Having completed our last Yellowstone trip of the winter season it's time to look back at how things went.
Logistically all this year's trips went off without a hiccup indicating the planned itineraries are great. A couple trips experienced transportation malfunctions during the -30°F snap but nothing that held us back for long. One trip had to turn back from crossing Hayden Valley due to ground blizzard. We adapted well.
Wildlife sightings were fantastic this season with the exception of river otter. Below is a sort list.
- 100% of tours saw elk, bison, bighorn sheep, bald eagles, rough-legged hawks, mule deer, white-tailed deer, and common & Barrow's goldeneye among other species.
- 80% of tours encountered wolves, trumpeter swans, and coyotes.
- 60% of tours watched fox traveling through the snow. One trip saw four individuals in a single tour bringing my winter total to nine animals - the most fox I've ever counted in a single winter.
- 40% of tours got at least one bobcat sighting! Once we watched a bobcat stalking ducks along the Madison River for over half an hour! I'll probably never repeat that.
- 0% saw river otter this winter. We did see fresh tracks on a couple trips but the otters remained illusive. Well, Yellowstone isn't a zoo - the animals are not placed out on display.
My winter geyser count was also quite high. The list includes: Old Faithful, Anemone, Beehive, Lion, White Dome, Aurum, Tardy, Spasmodic, Grand, Sawmill, Riverside, Castle, Pump, Jet, Twig and Clepsydra. All in all a great winter in Yellowstone.
By The Way - Yellowstone was created by an act of Congress on March 1, 1872 and Yellowstone continues to be the centerpiece of a fabulous system of parks. So HAPPY BIRTHDAY YELLOWSTONE!