May is a great time to see wildlife & their new children

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Posted by Granite Head ( on 19:33:12 03/10/15

In Reply to: Re: re: WOWZA!! posted by Fawnsweet

Black bears, grizzly bears, bison, pronghorn antelopes, bighorn sheep, elk, mule deer, moose, coyotes, foxes, wolves - look for crowds at the pullouts, they'll always share what they're seeing through their scopes - but do bring your own binoculars too - smaller mammals like beavers, otters, marmots, snowshoe hares, bald and golden eagles, song birds, you have a chance of seeing any or all of them, both in Yellowstone and the Tetons. Between Colter Bay and the turnoff to Jackson Lake, keep a sharp eye out in the Tetons for grizzly mama 399; two years ago she had three cubs, only two made it through the winter - here she is in June 2014 with the yearlings. This spring they will come out of the den together one last time and she will chase them off (that is, if they survive another winter) but they will most likely all be hanging around that area close to the road in May into early June. Be very respectful of their space (100 yards, a football field is the appropriate distance) and enjoy watching them safely.

The hot springs, geysers, fumaroles, mud pots all over Yellowstone will be open (except for freak snow storms during which the highest mountain passes may close temporarily making it difficult to get where you want to), all are fascinating, unique and amazing.

If you want to swim safely in hot-spring fed pools and are in Paradise Valley anyway, take a bathing suit and visit Chico Hot Springs in Pray, MT (about 35 minutes north of north entrance) for a great soak and a good lunch at the grille or a great dinner in the dining room (reservations recommended especially weekends and certainly Mother's Day).

What else you do depends on your interests. The hiking is good everywhere, though you need to know about bear and other safety - are you by yourself, or traveling with others? Safest hiking is in pairs or groups, and can be very rewarding.

Boat tours on Yellowstone Lake can be relaxing and informative if the guide is good. Not sure if they will have started yet in May though,

If you have a beautiful clear day, in the Tetons I highly recommend the Aerial Tram ride from Teton Village (just a couple of miles outside the south entrance) to the top of Rendezvous Peak. The views are incredible, and sometimes you see wildlife like deer and black bears from the tram.

Another lovely thing to see in Jackson is the National Museum of Wildlife Art, just at the north end of town across from the elk refuge. Beautiful small museum with wonderful stuff

Take the boat ride across Jenny Lake and do the short but uphill hike to Hidden Falls - go early in the day before the crowds show up, if the boats are running in May - alas some things don't open until June.

You will not run out of things to do!

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