The journey back to Alaska has begun. Our stay in Moab, Utah was fantastic and we were sad to leave. But of course, our new Cougar was calling us from Cody, Wyoming.
We spent an exhausting 4 nights in Cody, trying to get all settled in to our new place. Which we absolutely LOVE by the way! You can read about it HERE – and stay tuned for a sneak peak of the inside, coming soon!
Once we left Cody, we were anxious to find a place to relax for a while. Mountains, trees, and wildlife are all very special to us. So naturally, being so close to Yellowstone, we just couldn’t resist another visit.
Our last visit to Yellowstone was in October, right when the busy season was ending. We stayed in Mammoth Campground, which is the only campground open in Yellowstone all year long. And they only keep the north road plowed through winter. Turns out showing up in Yellowstone during April is still considered the off season.
But visiting the national parks during the off season has been one of the best experiences of life on the road.
Last October the elk were pretty much in charge of Mammoth – they were all over town and in the campground. Our visit here in April proved to be a bit different – we were surprised to see that the buffalo had taken over! Walking Josie became a challenge, since the buffalo were showing up at our door practically every day!
We enjoyed having the park practically to ourselves, with very few campers and fairly empty roads. Each evening we took a drive down north road through the park, on the look-out for wildlife.
The buffalo were everywhere, and were on the verge of giving birth any day. The bull elk were just growing back their antlers. We saw several big horn sheep too. We didn’t manage a picture, but we did see a gorgeous fox run through the campground twice.
There was a buffalo carcass over by Soda Butte in Lamar Valley. We sat and watched for a while, curious to see who was going to come by for a meal. There was a wolf who came by, circled around for about a half hour, but didn’t touch it. We thought perhaps he was waiting for the rest of his pack, but by the next day we discovered the carcass still hadn’t been touched. There were rumors the buffalo died from the fumes of Soda Butte. It made sense, because most animals aren’t going to feed on a sick carcass.
After 3 nights in Mammoth, we planned to hit the road and continue north. As luck would have it, we woke up that morning and decided we just didn’t want to leave yet. So we went for a morning drive through the park instead.
It proved to be a GREAT choice!
First, we happened see a group of people on the side of the road with some serious spotting scopes. We stopped to check out what was going on, and ended up spending about 45 minutes watching a wolf pack of 10, traveling across the hillside! It was incredible to watch them interact and move together. Jason managed one snap-shot of them, but it was tough since they were pretty far away. We also saw a pretty sizable grizzly bear on the ridge line.
We continued down the road and happened across 3 coyotes! These guys were a bit closer, just on the other side of the river.
And if that wasn’t cool enough, we managed to see a mama black bear and her cub just off the side of the road!
The weather wasn’t the greatest during our stay, but who cares when you have buffalo outside your window every day?
We love Yellowstone – already can’t wait to come back.
We are now on INSTAGRAM!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Hi, I’m Hillary! Wife and dog mama. I am a retired 6th grade teacher, but still seek to share and help others at Teach Like Midgley
I enjoy spending time with my pups and my husband. I have a passion for rescues, and would save more pups if I could. I enjoy books and I am a mustang enthusiast. Thanks for reading!