spacelone wolf

Yellowstone National Park - Wildlife Photos

- May 2001

Chipmonk at Chief Joseph Overlook This little guy entertained us as we took in the magnificent scenery at the Chief Joseph Overlook on Dead Indian Pass on our way to Yellowstone. I've always called them chimpmonks, but the guide book calls them "golden grownd squirrels".
On the way to the park, and even all through the park were small herds of pronghorn antelopes, amazingly enough I only have this one picture of them, guess I was just so used to seeing them that they didn't seem "picture worthy". But they are beautiful creatures and a real delight to watch. Pronghorn Antelope
Coyote This isn't actually my picture, I lifted it from one of the Yellowstone websites out there, everyone in my family got a chance to see a coyote except me! My husband and step dad even saw one carrying a rabbit in it's mouth, hopefully the pictures my step dad took turn out well, he's planning on titling the pics as "Carry Out". If he sends me a copy I'll be sure to post it here.
Neither of these pictures were taken by me they belong to Vadim V. Aristov, you may visit his website by clicking here.

Ground Squirrels (left pic) and Marmots (right pic) were all over the place! The day that Mom and I spent at camp (Tuesday) we were thoroughly investigated by the resident ground squirrels who just got bolder when they realized we weren't going to hurt them. Cute little guys! We saw lots of marmots around too, but they weren't nearly as visible as the ground squirrels.
Ground Squirrel   Marmot
Wolf on Ridge below Slough Creek

2 wolves in the lamar valley
On our second day in the park, we stopped to see what a whole group of people were looking at, they were watching a black wolf traverse the ridge just south of the campground we were staying at. He was too far away to get a decent photo with my camera, even with the telephoto lens, so I found these pics at the National Park Service website.

My sister-in-law, brother, and hubby also saw a huge black wolf just to the side of the road on the way back from one of our excursions, unfortunately I wasn't in the car with them so I didn't get any pictures of him, but found this pic at the same nps website so it'll have to suffice!

We did stop to see what another group of people were watching and found out that they were watching the den of the Druid Creek Wolf packs Alpha female, hoping that she'd show herself and maybe the pups as well, as far as I know they only caught brief glimpses of her, but it was thrilling to imagine seeing wolf pups in their natural environment. There was a large stretch of land in the Lamar Valley that was off limits to everyone to help the wolves acclimate better, I thought that was a wonderful thing for the Park to do for their wolves, they are very committed to making the reintroduction of wolves in Yellowstone a success. I wish them all the best! If you'd like to read updates on the wolves in Yellowstone there's a website with frequent postings on the activities of the wolves in Yellowstone and surrounding areas. For more information on the effort to protect wolves and keep them in the wild please visit The Wolf Recovery Foundation Website and find out what you can do to help!

Black Wolf being released from the acclimation pen
Practically every evening around dusk we received a visit from our "camp guardians". A group of mule deer made their way through our camp and on up the hill into the trees. I assume we were just in the middle of their usual pathway to their nightly feeding area, but it was very cool nonetheless to see them every night, the only night we didn't see them was after the bear ran through the campground, I assume they found another way to go that night! Deer in Camp

Nightly Visitors
Black Bear at Slough Creek And speaking of that bear, here's another picture of him. I was directly across the creek from him and he was running hell bent for the trees! Not sure if he thought something was after him or what, but he didn't waste any time at all getting through the camp and across the creek. I imagine he was just trying to get away from all the people with cameras! LOL
And that wasn't the only black bear we saw, a few miles from Tower Junction we happened upon this little family. A Mama Black bear and her two cubs. You should have see all the cars stopped along the road to watch these three! The sun was extremely bright so the pictures are a little overexposed but I kind of liked the effect anyway.

Mama Bear
Bear Cub

Bear Cubs
Black Bear Cub - Close Up
We crossed over Dunbar Pass several times, a favorite hangout for elk. We also saw several elk across the river on the way back from Yellowstone Lake.

Elk at the eastern base of Dunbar Pass
elk and a fawn

Swan on Yellowstone Lake Yellowstone Lake is supposed to be a favorite hangout for trumpeter swans, unfortunately they weren't present when we visited the lake, but I found this picture on the nps website and thought it was worth sharing as my Mom and Step Dad did get to see some swans on their way into the park
We did see lots of pelicans on the lake though! Pelican on Yellowstone Lake
Mama Moose

Baby Moose
Probably the most thrilling wildlife sighting (after the wolves of course) was this moose cow and her baby. They were both takin a break amongst the trees at a picnic area we stopped at. Just think, if our bladders hadn't had been talking to us we'd have missed this opportunity entirely!
This is the view of Mama Moose from the car, good thing my brother has good eyes huh? We might never have seen her. And the baby was hidden back behind her, if some of us hadn't taken a little stroll while waiting for the "facilities" we'd have missed him too. Good fortune was definitely on our side that day!

We were lucky enough to get to see a grizzly sow and her three cubs one day, thanks to the nice folks alongside the road with extrememly powerful scopes! This picture isn't the bears we saw but one that I found at the National Park Service website just to give you an idea of what we did see. The cubs were absolutely adorable, playing and rolling around just like any babies tend to do!
And of course a Yellowstone wildlife page wouldn't be complete without the obligatory bison photos, they were everywere! Bison Herd in Hayden Valley
Coming down the road

Of course they held up traffic lots!

Took this photo out of the car window. He was really that close! Okay, I used the telephoto a bit, but not much, we all jumped in the cars because they decided to walk right next to us and nobody wanted to be responsible for making them charge!
Bison Cow

This is a female, you can tell because the head and horns are much smaller.

And this is a fine specimen of a male bison, very impressive, especially close up!
This lonely guy was next to the Yellowstone river, thought it was a wonderful shot!

Bighorn SheepOn our way back from Cody Wyoming on Wednesday we had the opportunity to scout the rock formations for bighorn sheep, and we got lucky! We spotted about a dozen sheep playing on the top of a long rock formation. You can see a few of them in this picture. The rock had a depression on the back side of it that the sheep kept jumping in and out of, great fun to watch!
Well, that's it for the wildlife photos, click on one of the links below to return to the page you'd like.

Start Page    On The Way There   
Day 1 (Tower Falls, Calcite Springs)    Day 2 (Old Faithful, Black Sand Basin, Firehole Lake   
Day 3 (Mammoth)    Day 4 (After The Rain - Camp Photos)   
Day 5 (Cody Wy, and Yellowstone Falls)    On The Road Home   
South Dakota (Bear Country USA, Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse)   
Back to Joelle's Sacred Grove

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Gold Picture corners courtesy of Janes Place -

Page design and all photos copyright to Joelle Miller June 2001 unless otherwise noted. Unauthorized redistribution or reproduction of these images strictly prohibited and punishable by law.