What was planned to be a lazy day was a great animal day! We had a lazy morning in Canyon, and then we drove through the Hayden Valley to Yellowstone Lake. In the Valley there were lots of bison in the morning sun and another red fox running through the woods. Some wolf-watchers were out, searching for anything. We stopped at the Fishing Bridge Visitor Center and walked around there. The ranger was leading a walk around Storm Point, but we decided to venture out on our own and do that later.
We saw bison in the distance and cutthroat trout in the headwaters of the Yellowstone River. This is prime grizzly watching in the spring when the cutthroats are spawning. We decided to drive around the lake towards Pelican Valley and ran into a bison jam – and a wolf! There are too many pictures of the wolf and they are not very sharp, but how often do get to photograph a wolf? In the first shot with his tail between his legs he was headed towards a large bison that made a move to back off the wolf. And back off he did.
We saw this same wolf later when we finished the Storm Point hike. He had crossed the road to drink in a pond then headed back towards the hill, getting very close to a couple of stopped cars and people.
Driving around the lake was ‘Steamboat Point’ and more geothermal vents; I think the Lamar Valley was the only part of the park without any geothermal activity. Coming back we stopped next to the field where the wolf was and got a great look at an eagle. On the Storm Point hike an immature eagle flew over. There are marmots on the end of the point, but they’d already started hibernating, so still no marmot sightings!
More geothermal stuff, mud pots and the ‘Dragon’s Mouth’, a raven posing nicely, more bison(!) then back to the Canyon for a hike out to Ribbon Lake and the top of Silver Cord Falls. The falls are 1200’ ft high, but you can’t see them from the south rim, just see the creek and hear the water falling. Oh well, it was a good hike past some lily-pad laden ponds and mule deer grazing. Coming back we went around a group of rangers rappelling down into the canyon to get a red backpack that had been dropped – apparently with no person attached. I mentioned the shallow tree root systems we’d been hearing about for 10 days and a ranger explained that’s why their rope was around several different trees - in case one came loose. And 1 final canyon shot with the incredible dusk colors.