Well, a Yellowstone winter proved to be as majestic as we expected. The sparkling blankets of untouched snow dissected by animal tracks made a beautiful foreground to the surrounding snowcapped mountains in the background.
We were lucky enough to experience a wolf pack hunting at dawn and a wolf tormenting a pack of coyotes at dusk. Both instances were in the Lamar Valley region of Yellowstone. The only road open this time of year is that from Gardiner, Montana to Cooke City, Montana. Sadly, our favorite Beartooth Highway is closed in the winter.
The first wolf encounter at dawn involved an alpha chasing a young bison that was separated with 2 other bison from the rest of the bison herd.
The second wolf incident involved a wolf dining on some meat covered bones buried in the snow. Four coyotes were barking and howling at this wolf as he stole a meal they tried to claim but they were reluctant to actually fight with him and risk injury.
Other animals we got to see included the bison and elk herds. we got to sit in a classic bison jam – I’d take that over a traffic jam any day!
A dream come true, finally – Yellowstone in mid winter. What a wonderland. A cold and amazing wonderland.