Finding Bison in Wyoming’s Lamar Valley

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A highlight of Yellowstone for many park-goers is Lamar Valley: It’s verdant, rife in glassy lakes and snow-capped peaks, and chock full of wildlife.

After our epic journey into the park, we entered through the northeastern gate and spent the first hour driving slowly through Lamar Valley at twilight en route to Canyon Village.

Just in case we hadn’t had enough bison face time in South Dakota, Yellowstone ensured we left the park feeling fulfilled.

There were bison butts…

…hitchhiking bison…

…and my personal favorite: bison calves!

Perhaps my next blog should be titled: Bisons & Cupcakes. That might be fitting.

The only one of our tribe who wasn’t on board the bison train was our youngest member. She growled and howled and whined (from inside the truck) at those big furry linebackers every time we passed a field of them!

Lamar Valley is also the place within the park where you can frequently spot a large wolf pack, but alas, our timing was off and they are only out at sunset and sunrise.

Oh well: Next time!

 

COMMENTS
  • June 24, 2011

    Great photos, esp. love the ones of the calves. Yellowstone looks gorgeous.

  • June 24, 2011

    So many gorgeous things to see in the U.S. – it’s a wonder we ever need to travel anywhere else!

    • June 24, 2011
      Kristin

      That’s what I tell people who rag on Americans for not “traveling” more–we do travel, just not always internationally. It could take an entire lifetime to see our own country, which is nearly as big as other continents. Especially for those who have the standard two weeks of vacation time a year!

  • June 24, 2011

    Love the one with the back of her head! How close were to the animals?

    • June 24, 2011
      Kristin

      REALLY CLOSE! We didn’t even need the zoom lens! The bison just mosey on along the road, and you have to inch by them in your car. We never got out of the truck when the bison were out–you never know!–but we had our windows down and, at times, were just four feet away.

  • June 24, 2011

    Love your photos!!! Am planning our trip out west as we speak and your photos only reinforced the beauty that we’ll see – can’t wait until August!!!!

    • June 24, 2011
      Kristin

      Oooh August should be nice. Next time, we go back to Wyoming and Montana, we’re definitely going then to avoid all sorts of spring weather systems, ha!

  • June 24, 2011

    beautiful photos!! we have bison by us. and the funny thing is, two guys in my knitting club (high school guys!) have a friend with bison, and they collect the shed fur (hair?) and clean it and SPIN IT! who knew, right?!

    • June 24, 2011
      Kristin

      That does not surprise me in the least! My MIL is a huge knitter/weaver/all-around crafter, and the president of the guild in Sacramento, and we went to one of her craft shows recently and they were spinning CAT HAIR there! She’s always saying next time we shave the pup, she should try to spin it, too–ha!

      • June 24, 2011

        it is true. i can’t blv the stuff they spin up – camel, dog, cat, llama, goat, alpaca, etc. i am glad i am not doing the actual *cleaning* of those fibers! LOL!

  • June 24, 2011

    So spectacular!

  • June 24, 2011
    Whitney

    Gorgeous pics!!

  • June 24, 2011

    Ooooh, when you say “bison calves,” you mean the babies. I thought you were commenting on their well-developed leg muscles. I think your pictures are even more lovely because it was at twilight. It makes everything seem richer and warmer. Gorg.

    • June 24, 2011
      Kristin

      To the contrary, I’ve always wondered how bison’s spindly legs can support so much weight.

  • June 24, 2011

    I loved the baby bison when we were there last year! Somehow they manage to be cute, even though the full-grown ones are awfully homely. The backpacking trip we did in the Lamar Valley area was our favorite part of Yellowstone. We didn’t see the wolves, either, although we did hear them howling all night long, which was pretty freakin’ amazing, too.

    • June 24, 2011
      Kristin

      I love the grown-ups in that so-ugly-they’re-cute sort of way. I’m just forever in awe of how their skinny legs can hold them up–those guys are MASSIVE.

      Backpacking through Lamar must have been awesome!

  • June 24, 2011
    Ris

    Wow those photos are gorgeous! The water in that first one looks like glass.

  • June 24, 2011

    Great photos. I loved all the wildlife there.

  • June 24, 2011
    Rosi Wilkins

    One of my favorite places…haven’t been in quite some time. However, I did say hello to Hapuna Beach, Kauai, HI for you a few weeks ago. I even did a running jump for ya! LOL I think the rustic, peace of Pukea Beach was my favorite. Beautiful, calm, clear water in 3 little coves. Hope you make it back someday….thanks for the lovely pictures.

    • June 24, 2011
      Kristin

      You did? No way! Do you have a picture online you can link me to? Love it–I really want to start a separate website of people jumping in cool places around the world! =)

  • June 24, 2011

    Great pictures! It looks as if it was quite cold, but it’s obviously the warm weather is coming if the bison are shedding their winter coat.

    • June 26, 2011
      Kristin

      It was some of the warmest weather we had throughout the six weeks we road tripped–which isn’t saying much =) It was probably 60s during the day and 30 at night. We did wake up to snow in the mornings, but it usually warmed up by early afternoon.

  • June 24, 2011

    I’ve always wanted to ride a Bison…

    • June 27, 2011
      SVV

      Me too! Some of the native American tribes did that. Can you imagine how PiSSED it would be?

  • June 24, 2011

    Bison aplenty! Your photos are fantastic, as always.

  • June 26, 2011

    Amazing to get so closed to them. I have avoided Yellowstone for a long time, just don’t want to deal with the crowds etc, but I am going to have to rethink it and plan a proper trip.

  • June 27, 2011

    I love the buffalo babies! So cute!

    xox

  • June 27, 2011

    Wonderful photography, this is really great! I never thought Lamar Valley would be this beautiful.I’ve always wanted to see some wolf pack playing around, looks like me and my hubby should consider putting Wyoming in our destinations list, after all, I think it’s really cool to pick-up some hitchhiking bison along the road=)

  • June 28, 2011
    Mister Sister

    Maltese and Cupcakes! Next blog title..

  • July 1, 2011

    Wow! Thanks for sharing great pixes. I went there (to Yellowstone) when I was 11 years old with my family. And that is 35 years ago!! I really want to go again and refresh my memories and have an ‘adult’ view of the place. I really like those cute bison calves. Again, thanks for sharing. 😉

  • July 11, 2011

    Really like the shots. Must have been very peaceful over there.

  • July 11, 2011

    The Lamar Valley is one of my favorite spots in Yellowstone. An absolute must see but go before sunrise or for sunset. Great pictures, brought back many memories.

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