Several things

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Posted by Granite Head ( on 06:28:19 05/18/15

In Reply to: Visiting YNP for 7 days starting 23rd May posted by Manish Khandelwal

It's hard to avoid seeing wildlife and you're going at the peak time for watching mothers and their new babies! As TeeJay says, early mornings and the long late spring evenings are the optimal times but animals can appear near the roads at all times. You may well find yourself in a huge traffic jam caused by large herds of bison or elk on the road (a "bison jam" or "elk jam") and you can be certain that if there are bears anywhere in sight all traffic will come to a stop and as long as the bears are easily visible, there will be a huge bear jam. Please be very careful to find a safe place to pull over before you stop and get out of the car (all four tires within the pullout or shoulder), and don't get out of the car at all if the animals are within 25 meters of the car (a teenaged girl from Taiwan was just seriously injured by a bison that she was much too close to - they look sleepy and benign but they are not), 100 meters for bears and wolves. Please observe the directions of the rangers who are there to protect not just the people but the animals as well. So be sure to take binoculars for the best viewing.

As you drive around you will sometimes see the pullouts are full of cars and people watching through spotting scopes (like large telescopes on tripods). Most people are very gracious and will gladly let you peep through their scopes and describe what they're seeing. That's the way you are most likely to view wolves in particular.

This photo was taken in the Tetons last June. The mother grizzly bear is known by her research number, "399" and that is one of the two cubs she had with her. The cubs were a year old in 2014; this year she has kicked out her two year-olds, but you may still see her, or the kids, and other bears anywhere in the Tetons or Yellowstone.

Although wildlife can turn up everywhere in both parks, in Yellowstone your chances of seeing wildlife (black and grizzly bears, bison, elk, bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelopes, moose, foxes, wolves, coyotes, badgers, marmots, and many great birds) are best in the corridor east of Mammoth to Tower Junction (where Roosevelt Lodge is), then south to the top of Mt. Washburn, or east all the way to Silver Gate and Cooke City through the area known as the "Northern Range" - be especially watchful from where you turn left at Roosevelt Lodge all the way to northwest entrance. That area is extremely rich with all of Yellowstone's iconic species.

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