bull Elk right off the road. Now magic time, as I was passing over the bridge at the dam I saw a ranger looking down the river and I know only a bear with make him do this so I drive down to the river and saw many people ask another ranger and she said bears. It was 399 and her four cubs right next to another mother with two cubs. Eight Grizzly bears together in the Grand Tetons.  Bear 399 and he cubs went into the river right next to where everyone was standing. The Rangers handled it perfectly they did not panic and still let the people enjoy the experience. After the Bears went by some people were crying with happiness and I have to admit it felt so spiritual. A special way to end my trip. Driving back it was staritng to get dark but I drove slow and did not see another animal. Everyone in Jackson wore mask even most walking outside.

 I saw a Moose all eight days and 14 different Moose.
10 Grizzlies on Day 8, 12 total, 3 Black Bears and a bear 6 out 8 days.
Bison 8 out 8 I love Bison jams.
Elk 6 out 8.
Wolves 6 out of 8.
Things I missed on Big Horn sheep, I looked was told not seen since June.








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such great sightings - the last photo of the bear and her cubs is precious. Sounds like a fruitful trip. Thanks for sharing! 

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Wow - what a great series of experiences!   Thanks for posting @Wildship

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The other mother with two cubs is 610 (399's daughter). What a wonderful sighting!

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Great sightings of the classic North American megafauna, what a rewarding trip. Thanks for posting.

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@WildshipThese are amazing!  The colors, the composition!  All g o r g e o u s!!

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  • 2 months later...

gorgeous pics!  I've always wanted to see a badger!

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  • 4 months later...

Wonderful captures. We were in YS and Tetons at the same time last year! Saw this bear with the elk kill twice, and you must have been there in the crowd with us! I have never seen a NA Badger yet, except honey badgers in Africa. You surely did a lot of driving during this trip. We usually stay at Gros Ventre as well and then park the RV at the visitor center and ride our ebikes up and down Moose- Wilson road in search of wildlife. In YS we usually Camp in Madison, Canyon, and Bay Bridge. Maybe will do another fall trip next year. International travel is a real pain these days. 

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Oh and one more thing… we missed 399 and the cubs by 5 minutes when she was at the dam…..

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