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

Yellowstone Up Close and Personal

01 - 03 May 2009 Trip Report

Trip Report ~ by Bill Hamblin

Raven by John William Uhler © Copyright All Rights Reserved

~ May 2009 ~

Mount Haynes by John William Uhler Copyright © All Rights Reserved

I decided to make this weekend a three day one, so I took Friday off. I left after work on Thursday, only seeing one moose in the Snake River at Mack's Inn on the way up. I used my new "senior pass" for fifty percent off on camping and stayed at Mammoth all three nights.  Ralph was up and had two grizzlies Thursday PM one in Buffalo Ford and one on top of Junction Butte from Boulder Pullout.

Friday - 01 May 2009

So I started at Boulder in the AM. I found a large grizzly way across to the north from Boulder around 6:25 AM (my first of the year). Ralph decided to out do me, on his way back to see the grizzly I spotted, he had a grizzly cross the road in front of him. It was really running, and turns out from a larger grizzly. Rick had signals on the Agate Pack from Boulder and soon located the four wolves of the pack surrounding a large grizzly on a fresh carcass. Nice to have three grizzlies in about 10 minutes. Around 8:30 AM we headed for Lamar Valley and located a grizzly across from the Institute, viewed from Coyote Overlook. We went to the Institute for better viewing, and watched it for over 45 minutes. Talking to people, we noticed the grizzly had gone up a hill from the river corridor, and then we were embarrassed to find that it was another grizzly. The second grizzly was a little larger, and spent 10-15 minutes circling around and finally came down to the river corridor and chased the smaller grizzly off. We returned to Boulder around 2:15 PM and were delighted to see a smaller grizzly on the carcass. Then Ralph found a grizzly in the rocks across the river to the north, and I found another grizzly in the rocks. The grizzly on the carcass soon left, but the two separate grizzlies in the rocks were out for a long time. The slighter larger of the two, actually moved around and chased the smaller one for a brief distance. Ralph found a grizzly north of Slough Creek in the clearing just east of the Lion Clearing around 3:30 PM. Because we were staying in Mammoth, we ended up at Hellroaring Overlook in the evening. Ralph found a black bear with one cub of the year (coy) on the north end of Garnett Hill. Then found a black bear sow with one yearling on the same hill. I located a light gray wolf near the Cottonwood den site, but bumped the scope and lost it. I finally found the area again, and was delighted to find a grizzly sow with one yearling cub in the rocky clearing. Soon the light gray wolf and a black wolf harassed the grizzly and yearling for a few minutes (only 50 yards or so from the wolf den). The sow later briefly nursed the cub before moving away slowly. The weather for Friday was nice, but a biting wind made the high 40's feel like low 30's.

Saturday and Sunday turned out nicer. Saturday was cloudily all day, but almost made 50 degrees and Sunday was nicer.

Lower Falls of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone by John William Uhler Copyright © All Rights Reserved

Saturday - 02 May 2009

We started at Boulder Pullout again, and were surprised to find a grizzly and all four wolves on the carcass around first light (5:45 AM). Soon afterward, the grizzly left. Around 6:30 AM found one grizzly then another following the first in the Buffalo Ford area. The larger chased the smaller for over 3/4 of a mile to the west. Almost like a courting pair, at times they were walking, but always kept about 20 yards between them. They eventually split and went separate ways. Ralph had a grizzly in the bowl, north and east of Slough Creek earlier in the morning. Well about 7:00 AM he crossed the road and went down near the river. Anne noticed a nice Osprey nest across from Lamar Canyon West pullout down in the river, nice because you can look into the nest from above (about 125 yards). The grizzly had a orange tag in one ear and was collared (a fact that escaped us at the time, since the bear was always walking away from us). At 7:30 AM heard on the wolf radio that they had a grizzly in Lamar. This wolf person needs a little help with descriptions of the pullouts, but we found a nice grizzly in the old rendezvous area. They also had a black wolf above the enclosure near the confluence. Spent the middle part of the day back at Hellroaring. Ralph found the black sow with yearling again on Garnett Hill. Also had a black wolf in the large opening about half way up. Gale from Utah found the grizzly sow with yearling west toward Geode Creek. Back at Boulder, Ralph found what appeared to be two sub-adult grizzlies in Buffalo Ford. They were still out three hours later. Twice they chased each other around a 1/2 mile or so and then came back to dig in the same area. At 5:45 PM a small yearling looking black bear at the double pullout at Hellroaring. The black sow with one yearling was out again on Garnett. Also a lone black bear on Garnett and later the black sow with one coy was out. A large grizzly way past the Cottonwood den site, and later the sow grizzly and one yearling in the same area as the large grizzly (who didn't look that large after the sow and yearling got into the same clearing). Earlier in the day Ralph had a grizzly near Little Buffalo (north side of the large Hellroaring clearing), which I didn't see. But about 7:30 PM it came out and I found it coming out of Little Buffalo. Saturday night rained most the of the night, 41 at daylight, and 35 in the valley at first light.

Old Faithful Eruption and Buffalo by John William Uhler Copyright © All Rights Reserved

Sunday - 03 May 2009

Nothing on the carcass at Boulder. I was the first out past there, and saw a large black object 25 feet or so off the road to the right in the large straight away. It didn't profile like a bear, so I assumed it was a bedded bison. I was half right, a fresh cow bison carcass, and as I got to about 75 yards from it, the grizzly stood up on the carcass. I stopped and backed off, but he left the carcass crossing the road and heading for the tree line south of the road. He looked back several times, I guessed he was swearing at me. The cow bison carcass remained a mystery. No evidence of auto crash or predator signs. The carcass was only opened in the stomach cavity, and the grizzly had started to dig a hole to bury it. Ralph found a black bear near Buffalo Ford and called it in as a black wolf (had to call back correcting the wolf to a bear). The Agates were bedded up behind Specimen Ridge, but got up and headed towards Boulder. Ralph had seen them with Rick at Elk Creek and called me to go the the curve pullout, 4 minutes later the wolves came out south of curve Pullout. On the way home, I had howling at Hellroaming Overlook, and Ralph found a gray wolf chasing an elk near the curve in Hellroaring Creek. The cow elk crossed the creek and got away. Soon another cow elk was being chased by another gray wolf, going about 1/2 mile down the Hellroaring Creek. It jumped into a high part of the creek and eventually both gray wolves gave up.

Other news. A moose in the ponds down Slough Creek. Lots of hawks and kestrels. It appears the Agate wolves have no pups (the alpha female has been seen for days away from any den areas). The Canyon pack is now denned 1/4 mile from Mammoth, about 1/2 way from Mammoth and the high bridge. Two swans at Trumpeter pond near Boulder.

Raven by John William Uhler Copyright © All Rights Reserved

Yellowstone National Park Map
Sightings and Trip Report are from the North and Northeast Area of Yellowstone

Lamar Valley Area Map - Yellowstone National Park
Lamar Valley Map - Yellowstone National Park

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

Yellowstone National Park Videos

Bighorn Rams Grizzly Bear at Old Faithful
Bison / Buffalo at Old Faithful Grizzly Bear near Roaring Mountain
Black Bear Grizzly Sow Nursing Cubs
Black Wolf Otters at Trout Lake
Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel Otter at Yellowstone Lake
Grizzly Bear at Blacktail Ponds  

Geysers and Thermals
Beehive Geyser Eruption Old Faithful with Bison
Beehive Geyser Eruption Two Pocket Basin
Fan and Mortar Roaring Mountain
Grand Geyser Rocket and Grotto
Old Faithful One West Thumb

Cave Falls Mesa Falls Undine Falls
Gibbon Falls Rustic Falls Upper Falls
Lower Falls Tower Fall Wraith Falls

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

The Great Outdoors Net Great Outdoor Recreational Places
Gardiner, Montana World Humanity

Contact Us

by John William Uhler

Back to: Yellowstone Up Close and Personal

Copyright © 1995 - 2015 Page Makers, LLC and Yellowstone Media ~ All Rights Reserved