july 12-19 part 1


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    Posted by nancy v (137.78.78.22) on August 03, 2005 at 12:05:02:

    Here’s my trip report for Yellowstone, 12-19 July. We were coming off 5 days in Isle Royale National Park, which was great. Spent the night of the 11th in Cody and took the Chief Joseph Hwy into the NE entrance and got a campsite at Pebble Creek for 2 nights. Saw a large herd of bison at the Lamar River and were told about a sow grizzly and 2 cubs across the river by another viewer. So we watched them for a while, distantly. Also saw a bald eagle and pronghorn here. On towards Tower and our first black bear sighting. At Wraith Falls we saw a marmot, we think. Then to Mammoth where we hiked the Beaver Ponds trail, we were all excited as we thought we saw a beaver swimming but then it exited the water and we realized it was a muskrat. Returning through Tower a ranger was keeping a crowd back from a black bear as it crossed the road, we got some great views of it. Also we saw several coyotes near the road. From there we went to Slough Creek to the wolf viewing area and met some of the regulars there and learned place names like “the horizontal forest”. We could see the wolves through scopes and our good binoculars, and if I zoom my pictures way in I can make out their shapes! Then back to the grizzly mom & cubs, they were still on the far side of the river. Up at 5:45 am the next day to wolf watch, but on the way we stopped to check on the grizzly. Good thing because she and the cubs were headed towards us & the road! They crossed 30 yards away with only 2 other cars in attendance. Then we headed to the wolves and watched them for a while. Before it got too hot we left to hike Mt Washburn. No bighorn sheep in sight but we did see a mountain goat in the distance. No exciting sightings that evening. The next morning we did Trout Lake early, no one else around. We saw an osprey and watched the spawning rainbow trout right next to the trail. Great reflection shots, it was very still. On the way to Mammoth we had a great black bear sighting at Roosevelt, two young ones, a cinnamon and a black one, right next to the road. Plus 3 male elk showing off those ridiculous antlers! Then off to Mammoth for the terraces. Below there we saw two large nursery herds of elk moms & young. Did Blacktail Drive as **sloooooww* as possible, 5 mph, letting everyone pass! At Roosevelt Cabins that night. It was backcountry time after that, two nights at 3C2 (Cache Creek). We were going to do Slough Creek but too many mosquitoes! Cache Creek was great, the middle day we didn’t see ANYONE else all day! Not much wildlife back there, just some tracks and old elk antlers.


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