Yellowstone May 29th thru June 5th

This is my 15th year visiting Yellowstone. I vividly remember seeing my first grizzly bear. The famous grizzly 264 with her 2 cubs. Unfortunately 3 years later she would have to be euthanized after being hit by an RV. Since my first visit I have seen and photographed numerous grizzly bears and other wildlife. I have visited every season including the months of February, May, June, July, September, and October. 

This trip was probably my less productive as far as wildlife encounters. Some of my favorite wildlife encounters  were actually outside the park around my cabin in Silver gate and along the Beartooth Highway.

I spent Saturday night in West Yellowstone before heading to my cabin in Silver Gate on Sunday. I spent a couple of hours in the park Saturday evening photographing a fox hunting near the fishing bridge turnout.

I decided to take the Norris to Mammoth route to Silvergate. Saw my first grizzly of the trip about a mile before the construction ends on the way to Mammoth. The grizzly had a good size wound on his back. Nice early morning sighting with only one other couple at the pull out. Too early for a bear jam. 

I made a brief stop in mammoth to photograph the owls. They had left the nest but I spotted one on a nearby limb. I encountered my first bear jam in Little America.  There were not any good photo opportunities but I enjoyed watching the a black bear with her cubs raid a bluebird nest. I do not know if they were successful but the bluebirds were very upset.  

I finally arrived in Silver Gate. While unloading the car I spotted a moose with calf on the creek. Spent about an hour photographing them.

On Monday afternoon it looked like a storm was coming in over the park but there were blue skies

toward the Beartooth Highway. I headed that way. About 15 miles up I encountered two grizzly bears by the highway grazing and turning over rocks for food. Just a few cars were present and I got to enjoy photographing them for about 30 minutes before a motorcycle came by and scared them into the woods. 

I continued up the Beartooth Highway and just pass Beartooth Lake Campground turnoff I spotted an owl nest with 2 chicks on the left side of the road. I took a few photos but it was starting to get dark. 

On Tuesday I hiked to Trout Lake and photographed a muskrat gathering plants for its den. Later on Tuesday enjoyed several black bear sightings including a very large one by floating island lake pull off. Unfortunately, only had a couple of minutes to photograph before a ranger showed up an hazed the bear away. 

Spotted a black bear near the northeast entrance Wednesday morning. That afternoon I went back to photograph the owl nest on the Beartooth Highway. Lighting was perfect at 3 PM. Shot at 400 mm with a 1.4 extender.

On Thursday evening watched a black bear stalk some bighorn sheep at the rear of the Yellowstone picnic area. They spotted him and he proceeded to chased them over the hill.

On Friday I headed down to the Grand Tetons. It was extremely crowded. Although the wildlife encounters were less this trip I still had another wonderful trip to Yellowstone. Scroll down for more photos from the trip.