If you’re contemplating a trip to Yellowstone National Park – and who isn’t – the one thing we’d recommend you include in your itinerary is at least a day trip to the Lamar Valley. Tucked into the north east corner of the park amongst the mountains exists a place where time, “progress”, and crowds have thankfully forgotten. Elk, bison, and pronghorn graze along the banks of the Lamar River and Soda Butte Creek under the watchful eyes of golden eagles, wolves, and grizzlies. With seemingly no attractions and fewer services the Lamar is easy to overlook, but if you’re wildlife junkies like us this is where the real Yellowstone exists.
If you need a little stretch, a short trip to Trout Lake will reward the patient with delightful sightings of River Otters and,if timed right (late June early July) Cutthroat gathering to spawn at the mouth of the inlet stream. Each evening the pullouts are populated with spotting scopes as the ‘wildlife hopeful’ scan the fields for wolves and grizzlies.
The closest services outside the Park can be found in the hamlets of Silver Gate and Cooke City MT. Interesting places onto themselves and well worth a look to get something to eat before returning to Yellowstone to continue wildlife watching.