Member Favorite Hikes

From our Discussion Forum. For more please visit THIS THREAD.

Yellowstone Net Forums

Join the Yellowstone Community Discussions

yellvet wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:35 pm
MGB, thought I'd provide a little background for those who aren't familiar with the bear box project originated by the Yellowstone Foundation. Since a good sturdy bear box is expensive, the Foundation partnered with the state of MT so Yellowstone advocates from MT could buy custom Yellowstone license plates. I bought my first custom Yellowstone plate in 2011 and have renewed the plate every year since. According to the Yellowstone Foundation, part of the money received from the purchase/renewal of a custom Yellowstone plate is donated to the Yellowstone Foundation to help fund various projects, ie: adding new bear boxes at the Yellowstone campgrounds as well as replacing the old, vintage ones.

I've been camping at Slough Creek every year since 1978. I would have thought that, by now, the Foundation would have taken the initiative to see to it that all the handicap campsites in Yellowstone would have an EZ to open bear box, especially, since the MT/Yellowstone custom license plate program has been in place since at least 2011. Since then, I have voiced my concerns numerous times about the poor condition of the bear box at the SC handicap site not only to the local Tower rangers but also to the Yellowstone campground supervisor, the SC campground host(s) and to the campground maintenance workers. Since physically disabled campers at Slough Creek are still expected to use a vintage bear box, my husband and I plan to submit our concerns directly to the Park Super. on the feedback form that we were asked to fill out, at the end of our visit this summer. If that doesn't work, then I plan to share my concerns with DOI Sec. Zinke. It's beyond me as to why the vast majority of the SC camp sites have the new bear boxes, while the very campers who need a functional, easy-to-open bear box the most (the physically disabled), are still expected to use a bear box that's falling apart or won't open, without the help of another person. That's shameful!! A few years ago, when the rangers were putting on the adhesive, donator nameplate sticker on the bear box at our site, I asked them why the handicap site (located next to us) didn't have one of the new bear boxes. They couldn't give me an answer. So until such time that a new bear box is installed at the SC handicap site (Site #12 in 2017), I'm going back to buying a generic MT license plate next year. Hopefully, someone in Park management will see this post and will remedy this situation before the 2018 Park visitor season begins. To see any disabled camper have to struggle with one of the old, hard-to-open bear boxes, breaks my heart. The one in the SC handicap site should have been replaced years ago. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to identify which bear boxes need to be replaced. They're the ones that have a big heavy chain bolted to each end of the door, with HD steel fasteners bolted to the bear box.

On a positive note, I'd like to mention that the new bear boxes are absolutely wonderful!!! The interior storage space is more than adequate and you don't have the strength of Hercules to get the doors open. So many thanks to all the people who were involved in choosing the design and vendor for the new bear boxes. They're GREAT!!!
UPDATE-JUNE 2018

I'm very happy to report that the handicap camp site at Slough Creek now has a brand new bear box! Kudos and my sincerest thanks to the Foundation and to all the people who made this happen. All the campers we met, who stayed in the site in June and in early July, were absolutely ecstatic! Great job!!

Statistics: Posted by yellvet — Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:35 pm


Author: yellvet
Posted: July 15, 2018, 11:35 pm
For more info related to my trip observations and concerns about the harmful effects of high water, and the link to the declining native cutthroat trout population and the lack of birds, ducks and birds of prey spotted in Yellowstone in June and July, please read this recent July article published by National Geographic. Here's the link: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/envi ... e-animals/

Statistics: Posted by yellvet — Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:42 pm


Author: yellvet
Posted: July 15, 2018, 10:42 pm
Sad to say that this was one of the most disappointing and, probably, the most disturbing Yellowstone trip that I have ever had. Only saw one grizzly sub-adult, a few black bears and a black sow with 2 cubs... all in the Tower/Slough Creek areas. Checked out Floating Island and Phantom Lakes and the ponds in the Tower/SC areas several different times with little or no success. The only bird I saw was a yellow-headed black bird. Only saw a couple of ducks at Floating Island Lake (an American Coot and a male mallard)...no Sandhill Cranes or geese, and only one merganser on Slough Creek!! Didn't see a single bird's nest at our camp site or along the Creek. Saw one coyote on the road between Mammoth and Tower and another chasing down a Uinta in the Slough Creek Meadow. But I couldn't find a single badger or otter anywhere. Talked to several different people who had hiked up to Trout and Buck Lakes and they hadn't seen the otters either. So what's going on in the Park? Granted, the water levels in the rivers and streams were unusually high this spring and still are. And, the runoff still isn't over. But high water usually doesn't affect waterfowl, ducks and birds so dramatically. But this year, I think it did. When you couple the decline of the cutthroat trout population in the Park with the negative effects of high water, I think that the entire Greater Yellowstone ecosystem suffered this year. I'm not an ornithologist but I suspect this is why we had geese, ducks and turtles in our front yard and why I was shocked to see 2 bald eagles swooping down, trying to killing ducks on Swan Lake last year. Reportedly, the bald eagles have also been killing Trumpeter Swans (offspring) this spring.

Cutthroat trout sustains a wide variety of different Yellowstone animal and bird species. And when they're starving, they'll likely do whatever is necessary to survive...even it means killing another wildlife species, IMHO. So what kind of animal species typically have fish in their diets? Birds of prey (eagles and osprey), ducks, bears and otters, to name but a few. Coyotes are scavengers and will eat just about anything that's dead...ditto for badgers. So here's the question. Is the decline of the Yellowstone cutthroat trout population having a negative impact on the ability of some Yellowstone wildlife species to survive? What do you think, based on your own wildlife observations and sightings over the past few years?

Statistics: Posted by yellvet — Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:46 am


Author: yellvet
Posted: July 15, 2018, 5:46 pm
Big boar near Rainy Lake.

Image

Statistics: Posted by RikWriter — Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:29 am


Author: RikWriter
Posted: July 14, 2018, 1:29 pm
You’ll have a blast!

Statistics: Posted by obradallen — Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:15 pm


Author: obradallen
Posted: July 13, 2018, 8:15 pm
Calcite (Angry mom) tree hugger.

ImageCalcite mom hugging.5-22-2018 by Linda Hamilton, on Flickr

Statistics: Posted by lah — Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:25 am


Author: lah
Posted: July 13, 2018, 4:25 pm
Thanks for all the replies and info. I'm now looking at that week of Labor Day, or possibly the next week.

Statistics: Posted by mdtrot — Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:50 am


Author: mdtrot
Posted: July 13, 2018, 2:50 pm
In late August you might still catch the last of the bison rut. Watching and listening to those behemoths is fun, too! Elk rut takes place in September. It is guaranteed that you will see one or two bulls and their harems in and around Mammoth ( don’t get too close, they’re very aggressive that time of year).Bears and wolves are active. It’s also moose rut in September, but we don’t see too many in YNP. The biggest problem we’ve had with visiting in September is increasing closures of restaurants. Most of the Park restaurants close by the end of September (check the Park website for actual dates). We’ve stayed in both Gardiner and Silver Gate and by the end of the month there are a only a couple of places open. Last year in September we woke up to 14” of snow! So, be prepared for all kinds of weather. That being said, it is still a wonderful time to be in the Park

Statistics: Posted by Arted — Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:05 am


Author: Arted
Posted: July 13, 2018, 2:05 pm
Oh yes, you can look at the ynp website to look for road closure dates. I have been during late October and have had no problems. In October the wildlife sightings decrease significantly for many species but wolf activities pick up. In Oct. you have to contend with weather and finding a place to stay. In September after Labor Day Canyon campground closes so check the website for lodging details. I really enjoy my September visits, October is a little too late for me.

Statistics: Posted by obradallen — Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:58 pm


Author: obradallen
Posted: July 11, 2018, 8:58 pm
obradallen wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:21 am
The elk rut usually starts around the the second week of September but it is often weather dependent. It often needs to cool off a bit. As far as crowds they will thin a little because many kids will be back in school by September but it will still be crowded. Bears are busy stuffing themselves for the winter season and the scenery is simply amazing the third and fourth weeks of September. The temperature cools down and the park can become magical again. My take on Yellowstone in the fall. :D
Thanks! Hmm... maybe I should look at that time period instead. Are most of the roads usually still open at that time?

Statistics: Posted by mdtrot — Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:31 am


Author: mdtrot
Posted: July 11, 2018, 3:31 pm
The elk rut usually starts around the the second week of September but it is often weather dependent. It often needs to cool off a bit. As far as crowds they will thin a little because many kids will be back in school by September but it will still be crowded. Bears are busy stuffing themselves for the winter season and the scenery is simply amazing the third and fourth weeks of September. The temperature cools down and the park can become magical again. My take on Yellowstone in the fall. :D

Statistics: Posted by obradallen — Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:21 am


Author: obradallen
Posted: July 11, 2018, 3:21 pm
Hi all, I've only been to YNP in early June and once in July. I'm now looking at visiting in late August and/or early September. I'm not a hiker, so I mainly get to see things from positions that I can drive to, or are withing a short hike. I've mainly focused on the northern areas of the park, i.e., Hayden, Lamar, Roosevelt areas.

My interests are mainly observing and photographing wildlife mammals, specifically bears and wolves, as well as Elk, Moose, deer, coyote, fox. When does the elk rut generally begin in YNP? What recommendations can anyone make as to the differences seen at that time vs. earlier in the summer? Also, is there less traffic and crowds at this time, compared to June and July? Thanks much!

Statistics: Posted by mdtrot — Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:55 am


Author: mdtrot
Posted: July 11, 2018, 2:55 pm
Once in a lifetime sighting,,thanks for letting us get a peek.Does not matter if you you were 100 yards or 1000 yards away,what an experience :D

Statistics: Posted by Mike — Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:45 am


Author: Mike
Posted: July 10, 2018, 1:45 pm
What an incredible experience. Just WOW. Thanks for sharing -- even the long-range photo is wonderful. Thanks!

Statistics: Posted by Dorothy — Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:51 pm


Author: Dorothy
Posted: July 10, 2018, 5:51 am
Wow, 10 grizzlies! That must have been amazing.

Statistics: Posted by lah — Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:03 pm


Author: lah
Posted: July 10, 2018, 5:03 am

Related Yellowstone Net Pages