After spending 3 non-consecutive days at Yellowstone National Park, we logged over 1,000 miles in the park (mostly due to 2 roads being closed), saw over 500-ish Bison, 2 herds of Elk, 0 Bears, 0 Moose, an Eagle, and finally a Coyote. On the 3rd day, we decided to visit Bighorn Canyon, then head to the north-east entrance of Yellowstone. We drove on the Bear Tooth pass, climbed to an 11,000ft elevation where we took photos of the remaining glaciers and glacier lakes. It was a super long drive back into the park, but we finally drove through Lamar Valley which is where most of the Bison live. Supposedly, the moose, elk and wolves live nearby too. Finally, we were able to see a Coyote up on the hill, and barely got the video of him.
We had to drive on the far west side of the park because the canyon roads were closed, and by the time we returned home, it was after midnight. By this time, we’ve driven around the park for 3 days, and gave up on seeing a bear. Quite a different experience from when I was young where bears frequented the roads and were fed by visitors.
The animals were pretty sparse at Yellowstone for us. Our eyes hurt at the end of the day because we watched so hard to see glimpses of the animals in their own habitat. 3/4 of the way through the first day, we finally saw our first bison. When we headed to the north entrance, an entire herd of elk were laying around in town. We filled with gas, and headed south to go back home, what would be another 2-1/2 hour drive. It was late, and was after midnight by the time we returned home.
Suggestions: If you are planning on traveling to Yellowstone, we have a few suggestions for you. Check ahead on which roads are closed. Know that you will be traveling a LOT! Plan on taking your time, and know that you will probably not see everything. Download the Yellowstone app on your phone, it will follow you through the park where there is no cell signal. There are gas stations in the park, but they are 20 cents more expensive if that matters. There is a nice town just outside the north side of the park which has a LOT of cute shopping, restaurants and gas. Take your lunch, dinner, and snacks; binoculars, camera, and a change of clothes. Temperatures change quickly in the mountains.
Thank you for reading!