I'm a big fan of wildlife, but the park does try to warn visitors to keep there distance from these wild creatures. Just because their big and seem quite docile, there are not! Many visitors have found out first hand by being gored. I've worked on a ranch, and seen how these creatures can fool you. They are faster than a horse and can jump a 6 foot metal fence, if not plow right through it and keep running on for miles.
P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park
While Glacier National Park to just to the north in Montana gets most of the notoriety with regard to grizzlies, Yellowstone has a fair population of its own. Less people hike and backpack in Yellowstone so there are likely less attacks. While many people see bears and even grizzlies in Yellowstone, it is generally from the relative safety of their vehicle. Grand Teton National Park is a mecca for hikers but most of the park's grizzly population tends to be in the far north, closer to Yellowstone. Obviously, bears move around and you could run into one anywhere in the park. Black bears are more common and even seen at touristy lakes along the park's main road.
You need to practice proper food storage in these areas as allowing bears to get to your food is pretty much sentencing them to death. Also, making noise on the trails is essential.
I must say, after two weeks of making a racket on the trails of Glacier, we tended to be pretty quiet in the Tetons. No one else was making noise and we never saw any bear markings or scat. We did properly store food at all time.
A week after being in the Tetons in 1994, a jogger was nearly mauled to death when he unwittingly jogged on a trail that took him through a berry batch. The bear was totally surprised and merely defended itself. The jogger later remarked that the bear could have easily killed him and that he felt lucky that the bear wasn't malicious.
When camping at Jenny Lake that same year, some tents were ripped into by a black bear and it was captured the first night we stayed there!
We were amazed at how so many herds of the antelope just roaming around. I grew up in Antelope Valley in California, so I was tickled to see so many still roaming the open ranges of Wyoming. You can see some every now and then in Tehachapi.
Yet, be careful, they roam freely along the highways!
Called Pronghorn Antelope (Antilocapra Americana), I didn’t know that they were almost hunted to extinction as well as the bison. Its nice to know they have found some refuge in Wyoming and Montana. Another fact that I did not know is how big that some are actual are. They can weigh from 75 to 130 pounds and stand 31 to 40 inches tall. Many of the females can have horns and usually are not any longer than the ears. While the males horns are much longer 15 inches and fork at the end, hence Prong Horn Antelope. Yet, the most interesting fact is that they are the “fastest land mammal in the world!” Yeah, some say the cheetah is, but the difference is the Proghorn can sustain the speed for miles and the cheetah can’t. That is impressive.
Rawlins Chamber of Commerce
519 W. Cedar St.
P.O. Box 1331, Rawlins, WY 82301
Yellowstone National Park as hundreds of geysers, hot springs, fumeroles and other hot water features. The water is at least 200 degrees F and 100 C. According to the book, Deaths in Yellowstone, 19 people are known to have died in the thermal waters. Many more have been injured. Stay on the paths.
One young boy either fell in or ran into a hot pool (conflicting reports) and they said later all they were able to recover was 8lbs of clothes and bones.
When visiting Yellowstone National Park, especially around Old Faithful (pictured here), please stay on the wooden paths like you see in the picture. The reason why is because the ground is VERY fragile, and will not support the weight of a person. If you were to walk off the path and step on the ground, you would break through and fall into scalding hot sulpher water. The National Park Service is very adamant about this so please obey the rules.
Every year in winter Wyoming's roads become a death trap for some. Well, winter lasts long. E.g. in 2000/2001 the first snowstorm hit Laramie on Halloween (Oct. 31) and it remained white outside til April. Once I was driving eastbound on I 80 traveling from Utah to Laramie. Suddenly it became really icy. Even with going only 10-15 miles per hour I could hardly keep control over the car. So we decided to take an overnight break in Green River and stayed in a motel until the ice was gone the next morning. Good decision: while we relaxed in the motel, dozens of cars crashed on the Interstate.
On another occasion I was in a snowstorm on Interstate 80 between Rawlins and Laramie. It was nasty. I could hardly see anything. Suddenly a dark wall appeared directly in front of me: a huge, slow-driving truck. I was able to slow down in time. But it was quite a shock.
And - last but not least - one time I did a 360 on Hi. 287 and ended beside the road, which was icy at that time. Fortunately I was ok and my car was functionable, too. I could continue my ride.
Often highways are closed because of snow and ice in Wyoming. Like Interstate 80 between Laramie and Cheyenne. For information on road closures and conditions check the link below.
Don't feed any wildlife. While hiking through the wilderness watch out! In some areas - especially in the northwest corner of the state close to Yellowstone - grizzly bears do still live in the forests. In most other areas black bears are frequent visitors to campgrounds or even small towns.
In Yellowstone NP you have to be aware of the fact, that nature really can stink!!!
Many of the fabulous sites derive from volcanic activities and have this real bad smell of rotten eggs .....
But it is worth it anyway, just hold your breath!!!
If you run into wild animals in the wilderness in Wyoming (which is highly likely) please keep your distance. Do not feed them, try to touch them, or disturb them...You could end up dead or the animal could end up dead...It is not worth it....
this picture was taken at the school that I teach at on the Wind River Indian Reservation. It is a picture of a mountain lion...some kids noticed it during recess...the tribal fish and game ended up terminating the animal
Beware of bears and buffalo in Yellowstone park. If you're camping, make sure you leave all foods and other things with distinct smells (toothpaste, deodorant, ...) in the car or high up in a tree, because these things attract bears. They hand out fliers when you enter Yellowstone, stating 'don't approach the buffalo'. Maybe you sensible people will laugh, but people have been killed/hurt, trying to touch a buffalo!
Here are some buffalo hanging out in our campsite, September 1992.
How much is a picture worth?.....maybe your life if you try to get too close to the wildlife!! Remember baby bears frequently are accommpanied by mad momma bears! stay in your car to shoot that picture! While I stayed in my car to photograph this cub, the guy in the car in back of me ran around in front of us to photo the bear! ( see him by the edge of the road?) Same guy survived getting out and walking into a buffalo herd to get a shot of a calf. He probably never realized what he was risking!
Bring bear rated pepper spray. You don't want to dance with a grizzly. Also, bundle all your food at night and hoist it on a line between two trees away from your campsite and down wind. Bears WILL smell your food and may want to investigate.
Listen to the park rangers when they tell you to stay away from the animals! While the buffalo and cougars and elk are used to the human presence, they do not appreciate people trying to pet them. People are seriously injured and some die every year because they were foolish enough to try and touch a wild buffalo.
Also, the bears WILL get into your vehicle if you leave food inside it at night. It's highly advisable to rent a bear-proof box from the campground if you are staying for a few days.
If you travel on any of Wyoming's 800 miles of dirt roads, note that some roads may only be travelled every two or three months. There are more dead spots than working areas for cell phone reception. Carry a minimum of 1 gallon of water per person. Dehydration is a real danger; the low humidity and extreme summer heat can cause heat stroke in as little as two hours. Carry blankets, even in the summer; nights are cold. During lightning storms, take shelter in an automobile or low spot. Lightning is often violent in Wyoming, and there aren't very many trees, so you're often the tallest thing out there. Do not approach wildlife. Most wildlife poses no danger. But grizzly bears are very aggressive when startled or with cubs. Bison are also deadly, and are easily provoked into charging. Rattlesnakes are dangerous but not deadly. Most of the time they will run away. Wear sunscreen in all seasons. The altitude is such that sunburn occurs more quickly than at sea level. In winter, in the central and southeastern part of the state, ground blizzards can kill. Winds up to 75 mph blow for days on end. Do NOT leave your vehicle if stranded in a ground blizzard; you may not be able to see you r vehicle from 5 feet away. Do not run the car continuously, avoid carbon monoxide poisoning by cracking the window and running the car for only 15 minutes every hour. Overall, use common sense and always pack survival gear; Wyoming is a land of empty places and rescue may be days away in case of mishap.
Inside the park bears have been protected since 1886 but I was also said a lot about the dangerousness of bears anyway what I trust more is that problem bears aren't born, they are made by people: through our actions bears can learn to be aggressive.
Bears are particularly dangerous when surprised, approached too closely or 'spoiled' by human food: grizzly and black bears have adapted well to human food like biscuits, steak scraps, fudge and ice cream and even beg at the roadsides. That's why proper food and also scented items (like soaps, toothpaste and suncream) storage is essential.
But as soon as you enter or get near Yellowstone, you'll be submerged by information and warnings about how to behave if a bear approaches you: I was while going to toilette by a ranger who gave me a pamphlet about it, in the 'wild' camping I mentioned above!
But my dream remains that of seeing a wild bear near enough!!!
North Rim Drive, Wyoming, United States
Good for: Solo
Jenny Lake is the crown jewel of Grand Teton National Park campgrounds. I camped here in 1994 and...more
The Lodge is located in downtown Jackson, just off of Broadway (the main street). It is about 20...more