While we were in Yellowstone, we kept hearing that the Lamar Valley was one of the best places for wildlife sightings, so we planned to spend a day exploring it. We had barely gotten a mile down the road when we saw some big horn sheep. We pulled over and I got a couple of quick pics.
As we started walking back to the car, a cute little fox appeared just trotting down the road!
A few more miles down the road we started to see all of the bison. There are huge nursery herds here – lots of moms with babies. There were hundreds of them! The picture below is just one small section of them.
We followed the road through Lamar Valley all the way to the northeast entrance of the park. Since we came that far, we decided to explore the Beartooth Highway. Almost immediately, we drove into a winter wonderland.
We followed the road for several miles, eventually reaching 11,000 feet. At that point we found ourselves in a snow storm, and decided that would be a good time to turn around! This drive was so beautiful with all the snow – I would imagine when all the snow melts and the lakes unfreeze it’s even more beautiful.
We drove back into the park through Lamar Valley again, and then headed back towards Fishing Bridge. Just south of the Canyon area is picnic area right on the Yellowstone River. We had stopped there and had lunch with Don & Gail several days prior. As we started driving past this picnic area, Deas and I both noticed something strange in the river – a herd of bison was in the river swimming across it! At the same time, we also saw all the people in the picnic area quickly grabbing their food and their children and running towards their cars – the bison were seemingly headed right for them. We quickly parked and I grabbed my camera.
The bison made it to the other shore, and then as they climbed out they just kept running down the road!
We just couldn’t believe what we had seen! There are bison everywhere in Yellowstone, and we were almost getting tired of seeing them, but seeing them swim across a river was just amazing! I’d love to know what they were running from. We thought that would probably be our most interesting bison experience, but they had one more treat in store for us. As we were crossing back through Hayden Valley (another great wildlife spot), we drove upon another huge herd of them – but they were all over the road, stopping traffic.
Rather than try to fight our way through the cars and bison, I chose to just pull into an open spot in one of the pullouts. But as soon as I pulled in, this is what we were looking at. Is it just me or does he look a little annoyed?
I quickly cut off my car engine, and just as quickly began to second guess my decision to pull over. We were pretty much surrounded by bison at this point, and were anxiously trying to stop the dogs from barking. Other than the one bison above, most of them seem pretty uninterested in all the cars and all the cameras that were being aimed at them. There were a few babies in the group, and as with all baby animals, they were simply adorable. Although I’m pretty sure the one below was sticking his tongue out at us.
Eventually they all started slowly making their way across the road.
We kept on a eye on the big guy that was right in front of us as he calmly walked right past our car. I know that bison can move really fast when they want to, but if they’re not in a hurry, they take their sweet time. I think he was big as our CRV!