A blustery, unpredictable June brought with it fantastic wildlife watching in my three days in the Park. I spent two nights in Mammoth and did several hikes. On one, we ran into that herd of Rams you see. 150 years of no hunting leaves the wildlife very relaxed around people. The rams hardly noticed us, moving slowly across the trail and up the hillside about 20 feet away.
From what I heard today, so far not too many cubs of the year (COY) have been spotted. But I was a lucky one to get to watch a mom and 2 cubs for about fifteen minutes before they disappeared into the trees. The cubs spent the entire time playing, rolling around, and then catching up with mom…..soooo cute! One the way home I watched a courting pair of grizzlies. The female was collared. They rested together for quite some time under a tree while dozens of people watched about 100 yards away.
Yellowstone in May/June is the best time of the year. One woman told me she spotted 71 bears last year in two weeks. In early July grizzly bears move up into the high country to hunt for moths. The elk follow the grasses higher up as well. Wolves tend to follow the elk. So although you may see these animals in summer, the sightings will be fewer and more difficult to find.
The wildlife, the thermal activity, the incredible setting–that is the magic of Yellowstone and spring is the best time of year to come.