NE Entrance Rd, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190, USA
Photo courtesy of Yellowstone National Park/NPS
Lamar Valley Wolf-WatchingJust 25 years ago, there were no wolves in Yellowstone. In the decades after the park’s founding, canis lupis were considered “vermin” and were hunted to extinction by the 1940s. Today, though, Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley is among the world’s best spots to spot canis lupis. As of 2017, the descendants of the 41 wolves reintroduced to the park in the mid-1990s numbered more than 500. About 100 live within the park boundaries in 11 packs. Yellowstone Forever Institute offers guided wolf-watching trips year-round. You can do it on your own, as well: When you see cars pulled over on the road, look for groups of people with binoculars and spotting scopes. Stop and ask questions and you’ll find that these “wolfers” are friendly. While the wolves are present throughout the year, they’re best spotted in winter, when they stand out against the snow, and at dawn and dusk when they’re most active.