Yellowstone National Park has five entrances and 251 miles of roadways, but only one stretch of highway is plowed and open to vehicles from November until May—the 52 miles between the Montana towns of Gardiner and Cooke City.
While traveling this road you may notice several vehicles parked in the plowed pull-out areas. If you also see people outside in temperatures barely topping zero degrees, gazing through spotting scopes and long-lens cameras—pull over! You're guaranteed to catch sight of amazing wildlife nearby.
|Wildlife alert! What did these people see?|
Two wolves and a mountain lion on the far hillside.
We saw them too, through our spotting scope.
Click on any photo to enlarge.
|Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep. Notice how well|
he blends in with the rock and snow.
|This coyote was on her way to feast on a dead animal carcass,|
uphill to the left.
|Cow Moose browsing willows on the river bank.|
|This pair of Barrow's Goldeneye ducks is enjoying|
their swim in the Lamar River.
|As we drove away from the pullout we noticed|
a badger following in bison tracks near the road.
And the reward for getting up early and braving the cold by dressing in layers of long underwear, fleece tops and pants, neck warmers, wool gloves and wind-stopper parkas?
A stop at 'The Bistro' in Cooke City for steaming mugs of hot chocolate.
|The Bistro, on left, serves bone-warming hot chocolate.|
View more photos of Yellowstone's winter wildlife by visiting this previous post: http://onedayinamerica.blogspot.com/2012/01/winter-wildlife-of-yellowstone-national.html