Yellowstone Up Close and Personal Logo © Copyright Page Makers, LLC
Yellowstone Up Close and Personal Grizzly Logo © Copyright Page Makers, LLC

Today in Parkadise Report
25 January 2004

Yellowstone Sunset - 10 October 2002 by John W. Uhler © Copyright - All Rights Reserved

Yellowstone Sunset by John W. Uhler ©

25 January 2004 - Sunday

Carlene and I left the house at about 3:00 pm on a cold snow flurry day. There were elk and bison in the meadows just outside the North Entrance.

We looked for the bighorn sheep in the cliffs and hills above the Gardner River as we made our climb to Mammoth. No luck with the sheep.

There were elk along the drive on the hills and dales as we passed the 45th Parallel sign and Boiling River. The river was steaming and looked inviting as we headed into the clouded skies over the northern area of the Stone.

As we crossed the high bridge over the Gardiner River east of Mammoth, Carlene looked for moose along the river with no success. We had seen a very nice bull moose in that area in the spring of last year.

We headed slowly east along the snow covered and winding road. Some of this road does not see too much light of day, so it pretty much stays snow covered most of the winter. The park service does plow and cinder it a couple time a day to help folks out.

Black bear cubs playing by John W. Uhler ©

The four large bull elk were out just east of the Lava Creek Picnic area and just before the Wrath Falls parking area. They are big and beautiful. Very large racks and nice to see. We hope that the folks who have been poaching in the park stay away from these guys. It has been nice to see and watch them mature over the years.

We left the elk resting in the sage and headed east towards Tower to meet up with some friends who had made a winter trip to the park. They had been out snowshoeing at the Indian Creek Campground area earlier today.

Just before the Blacktail Lakes area, we noticed a few cars pulled over in the pullout. We slowed down and asked what was going on. A guy named Bill said that he had seen thirteen wolves of the Swan Lake Pack and that one was just sitting on the hillside and howling.

We decided to move on down the road to the large pullout at Blacktail Lakes and turn around and join in the fun.

We pulled in and Bill came over and described where the gray wolf was located. I setup the spotting scope just in time to see the wolf raise its head and steam come out of it mouth. Then, about five seconds later we heard the mournful howl of the wolf. It was great! Carlene got out of the truck and came over and enjoyed both watching and hearing the wolf.

We watched the wolf for about twenty minutes and then it started to move west along the mountain slope. Just as it went over a little hill we spotted a black wolf and another gray. They were both moving west along the top of the mountain.

The black and other gray were only in view for about a minute and then disappeared into the trees. We watched the clearings and openings on the mountainside for any of the wolves.

After about ten minutes, the gray wolf that we had watched howling came out in a clearing west of where we had seen the three. The wolf walked to the middle of the clearing and sat down. The other gray wolf also came walking out of the trees and towards the one in view. They met up and nosed each other and then the other gray walked back from where it had come, west into the trees. The black did not show up. The gray howled a few times and then slowly made her way east out of the clearing and into the trees.

Grizzly Bear Sow by Tonya Matthews ©

We talked and chatted and shared the scope with anyone who watched to watch the wolf. One visitor had come to the park to view a rare bird, a Siberia something. He had seen the bird in Tom Miner Basin just north of the park, so he was pretty happy. He had also wanted to see a wolf if he had a chance. Well, he stopped at the right place as he got to see and hear the wolves of the Swan Lake Pack. He was beside himself with his great good fortune. We were happy to share and be involved with his excitement.

The viewing or sightings had slowed, so folks began to pack up and head for their places of abode. Carlene got cold, so she was in the truck trying to warm up. I was still scanning the hillside and hoping, one that our friends would come along in time to see some of this action and two that the wolves would come back out.

Just then as I scanned east down the hillside I heard coyotes yipping. I found the coyotes in the scope and they were headed downhill away from where we had been watching the wolves. As I slowly started to scan away from the coyotes up the mountainside, I saw five large gray wolves standing in a clearing. I called for Carlene to come see this group. She got to the scope just in time to see three wolves sitting watching the coyotes and two wolves walking back into the trees.

The three grays just sat for a few minutes and then walked up the mountain into the trees. About five minutes later our friends pulled in to the turnout. I gave them the low down on what was going on and they reported that things were slow in Lamar Valley. They got out a scope and we stood and chatted as we watched the hillside for any more signs of the wolves.

We stayed and talked and watched until we ran out of light with no success for our friends. The dark and wind closed in as we packed up our scopes and headed back to Gardiner to visit.

It was a great winter evening in the Stone. This was Carlene any my first sighting of the Swan Lake Pack and also our first at Blacktail Lakes. It was a great evening with family and friends in Yellowstone!

Take care my friends until next time!

Lamar Valley Sunset by John W. Uhler ©

Lamar Valley Sunset by John W. Uhler ©

Back to the 2004 Trip Report Page.

The Gray Ghost
Yellowstone National Park by Page Makers, LLC © Copyright All Rights Reserved
I n d e x
Accessibility Earthquakes Maps Trip Reports
Address Email Newspaper Video Page
Adult Programs Entrances Night of the Bear Visitor Centers
Amphibians Entrance Fees Old Faithful Live WebCam Visitor Stats
Animals Facts & Figures Pets Volcano Observatory
Backcountry Fall Closure Phone Numbers Waterfalls
Bear Management Fish Picnic Areas Weather
Bear Sightings Fishing Fees Pikas WebCams
Biking Fishing Regulations Ranger Led Activities Wildflowers
Birds Getting Here Reptiles Winter Closing
Boating Hiking Reunions Winter Opening
Books History Rivers, Creeks & Streams Winter Weather Reports
Butterflies Junior Ranger Program Roads Wolf Project
Camping Lakes Schedule Wolf Sightings
Campground Maps Location Search Page Wolverine Help
Challenges Lodging Spring Opening Yellowstone ~ the Name
Chat Page  or  Facebook Group Lynx Help Star Talks Young Scientist
Clinics / Medical Mammal List Trip Planner pdf Youth Conservation Corps

Yellowstone National Park WebCams
Old Faithful Live All Old Faithful Old Faithful Static Old Faithful VC North Entrance Mt Washburn Mammoth YVO WebCam

Entrance Cities and Gateway Towns
Gardiner, Montana Silver Gate, Montana West Yellowstone, Montana Cooke City, Montana
Livingston, Montana Cody, Wyoming Jackson Hole, Wyoming Yellowstone National Park

Not all who wander are lost by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien © Page Makers, LLC

Contact UsHome