Yellowstone Yearround Adventures

Summer 2010: Thanks to all of our guests! It was a great summer with many bears, wolves, and wonderful sightings.

And this autumn has been beautiful with many grizzly bear viewings together with other great wildlife sightings. The hikes have also been great, surrounded by beautiful autumn colors.

We look forward to a great winter! Early reservations are advised with the calendar getting full!

Steve, owner
Yellowstone YearRound Adventures, Inc.

July 25, 2009:

Today, I took in a family of four for a Grand Loop Tour. We saw the Ruddy Ducks, with their bright blue bills at Floating Island and a nearly silver colored Grizzly on Dunraven Pass. Hayden Valley was a busy place, the big bull bison are starting to push the cows around, testosterone is flowing as they prepare for their mating season. The Herons in the rookery on the Yellowstone River are nearly grown. It started to sprinkle, but it was still clear enough to see the Tetons from Shoshone Lake overlook. The clouds broke at Old Faithful and the eruption was spectacular against the bright blue sky. The Paint Pots are nearly dry and it was fun to watch the mud shoot five feet into the air as the bubbles burst in the thick slurry of mud. We did have to wait a while just past the Madison Junction a pair of cow bison with their calves were walking down the middle of the road, and there was a small wait for the road construction at Gibbon Falls.

July 21, 2009:

Today was an extraordinary day in Yellowstone. I picked up a couple from New York at Cooke City and we headed into the park. We first stopped at Barronett Peak and were able to find three mountain goats. One of them was this year’s offspring. We left with them grazing peacefully high above on the slopes. We had not traveled a quarter of a mile and we were treated to a black bear feeding along the roadway. The bear went into the trees so we continued on and having gone only a small distance there along the creek was a mother grizzly with three cubs. What a treat! It was fun watching the little ones stand up, hardly taller than the grass they were playing in. A crowd began to gather which made the mother nervous so she gathered up her young and walked over a small hill out of sight. Two miles further down the road was another black bear feeding on flowers in a meadow. We then traveled into Lamar Valley and spent time photographing large herds of bison. Pronghorn were posing along the roadside and we saw a bald eagle on a tree overlooking the Lamar River. Once through Lamar Valley we headed up Antelope Creek and watched two more black bears. These were an adult and yearling together. From that point we went on up into the area of Mount Washburn and spotted over 20 big horn sheep feeding on a hillside. Moving on we crossed through Hayden Valley and stopped at the Blue Heron rookery that is on an island in the Yellowstone River. The young herons are fun to watch as they show themselves over the edge of the nest. On our return route back to Cooke City we saw another black bear in Antelope Creek. This one was cinnamon in color. This was a day that will always be in our memory.

June 13, 2009:

Met a couple from Wyoming at Tower Junction this morning. They had been in the park many times but had never been on a wildlife tour and were excited about what we might find during the day. The day seemed to go by fast but it was successful. We saw two wolves from the Agate Pack, and a mother grizzly with a cub. We watched in amazement as big horn sheep traveled the very steep canyon slopes of the Yellowstone River in the area called the Narrows. Elk, bison, a bald eagle, osprey, and coyotes were also a part of our viewing pleasure for the day.

June 8, 2009:

Took a family of four on a tour to the interior of the park on what we call our geyser/waterfall tour. We left Gardiner headed to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone to see the waterfalls. On the way over we got to see two black bears in the Antelope Creek area. This indeed was an added bonus. We spent the rest of the day in the thermal basin area, watching Old Faithful erupt and walking the boardwalk areas, enjoying the many different colorful pools and geysers. It was a very good day in Yellowstone.

June 1, 2009:

Spent the day in the park with a couple from Georgia. Their desire was to see wildlife and they were able to do that. It was a great day. We were able to see two wolves in the Lamar Valley. They were members of the Druid Peak pack. We also saw a mating pair of black bears at Petrified Tree, another black bear in Lamar Valley, a large big horn ram along the Yellowstone River, a cow and calf moose by the Trout Lake trailhead, and bull elk along Lava Creek drainage area.

May 1st through May 7th, 2009:

I assisted another interpretive guide on a seven day outing. It was a group from overseas and during the seven days we spent time in Yellowstone Park and Grand Teton Park. We had great wildlife viewing. Over the seven days we saw twelve wolves, four grizzly bears, one black bear, eighteen mountain goats, 30 big horn sheep and twenty-three moose. Most of the moose were in the Tetons. This area is some of the best moose viewing in the eco-system. We also saw a Great Gray owl, bison, elk, pronghorn, mule deer, whitetail deer, trumpeter swans, beavers, muskrat, osprey bald eagles, golden eagle, Great Blue herons, sandhill cranes, coyotes, sage grouse, and many species of hawks and waterfowl. Early spring is definitely a great time to be in Yellowstone country if you like seeing wildlife. I do not want to overlook the awesome scenery and other features we were also able to enjoy. These were the thermal areas of Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon area of Yellowstone and the majestic peaks of the Tetons. I do not know a better way to spend a week.

April 25, 2009:

I had a couple on tour for two days from Texas. We did a wildlife tour and our geyser/waterfall tour during that time. We had good success with the wolves being able to see wolves from two different packs. They were from the Blacktail Pack and Canyon pack. We saw a total of eleven wolves. Both packs were feeding on carcasses. We also saw a grizzly bear, big horn sheep, elk, bison, bald eagles, and coyotes. There was still a lot of snow in the Old Faithful area which made the viewing of the springs and geysers even more dramatic.

February 18, 2009:

It is winter wildlife viewing time which is one of the best times to see wildlife in Yellowstone. The only species that would most likely not be sighted would be bears. Today I took out a group that traveled over on snowmobiles from the Jackson Hole area to do a wildlife tour. During our time in the field we saw six wolves very close in the area of the Yellowstone River by Tower Junction. The group had great photo opportunities. We also saw a total of twenty-three big horn rams, some in Lamar Valley and the rest along the Gardiner River, just outside of the town of Gardiner, which is the north gate to Yellowstone. Bull elk, bison, coyotes, and bald eagles were also a part of our viewing pleasure.

February 8, 2009:

A winter wonderland day in the park with great wildlife viewing. I was able to show my group today thirteen of the Druid Peak pack. They were traveling through the deep snow in Lamar Valley putting on a great show as they moved single file across the ridges in front of us. We also saw many big horn rams at the confluence of the Lamar River and Soda Butte Creek. They were close and photo opportunities were great. Bull elk, bison, and coyotes helped round out a magnificent day.

January 31, 2009:

It was another great day in the winter range for wildlife viewing, again with return clients, a group of firemen from New Jersey. There was a group of 3 wolves atop a knoll north of the Lamar River prior to reaching Lamar Valley. They were bedded, enjoying the sunshine.

At the confluence of the Lamar River and Soda Butte creek we were busy watching and photographing big horn rams as they fed on the south slope of the hillside. All of a sudden the rams jumped and began bounding away through the deep snow and to our surprise from behind a low hill came a coyote in hot pursuit. This is very unusual as a coyote weighs 35 pounds maximum and the rams up to 300 pounds and can be very aggressive. They easily outdistanced the coyote and went and stood on a rock ledge as the coyote continued toward them struggling through the deep snow. He soon gave up and went on his way, perhaps in search of a meal more in the range he could handle, like a vole or mouse hiding under the snow. I believe the coyote must have forgotten for a moment his station in the winter range when he made that dash toward sharp hooves and the potential of a very convincing head butt from the ram.

January 26-27, 2009:

I spent two days with return clients from last year that enjoyed the winter range and were back for more. Over the two days we were able to watch 19 wolves from two different packs.

The Druids put on a special show on the 27th in the Lamar Valley. As we were watching them on the slopes south of the Lamar River the wolves went out of sight behind a herd of approximately 15 large bull elk. These bulls apparently were not the Druids main interest. As the wolves disappeared the elk moved down hill. We noticed big horn sheep bounding down hill on the steep slopes of the area known as the ski slope. Right behind them, guess who? The Druids were the reason for the sheep’s quick downhill descent. The wolves were able to stop on the edge and watched the sheep below, now safe from further harassment from those pesky wolves.

Over the two days we also watched bald eagles on carcass sites, bull elk, bison, coyotes, and big horn sheep in the Lamar Valley as well as the Gardner River canyon. The clients return visit was exciting and eventful. It seems the winter range is never disappointing if we take the time to truly embrace it.

December 24, 2008 (Christmas Eve day):

I went into the field today with a group from Jackson, WY. It was crisp in the early morning but clear. It was going to be a great day for watching wildlife.

We were not disappointed. Between Mammoth Hot Springs and Tower Junction is an area known as Geode Creek and our first goal for the early morning was to see the grizzly bear that was still out. Yes, December 24th, and a grizzly out and about. He was where I thought he would be and that was on a carcass that he had been working on for the last 4 days. Just as it was getting light enough to see we saw movement and Mr. Grizzly came out of the brush. He had a seat next to another van. The passengers were still seated safely in the van and were excited as was to be expected. The bear then crossed the road at a lope and went immediately to the elk carcass in easy viewing distance and continued with his feeding ritual. It was great watching and perhaps a once in a lifetime experience seeing a bear that late in this country. We enjoyed him for some time and then continued on out to the Lamar Valley where we watched big horn rams on the slopes. We also saw many elk, bison, and coyotes. On the way back in we were able to find and view, as well as photograph large bull elk in the Lava Creek area.

Simply put, it was a very special and amazing day in Yellowstone.

September 4, 2008:

Today I had a private group of 12 persons that wanted the opportunity to view the wolves of Yellowstone. It was a chilly morning as we made our way to Lamar Valley. At the first light of dawn we were on the hill overlooking the rendezvous area of the Druid Pack. It was a great choice as we were able to watch 23 Druids throughout the morning, howling, socializing, playing and just hanging out. An added bonus was the arrival of a young bull moose, judging by the antler size he was probably a 2 year old. He wandered into the rendezvous area and at times was close to the wolves, which seemed totally uninterested in his presence. We sighted bison and pronghorn antelope in the area and some elk and big horn sheep on the high ridges.

August 30, 2008:

I had a couple today that while here last year had hiked to the top of “Cardiac Hill” to view the Slough Creek wolf pack. Their primary goal was to see wolves again. We spent most of the morning on the hill overlooking the Druid Pack rendezvous site. We watched a total of 16 Druids. There was much playing with the pups, socializing as the adult wolves came into the area and yes, sleeping. On the way out of that area we were also fortunate to see two Slough Creek wolves west of the Lamar Canyon.

August 22, 2008:

The days and viewing are great in the Lamar Valley/Tower Junction area. I had the opportunity to spend the day with a grandfather that brought his granddaughter to Yellowstone country in hopes of seeing the wolves of Yellowstone. It was an awesome day. As it was getting light we saw a grizzly bear in the Boulder area as we traveled to Lamar Valley and the rendezvous site of the Druid wolf pack. Getting up and out early was well worth it. While in the field that day we saw 24 Druid wolves, a total of 5 grizzly bears, a pair of bald eagles on a dead cottonwood along the Lamar River, a beaver out for a leisurely swim, and 2 mountain goats on Barronette Peak.

August 21, 2008:

I met 4 clients at Tower Junction this morning. Main goal today was to try and see wolves and bears. Before the day was over it would be a huge success story. We left Tower and crossed the Yellowstone River headed to Lamar Valley where the Druid wolf pack was back in the valley at their old rendezvous site.

As we got to the area known as Boulders we took time for a quick stop at a bison carcass site. It was barely light enough to see but there feeding on the carcass was a grizzly bear. With the dim light it made it seem almost ghostlike and added to the excitement of finding a bear so soon and close enough to see even in the low light. Leaving the bear was with mixed emotions but we headed on to Lamar and the rendezvous site.
It was a good choice. It is best to view the rendezvous area by climbing a hill to overlook the Lamar River and the site to the south. Up we went. In a short time we were watching 21 Druid wolves and 5 grizzly bears. One of the female grizzlies had a set of last year’s twins with her and was close to the road and river, examining an old carcass. It was a great view. Further out moving from the area was another grizzly heading to the tree line to the south. Grizzly bear number 5 was another story. It was in the area of the rendezvous site and the wolves were none too pleased. It was awesome to watch as the adult wolves circled the bear and when able charge and nip at the heels, all the time working to drive the bear in the opposite direction from the pups in the area. It took some time and had everyone on the edge of their seats so to speak as the drama played out. Eventually the grizzly had enough and left to the tree line and the wolves came back seeming to be holding their heads high as their success.

You never know what you are going to see when you are in Lamar Valley, but it never seems to be dull.

August 13, 2008:

An early start this morning from Gardiner, I left before daylight with a couple coming to Yellowstone for a wildlife tour. Just as it was getting light we arrived at the Boulders area near the Yellowstone River crossing. There was a bison carcass north of the road and in easy viewing. Luck was with us as there were 8 Slough Pack wolves taking advantage of the bison carcass and feeding in the early light of pre-dawn. As we were enjoying the wolves we were rewarded with an additional bonus. A black bear came from the Lamar River corridor and up to the carcass site. There were many viewers and the bear did not stay long but gave a great photo opportunities before crossing the road and heading south. The wolves retired to the foothills to rest after their meal so we headed further toward the Lamar Valley. We did not make it very far before we noticed a black bear as we approached the Lamar River. As we watched it swam the river and after seemingly checking the area for other wildlife he made a direct route to another bison carcass on the river bank. We watched for a long time in good range, even for photos for the group. Bears have amazing strength. Even though this was a black bear it was able to actually move the carcass of the large bison. With the day winding down we headed toward the Mammoth area and were again rewarded with a close up of another black bear at Floating Island.

July 7, 2008:
At Lava Creek we saw a bull elk in velvet grazing along the road. Pronghorn antelope and bison with calves are scattered along the way as we head up to Slough Creek. Only one black colored gray wolf is visible, but we were treated to a glimpse of a gold eagle chick in it’s nest. Further into Lamar Valley we found a grizzly sow and 2 cubs from this year along the trees. A badger made it’s way through the sagebrush. A sub-adult bald eagle was perched in a snag along the Lamar River.

July 4, 2008: Traveled on a Grand Loop Tour with 4 couples. Saw a massive six point bull elk at Lava Creek with his antlers encased in velvet. Going up Dunraven pass a black bear had created quite a traffic jam. Good chance to photograph him. The Upper and Lower Falls of the Yellowstone are still raging with all the snow pack melting this late in the season. We ate lunch at a quiet spot on the divide between Yellowstone Lake and Old Faithful. An ice cream treat was enjoyed while we waited for Old Faithful to erupt then off to Fountain Paint Pots and back to Mammoth to end the day.

June 25, 2008: Family of four with boys age 7 and 9 on a Grand Loop. We watched the Sand Hill Cranes at Floating Island, then a pair of black bears at Petrified Tree. One of the bears was cinnamon colored the other was black, this is not unusual in Yellowstone. Stopped at Calcite Springs and looked at the osprey nest, saw two chicks and one adult. As we traveled up Dunraven we saw a black bear on one side of the road and a young grizzly on the other. An eagle soared above while we viewed the Upper and Lower Falls of the Yellowstone at Canyon. In Hayden Valley a crowd had gathered to watch a wolf sleeping across the river. He would lift his head to check us out and then go back to his nap. The boys got a kick out of visiting the “stinkiest place” in Yellowstone, on a warm day the sulfur really smells at Mud Volcano. Lunch was enjoyed at a pull out on Yellowstone Lake. While at Old Faithful we saw Castle Geyser, Lion Geyser as well as Old Faithful erupt.

June 18, 2008: Up before dawn to do a Wildlife Tour. We watched wolves from both the Druid and Slough Creek packs. The Sloughs were near their den site, caught glimpses of the lone pup born this year. The Druids were traveling near Soda Butte. We spotted 11 bears at various locations in Lamar Valley. At Barronette we watched through our spotting scopes as the Mountain Goats fed on the steep cliffs. Big Horn Sheep ewes and lambs were on the canyon walls at Calcite Springs.

June 16, 2008: On the way in to look for wolves we stopped to see the Sand Hill Cranes at Floating Island and found a bull moose. At Slough Creek we watched 6 wolves near the den sight. They were playing with the lone pup of the year. Mountain Goats and their kids were grazing on Barronette Peak. At Tower we saw two black bears and the osprey on the nest at Calcite Springs. On the way back we saw big horn sheep at Wrecker pullout.

June 1, 2008: In early for a Wildlife tour, girls day out two adult daughters and their mother. It is barely light as we get to Floating Island, the Sand Hill is tucked down on her nest. What a treat, we find three moose at Petrified Tree, two young bulls and a cow. They walk towards us as they graze, great photos. At the Slough Creek wolf den we catch sight of the pup and it’s “babysitters” through the scope. We find a few big horn sheep high on the cliffs on both sides of the Hitching Rail pullout. At Barronette Peak we find 4 Mountain goats with their kids. On the way back to Gardiner we stop again at Floating Island to find a cow moose and her calf lying on the bank. The Sand Hill Crane stands and turns her egg, then settles back down on top of it. Another great day in Yellowstone.

May 19, 2008: At daybreak near Phantom Lake we find a black bear, three black bears at Petrified Tree. A single black bear and a mating pair. On the north side of the road as we approached Tower Junction another black bear was feeding. We spot a grizzly at the base of Specimen Ridge. At the Slough Creek den sight eight wolves are in sight, including the lone pup. On Barronette Peak we find one mountain goat. At Calcite Springs we stop to check the osprey nest and find a big horn ewe and lamb. Good wildlife viewing for the group of four.

May 6, 2008: As we enter the Black Tail Ponds area we spot 5 of the Leopold wolf pack in pursuit of a bull elk. They caught him, but he fought, striking at them with his hooves and they gave up and moved on. After this exciting scene we proceeded in and watched a grizzly feeding on an elk carcass at Wrecker Turnout. Up at Soda Butte we watched a single Druid pack wolf in the meadow, he was black in color, feeding on an old carcass. On our way back out of the park there were two Big Horn Rams near Wrecker Turn out, the grizzly was out of sight.

4/26/08: We spent the day with friends from Jackson today out in the Lamar/Tower area. It was an exciting day for all of us as we saw 2 grizzlies today, the first of the year. The Sloughs were also busy. We watched the grizzlies and wolves from the same location. Not a bad way to spend the morning. Friends and mega fauna.

4/22/08: It was another great touring day in the winter range of Yellowstone. The group with me were treated to seeing a total of 20 wolves from 3 separate packs. They saw Sloughs, Druids, and Ox-Bow. They also enjoyed spending time photographing the nice Big Horn rams at Junction Butte.

4/8/08: Took out a group of three today, leaving before daylight to get to the Lamar Valley area. Another cold morning but as the day unfolded it was worth it. Our first excitement was in the area of Specimen Ridge trailhead. As we traveled toward Lamar Valley we noticed a red fox in a fast trot with a lone coyote not far behind. They crossed the road right in front of us. The fox then stopped, sat down in the snow. The coyote did the same and they just stared at each other, perhaps thinking that was way too much energy wasted. The coyote got up, crossed back over the road and the fox, as if on cue got up and followed the coyote. They went over the hill and out of sight leaving us wondering what that was all about. We were able to locate the some of the members of the Druid wolf pack at the Footbridge and Hitching Rail. The Druid pups, were feeding on a winter kill carcass which was quite close to the road. As they were feeding the coyotes were waiting their turn. A gold eagle arrived landing in a Douglas Fir snag, waiting its turn at the carcass. Another Druid pup approached the area along the cliffs and for a moment entertained the idea of walking a cliff ledge to get closer to 3 bighorn rams that were taking in the nearby events. The pup thought better of it and continued to the feeding site. It was great viewing for a long time and many photo opportunities also presented themselves.

2/1/08: We had great wolf watching today. Saw two different packs, the Druids and the Agates. A total of 24 wolves for the day. Three large big horn rams also provided many minutes of quality time at Wrecker Pullout. They were very photogenic. As we traveled in the large bull elk were there for all to see, as if to say what took you so long to get back here. It was another great and exciting day in Yellowstone.

1/27/08: We were treated with getting to view and spend time with all 16 of the Druid pack today in the area of Soda Butte. It does not always happen that we see all of a pack at once so this was a special treat. Bull elk were in the Lava Creek area. There are probably few places to see big bulls in these numbers all in one day. It was great. Today we saw big horn rams, ewes, and lambs at the confluence in Lamar Valley. It was also nice to see so many and so close. It was another banner day in Yellowstone.

1/21/08: It is definitely wintertime in Wonderland. There have been many days with snow, little sunshine and a biting wind. Though this sounds bleak and perhaps not for everyone. Today we saw 21 different wolves, comprising the Druid pack, an unknown gray colored wolf that had ventured into their territory, as well as another group of wolves closer to Slough Creek area.. There are 4 in this group. They will receive a pack designation if they have pups in the spring. Saw 7 bull elk in the Lava Creek area today as well as 4 nice big horn rams at Junction Butte on the Yellowstone River.

1/11/08: It was a spectacular wolf day. The group from New Hampshire saw a total of 29 wolves. The packs were the Agates and Druids. The Agate pack area is in the Tower Junction area and the Druids were once again in the Soda Butte area where they have been spending much of the winter. This is great because it has allowed for some close viewing. We also enjoyed the chance to watch big horn rams along the Yellowstone River and bull elk with their majestic racks. They were in the Lava Creek area where many spend the winter.

1/09/08: Watched the Druid pack in the Soda Butte area today, as well as a lone gray colored wolf that has ventured into the area but is not a Druid. He is living dangerously being in a pack’s living room and not being invited. We saw 17 total wolves.  On our way back to the Mammoth area we watched bull elk at Black Tail ponds. The big horn sheep had come down off Mount Everetts into the Gardiner canyon. They often come down to get to water and were next to the road. It is an exciting experience to watch them travel down the extremely steep slope of the mountain and act as if they were on flat ground.

1/2/08: The new year has arrived and a new and exciting winter season in Yellowstone. A family of 6 from Tennessee joined me today in the winter range and their long journey proved not to be in vain. They saw 18 wolves from 2 separate packs as well as a lone gray not with any designated pack. We also got to see a golden eagle which is always a treat. Another great day.

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Good morning Steve. Well to say the least we had the time of our lives yesterday. There are no words to describe the beauty and the fun we experienced. Thank you so very much. To see our children experience such things is a dream for us. You are just great. I appreciate all your hard work. Thank you again for such a wonderful time. Kirsten.

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