Hi Patrick! You're in for a treat!

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Posted by Granite Head ( on 08:55:03 02/28/15

In Reply to: Rough Rider Cabin question posted by Patrick

While the Roosevelt cabins are MY favorite place to stay (we might even be there at the same time in June), they do not have views of Lamar Valley which is some miles to the east. In fact most of the cabins are tucked behind a rise (photo taken from the top of that rise, with my back to the east, miles beyond which is Lamar) so no views of wide expanses; some of the cabins are along the side of the rise around the corner from this view, but face the parking lot. Nonetheless it's a truly beautiful area.

Heading east out of the cabins complex you'll quickly pass through open area where you'll often see bison and sometimes mule deer, elk, or a black bear. The road dips down to the bridge over the Yellowstone River and winds back up through a short beautiful narrow area, the two landmarks of which are "wrecker's pullout" (unmarked) on your left just after you start up the hill from the bridge and a recommended stop for the views, out of your car on foot, down to the river and beyond, and just a little farther up the road on the right, "Yellowstone Picnic" which is marked and has shady tables and a vault toilet (another reason it's a landmark, ha!). That is THE most concentrated wildlife watching area in the whole park in my opinion. In that short stretch I've seen many bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelopes, black bears, an occasional grizzly, bison, marmots, badgers, coyotes, foxes, song birds like mountain blue birds, western tanagers, and raptors like hawks, and plenty of ravens and magpies. After Picnic, the view opens up into a wide area called Little America - keep a sharp eye out for wildlife there as well (be sure you bring good binoculars). The road then crosses the Lamar River, passes the turnoff for Slough Creek (worth the couple of mile side-trip down the gravel road for potential wildlife, and at the end, another vault toilet just before the campground, is the trail head for a beautiful relatively easy couple mile hike to another open area called First Meadow, and father if you like, but take and know how to use bear spray).

Continuing east along the main road, you go through a gorgeous flowery narrows called Lamar Canyon, and when you come out the other side you will be in Lamar, and you will know it by its vastness, and the river low down to your right (and a little sign). A lot of bison, and whatever else you see out there besides scenery, is the luck of the draw. At times there are wolves (watch for crowds at the pullouts peering through spotting scopes - people are always happy to share the view). When I was there last week there were four bull moose resting in the snow. Coyotes aren't unusual, and keep an eye out for both bald and golden eagles.
Keep driving eastward to a left curve which is the confluence of Soda Butte Creek and the Lamar River. Look for otters, beavers, water ouzels (aka dippers) and water fowl, plus the larger mammals around the Confluence. The farther east you go - in fact, all the way out of the park to Silver Gate and Cooke City - the better the chance of seeing moose.

I think you'll love Roosevelt cabins, even if you can't gaze out upon Lamar Valley :-)

Let us know if you have any more questions, we're all always happy to ramble on about Yellowstone!

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