Trip Report – (YNet Discussion Fourms)

by Dan on Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:54 pm

Day 1 – Arrived thru the east entrance out of Cody around 4pm. Saw a momma and baby moose about 5 miles past the entrance, a grizzly just west of Sylvan lake and a black at Tower. Time for Bed!

Day 2 – Vicki and I Met Bruce Gourley and Ken Drury and his daughter for a hike to Mystic Falls this Morning. The weather was a pain because it rained, then the sun came out, then rained, etc. Afterwards we all went to Canyon for lunch, only to find out the thunderstorm knocked out the power, so we made do with what we had in our cars. We then drove over to Tower, stopping along the way to see if we could spot any wildlife, which we didn’t. We parted company there and headed back to the Lake for a late afternoon nap. That evening in S. Hayden, it hailed like crazy for 5-10 minutes. We drove north and stopped at Grizzly Overlook and saw 2 black Canyon wolves in the distance.

Day 3 – 12 wolves – saw 7 Mollies way out in Antelope Creek. We also found a dead one, 838. Vicki spotted something in her binoculars that she couldn’t make out, so I got out my Kowa. It was canine. So who all of a sudden do I spot driving up towards us in a yellow Xterra – Unit 1! Talk about timing! He stopped and asked us if we see anything and I told him to take a look. Rick said they had been getting a motality signal on his collar but was unable to locate him, and he was surprised it was that close to the road. We went back into Hayden and ran into Ken and his daughter, and saw 1 grey wolf and 1 grizzly on the west side of the road out by the telephone poles. Then further down the road by Elk Antler Creek, we all saw 4 more of the Canyon pack across the river. That evening in Hayden we saw a big grizzly out by the telephone poles.

Day 4 – nothing in Hayden so we drove over to Lamar. Stopped by Calcite and watched 4 sheep walking along the canyon wall. Saw a Mother Griz and cub on the hillside across the road from Slough Creek. At Baronette peak we stopped and watched about 5 goats(1 baby) walking along the ridges. Then we went to Cooke City and ate lunch at Soda Butte and after that we went across the street to the Trading Post. Afterwards, we headed back towards the park but we stopped at Wildlife Along Rockies, bought a Bear Photo, and chatted with Dan Hartman for about 20-30 minutes. On the way back we saw a black bear with 2 cubs at the Bridge by Yell Picnic area. Stopped for Moosetracks at Canyon then drove back to the lake for a late afternoon nap. It’s starting to get warm during the day – bummer!

That evening we went by fishing bridge and saw a griz and 2 cubs. Thunderstorm hit as we were driving to Hayden Valley so we went to the Canyon to eat. After that we drove back to Hayden, stopped to look for wildlife and Jim Halfpenny drove up with a class and film crew and asked me if I saw anything – they were doing a film on bears. We chatted for 15 minutes – which a lot of that time, they filmed! So I’ll either wind up in a movie or on the cutting room floor(Ha!) I told him I wanted his new book so he said to email him. He saw my license plate and took a photo of it and then they left to check out the bears at fishing bridge.
Note – Grizzly overlook is a zoo.

Day 5 – Only 4 bears today – 1 griz in Hayden, 1 black in Antelope creek and 3 blacks in the Petrified Tree area. Vicki and I took a hike to Wraith Falls and hiked down to the 2nd set of cliffs at Sheepeaters. We drove around upper Mammoth Geyser basin then went to Gardiner to buy gas and eat lunch at The Town Cafe

Moved to Canyon village for the next 3 nights

Day 6 – Snowed last night. saw several bears today. 1 in Antelope Creek (big Grz) 1 by Rainy lake (Black), 2 Griz on Mt Norris, black in Lamar across from the institute, 1 griz in Lamar high up across the road from the institute. and 1 griz by Trout Creek in Hayden.

There was a Moose up near Warm Creek, 3 goats on the Mtn above Round Prairie, Osprey at Tower, Eagle on the dead wolf.

We stopped and Took a photo of Tower falls then went to Cooke city for breakfast. There was a lone Black wolf in Hayden in the evening and we saw a Coyote and Fox by Grizzly Overlook also.

Day 7 – Griz in Antelope Creek, griz and cub in Lamar high above Fishermans on the other side of the river and 1 Cinnamon same area but only halfway up the mountain. There was a griz and cub high up on Specimen Ridge. Osprey was on a nest in Lamar, Grey Owl on a nest in Lamar canyon, and coyote chasing antelope – reason was it had a den & pup there. This was between Soda Butte and Trout Lake, across Soda Butte Creek. We went to Cook city for breakfast(again) then drove back to Canyon via Mammoth to Norris.

That Evening we saw 3 Canyons from Grizzly Overlook, plus 1 big griz from there across the river near treeline. Then 2 turnouts north of there we saw a grizzly out by the telephone poles.

Day 8 – Saw a Grizzly out in Antelope creek, a Grizzly sow and cub high up in Lamar and a Cinnamon bear on the next ridge over from them. We saw an Osprey on a nest in Lamar near Fisherman turnout and watched a Coyote chase Antelope between Soda Butte and Trout Lake. She was keeping them away from her den and puppy(1). We saw a Great Horned Owl on a nest in Lamar Canyon and a Golden Eagle being pestered by 2 Red Tailed Hawks 500 feet in the air. Then saw another Grizzly and cub on Specimen and down the road a ways we saw a Badger with 2 “cubs/pups/whatever they’re called, at Blacktail Deer Plateau. That evening at Grizzly Overlook, we saw 3 Canyons, 1 Big Griz across the river near the treeline, then 1 Grizzly near Mary Mountain Trail and 1 Cinnamon up hill from Dunraven Parking area.

Day 9 – Packed up and left Canyon. Saw a Griz by Mary Mountain trailhead and 1 Black Bear near Calcite Springs. That afternoon we walked around Norris and Midway Geyser Basin. We stopped at OF for lunch then headed to Signal Mountain Lodge in the Tetons. I Tried to drive over to Elk Ranch Reservoir but the streams were too deep to cross. Saw a Moose near Willow Flats overlook and a lot of Elk and Bison from the big turnout just south of Moran Jct. on Hwy 26.

Day 10 – Went to Oxbow Bend for pictures then went to Cunningham Cabin. Afterwards we drove to Schwabackers for photo’s. Then we drove to Mormon Row for the obligatory shots of John and Bartha Moulton’s barn and Thomas & Lucille Moulton’s barn. Next, we drove up Gros Vente Rd for a few shots of the old cabins there. If that spot has a name, I can’t find it. We then drove to Jackson for breakfast and to wash the mud off my truck. That evening we drove up Pacific Creek Rd to the end and came back to Two Ocean Lake afterwards. Only “wildlife” I saw was bear poop on the road, so I had Vicki take a picture of it.

Day 11 – Snowing at higher elivations and just flurries below. Went to the back of Pilgrim Creek Rd and there was a sow Grizzly being courted by one HUGE male. We watched for about a half hour before they disappeared into the trees. We then went to Grassy Lake rd. and drove all the way to Campsite 8 before we had to turn around. The road was closed there because it still had snow drifts on it. It was a pretty drive nevertheless. That evening in that open range area between Elk Ranch Reservoir ahd Hwy 26, I watched about 200 Black Angus Cattle eating with and lying next to about 80 Bison with about 30 elk close by. Apparently Wyoming Ranchers aren’t as concerned about Brucellosis as much as Montana Ranchers are – or is there another hidden reason the public isn’t aware of(Gasp!)

Day 12 – Headed home