We were so excited because neither of us had been to Yellowstone before. And since I didn't know the park and really wanted to find out the areas where the animals tend to hang out, especially the wolves, we had a private tour guide. Scott from Yellowstone Tour Guides was an exceptional guide. He has worked at the park as a guide for more than 10 years and knew where the animals were likely to be during that time of year. Definitely worth having him show us around the park. And, bonus, he knew where all the clean bathrooms were.
The West entrance had just opened that weekend (mid-April) so we were able to start our travels there, work our way up to Mammoth and then head east through Lamar Valley. We stayed over in Cooke City and managed to arrive 30 minutes before closing time at the only restaurant currently opened in town. Word of advise - bring something other than American Express. It's not accepted there. Luckily I had a backup.
Lamar Valley is where the wolves tend to be. In early spring, they are starting to den in preparation for birthing their cubs. We discovered a group of wolf watchers, and so appropriately named, standing alongside the road with their scopes fixated on the hillside which jutted up from the wide meadow. There was one wolf wandering the hill side and it could just barely be seen even with the strong scopes. So I partially met my goal for the weekend - I SAW a Yellowstone wolf, but did not get to photograph one.
The three of us did venture into the meadow to get a little closer to the hillside in hopes of seeing another wolf. It wasn't to be, only a few more grazing bison. At least we can rightfully say that we did a little backcountry hiking in Yellowstone. It was quite beautiful. The river twisted through the landscape and the vegetation was starting to come out of its dormancy.
You can view additional images from Yellowstone under the Portfolio heading. They have their own portfolio page. Because I will be returning to Yellowstone.