Yellowstone National Park 2014 Trip Reports
Trip Report ~ Bear & Wolf Sightings ~ by Bill Hamblin
23 through 29 September 2014
~ September 2014 ~
Tuesday - 23 September
I left Idaho Falls around 3:30 a.m. and made good time arriving in Lamar Valley before 7:00 a.m. It was 50 degrees this morning warming up to a pleasant 73 degrees. At 7:00 a.m. a small grizzly in the old Druid Rendezvous area near the tree line and heading east (probably on the old bison carcass across the river at Picnic). Bald and golden eagles were on the now old carcass. At 8:00 a.m. wolf 890M, two gray yearlings, two black pups and three gray pups on the Junction Butte Pack in the Slough Creek bottoms near the Round Tree north of the Marge Simpson Tree (note: they have been seen every day there since August 1st (sometimes only the pups). At 9:00 a.m. a large black grizzly moved through the wolves who escorted him on his way to the east. He got nearer the people on Bob's Knob, then put his head up and then swam across the creek and ran for over a mile to the north and out of sight. At 9:15 a.m. wolf 911M and the black female came into the picture and got the Junction Butte pack to howling and moving around. The two new wolves determined that some of the adults were there and proceeded to head south, crossing the road and eventually moved to the east to be reseen in Lamar Valley. I spend the afternoon and evening outside the park in Yankee Jim Canyon. At 6:55 p.m. a light grizzly in the trees above the nice field that has caraway (a carrot type plant that the grizzlies eat this time of year). At 7:30 p.m. a grizzly with three coy's came into the clearing. And at 7:40 p.m. a dark grizzly also came into the clearing some ways away from the other bears. A small herd of mountain goats were visible high on the mountain this evening. I spent the night a La Duke outside of Gardiner.
Wednesday - 24 September
52 degrees this morning on the mountain warming up to 72 degrees back in Lamar Valley. Returning to Yankee Jim Canyon I had the grizzly sow with three coys in the clearing at 6:40 a.m. At 6:50 a.m. a lone grizzly also in the clearing. At 6:50 a.m. also another grizzly in the clearing feeding too. At 6:55 a.m. another grizzly in the mixed trees above the clearing all at Yankee Jim Canyon. At 3:45 p.m. a grizzly south of the Institute visiting another old bison carcass. At 7:00 p.m. a very small grizzly near the Yellow Grass clearing in Slough Creek. Mountain goats again at Yankee Jim in the morning and two small bull moose in Antelope Creek in the park today. I got a campsite at Tower Campground for tonight and tomorrow night.
Thursday - 25 September
42 degrees in the morning warming up to 76 degrees. A pair of swans in the Yellowstone River in Hayden Valley today. At 6:45 a.m. a grizzly on the old bison carcass south of the Institute. At 8:00 a.m. the only black bear of my trip grazing in Crystal Drainage viewed from Dave's Hill. At 10:30 a.m. wolf 755M and the canyon gray female wolf on a carcass east of the double pullouts in Alum Creek of Hayden Valley (great viewing for 90 percent of the next four hours). At 2:30 p.m. a grizzly west in Alum Creek grazing.
Friday - 26 September
46 degrees in the morning warming up to a warm 76 degrees today. I did get a small hike in today to Trout Lake and on to Buck Lake and above it searched for Shrimp Lake which I did not find. I heard that Ralph N. was coming to watch Yankee Jim Canyon so I left for there at 4:30 a.m. from Tower Campground. At 6:45 a.m. a grizzly sow with one coy in the clearing (Ralph had had two large individual grizzlies high in the mixed trees last night). At 6:30 p.m. one gray and two black wolf pups in view from Dave's Hill in Slough Creek. I stayed tonight and the next two nights at Pebble Creek Campground (which along with Tower Campground closed Sunday for the year).
Saturday - 27 September
52 degrees in the morning warming up to a cool 54 degrees. Two otters playing in the Lamar River at Picnic this morning for close to an hour. At 7:15 a.m. wolf 890M, three adult wolves, along with the five pups in the Slough Creek bottoms viewed from Dave's Hill. At 8:45 a.m. a grizzly with a yearling cub north of Picnic Area (brief sighting for 1 minute, I believe a yearling but never saw them again).
Sunday - 28 September
47 degrees this morning warming to 53 degrees. The two otters were out again today nearer the road causing quite the jam. I did get in a very small hike in the Beartooth Mountains today, had a sow with two cub tracks on the road up there. At 7:15 a.m. Amy T. called saying a grizzly crossed the road from north to south at Hitching Post. When I arrived the grizzly was just grazing 100 yards off the road. At 7:45 a.m. wolf 911M visited the old bison carcass south of the Institute, nothing left on it so it chewed on bones for over an hour. At 8:30 a.m. a dark grizzly high in the bowl viewed from the Institute. At 9:00 a.m. two black pups in view at Slough Creek (Junction Butte). At 9:15 a.m. a grizzly crosses the road from north to south west of Picnic area, swam the river and visited the old bison carcass and slowly moved east. At 9:45 a.m. the black female wolf found 911M for us again, he had disappeared south the Institute. At 6:30 p.m. a grizzly with a light or blond front south of the Institute. At 7:00 p.m. a grizzly briefly north of Picnic on the sky line.
Monday - 29 September
I left early this morning, but Doug M. from Silver Gate pointed out a black pup near the mixed conifer/aspen forest from Aspen East in Slough Creek.
Things I Missed
On Sunday someone had a few nice photos of Scarface near Tower Junction. On Thursday someone had the black bear sow with three coys out briefly at Calcite near Tower.
People seen on this trip: Bear Watchers: from Montana: Ralph N., from Utah: Luke and Mayleea M., from Indiana: Jeff and Terri. Wolf Watchers: From Montana: Rick M, Doug M, Jerry, Amy T, and Bob and Elizabeth. From Illinois: Sandy. From Utah: Pam and Denny, CD (Chris) and Brenda. From Missouri: Don and Carol. From Colorado: Anne W, Jim and Bobbie F, and Kathy M. From Iowa: Jim and Joellen. From Tennessee: Stacey. From Florida: Andy and Missy. From NY Rick and Maureen B. From Wyoming: Larry and Linda H. and from Virginia: Dusty and his wife. Others: Dan, Cindy and Kelly H, Quinn, Jim H, Ken T, John K, Vicky from Colorado, Craig from Idaho, Emile, MacNeil L., and Cliff B.
Yellowstone National Park
Lamar Valley Map - Yellowstone National Park
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