Yellowstone National Park 2020 Trip Reports
Trip Report ~ Bear & Wolf Sightings ~ by Bill Hamblin
September 24th through October 1st, 2020
Yellowstone National Park
~ September 2020 ~
Thursday - September 24th
55 degrees in Silver Gate this morning but 42 degrees in Lamar Valley warming up to 71 degrees. I had a fox in Silver Gate before daylight and a fox near the Wyoming/Montana line also before daylight today. In early afternoon, we had a large bull moose just off the road on the Beartooth Highway. At 6:45 a.m. the large, collared grizzly was still on the small carcass in the river south of Fisherman's Pullout. It left shortly after daylight and the carcass was completely gone. At 7:10 a.m. a dark grizzly was sighted in the old Druid rendezvous area. At 7:30 a.m. we had thirty wolves south of Picnic Pullout in the river corridor. The pups had an eventful morning playing and running back in forth just across the Lamar River. At 9:50 a.m. we watched a black bear grazing in Crystal Drainage viewed from the Slough Creek restroom. I had a THREE DOG DAY today. At 6:30 p.m. nine black and one gray wolf were in view south of Trashcan Pullout. It rained all night in Silver Gate.
Friday - September 25th
40 degrees is morning in Silver Gate warming up to 75 degrees. At 6:35 a.m. I spotted a dark grizzly south of Trashcan Pullout and it moved all the way to Amethyst Bench along the tree line. At 7:00 a.m. six black and one gray wolf were in view south of Trashcan Pullout. I spent this evening watching grizzlies north of Gardiner. I had a large single grizzly and just before nightfall I viewed a grizzly sow with two cubs of the year. I camped north of Gardiner this evening.
Saturday - September 26th
42 degrees this morning north of Gardiner warming up to 65 degrees in Lamar Valley later. This morning I watched grizzlies north of Gardiner. I ended up seeing four separate grizzlies before returning to the park. At 9:20 a.m. I spotted a large black and a smaller gray wolf on the slopes of Hellroaring. The gray lead all the way. No wolf watchers were present, so the wolves were probably Junction Butte or maybe 8 Mile wolves. From 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Margaret L found a grizzly high in the Snow Cornice viewed from Footbridge Pullout. She had one big grizzly before I arrived, but it disappeared. Soon I relocated what we thought was the same large grizzly. Then we noticed another one and two smaller grizzlies. After about 45 minutes they moved together to the south and we had the grizzly sow with two yearlings. At 6:00 p.m. a black and gray wolf were seen near the Amethyst Bench viewed from Coyote Overlook. At 6:15 p.m. Margaret L found a small grizzly in the large clearing behind Jasper Bench viewed from Coyote Overlook. Later that grizzly arrived on Amethyst Bench and was digging at last light. At 7:00 p.m. five black wolves were in view south of Trashcan Pullout.
Sunday - September 27th
32 degrees in Silver Gate this morning warming up to 53 degrees. I had a cow and a bull moose on the west end of Round Prairie around noon. In the dark headed back to Silver Gate I had a big bull moose and a calf in the road. I had to stop as the calf moved across (I assume the cow already crossed the road), but the bull stood in the road for almost a minute before moving on. At 6:50 a.m. at least twenty wolves were in view south of Trashcan Pullout. At 7:30 a.m. I spotted a large grizzly high on the Snow Cornice area. At 9:00 a.m. the two sub-adult grizzlies (from the Slough Creek sow) were north of Coyote Overlook. One was in good view for 10-15 minutes often looking down towards the road, but the second one was seen only be walking east in the pullout and then only its back was seen. At 11:10 a.m. I found a small dark grizzly digging north of the Institute, in view for over an hour. It was out again in the same clearing at 5:50 p.m. At 6:45 p.m. I watched twenty-nine wolves in the old Druid rendezvous area, the view was best from Trashcan Hill.
Monday - September 28th
19 degrees this morning in Lamar Valley (I had ice on the inside of the car this morning), warming up to 63 degrees. I had a fox near Warm Creek before daylight and another fox late in the day in Lamar Canyon. At 7:00 a.m. Rick B found a brown grizzly in the old Druid Rendezvous area; it was not out very long. At 7:05 a.m. Rick B found a smaller lighter grizzly in with the wolves south of Trashcan Pullout. The wolves did chase this grizzly into the trees, but looked like only having fun, they did not bite at the running grizzly. At 7:10 a.m. twenty-eight wolves were in view (all eighteen puppies: 11 black and 7 gray were seen as well as the alpha male (still had a terrible limp on his right front leg), 1229F and 996M all viewed south of Trashcan Pullout. At 8:30 a.m. we had a small dark grizzly north of the Institute near where it was seen yesterday. At 8:45 a.m. Dan L found the grizzly sow with two cubs of the year in the river corridor well to the east of Trashcan Hill, a very good sighting. They moved around and were in view for about two hours. They never came close to the wolves and seemed to move back in forth with little purpose. They all looked really good, it surprising how big the cubs are getting. At 3:30 p.m. I spotted a grizzly on the clearing above the Snow Cornice viewed from Footbridge Pullout. At 7:00 p.m. a small grizzly was spotted sitting on the edge of the tree line south of Trashcan. The grizzly then laid down.
Tuesday - September 29th
25 degrees this morning warming up to 73 degrees. At 7:15 a.m. I found a grizzly digging on Amethyst Bench (probably not the one from earlier this trip). At 7:15 a.m. eighteen wolves were in view in the old Druid rendezvous area. At 7:45 a.m. we had a small grizzly in the Snow Cornice area. At 7:00 p.m. twenty-seven wolves (19 black and eight gray) were in view in the old Druid rendezvous area. At 7:10 a.m. Alan C called my attention to the wolves chasing a grizzly into the trees in the old Druid rendezvous area, a brief sighting.
Wednesday - September 30th
27 degrees this morning warming up to 71 degrees. At 7:15 a.m. twenty-eight wolves were in view this morning in the old Druid rendezvous area. At 7:50 a.m. we had a grizzly in the tree line in the old Druid rendezvous area. At 9:00 a.m. I spotted a grizzly digging high in the Snow cornice area. At 2:50 p.m. I found a small light grizzly digging in the clearing behind Bear Meadow viewed from the Institute.
~ October 2020 ~
Thursday - October 1st
24 degrees this morning in Silver Gate warming up to 68 degrees as I passed thru West Yellowstone on my way home for a few days. At 7:10 a.m. I found a grizzly at the skyline south of the Institute. It was digging but went up and over the skyline after five minutes of watching. At 7:20 a.m. at least fourteen wolves were seen moving west from the old Druid rendezvous area. Often a yearling (this morning I think 1229F), lead the puppies on a small trip. As I left the area most were bedded or heading back to the rendezvous area. At 9:45 a.m. I found a black bear just east of the Yellowstone River Picnic area.
Wolf Watchers: From Montana: Rick M, Doug M, Jeremy S, Dan and Laurie L, and Melba C. From PA: Dusty. From Oregon: Bruce and Kelly H, and David and Stephanie O. From Virginia: Big John. From New York: Rick and Maureen B. From Mississippi: Chuck and Wynelle M. From Arizona: Reve and Susan. From Tennessee: Stacy A. And from Utah: Jerry and Julie C. Bear Watchers seen this report: From Wyoming: Richard and Rita R. From Louisiana: Bruce P. From Utah: Mark and Liz H and CD and Brenda C. From Colorado: Rick and Len H, and Rick and Tanner H. From Oklahoma: Paul S. From Montana: Margaret L, Alan C, and Mike and Kathy W. From Missouri Fred and Linda. From Indiana: Jeff and Terry B. And from Utah: Steve. Others seen this report: From Montana: Taylor B, Carl S, Cliff B, George B, Quinn H, MacNeil L, Emil M, Claire L, Audra C, Kevin D, Cara M, and Chris H. From Florida: Rick and Vicky K.
Yellowstone National Park
Lamar Valley Map - Yellowstone National Park
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