Sunday, July 01, 2007

More Yellowstone trails

It is more than time to finish up my Yellowstone hiking. I hiked briefly on a few more trails and took an all day hike along Cache Creek.

Cache Creek is my favorite Yellowstone hike, I hike it at least once on every trip. I like the open vista west along the Lamar River valley with herds of bison visible both near and far. It is also the best place to see wolves, I've seen them 3 times along this trail but not this year. For several years, wolves had a den on the north side of the road near the hiker trailhead and I often heard the wolves when hiking. I did see coyotes, pronghorn, elk, and of course bison. Two coyotes appeared to be looking for pronghorn young, they were hunting cooperatively. I hiked past the junction to the Thunderer and down to Cache Creek but did not feel like crossing the creek. A nice hike with few other hikers on this trail. The picture above is Soda Butte creek near the trailhead looking toward Baronette Peak.

Trout Lake, near Pebble Creek campground is a short but steep hike to a lake with lots of trout. It is popular because it is a short hike, many fish, and also because otters can often be seen, at least that is what I've been told, I've never seen them. Fishing doesn't open on the lake until June 15th but I saw 2 groups of people fishing when I was there. A bit frustrating because the crowds of fishermen cause game to avoid the area. This year I didn't see anything but trout and ducks at the lake.

Daly Creek in the extreme NW corner of Yellowstone is also a nice hike. Three years ago I saw a lone black wolf about 1/2 mile into the hike and could hear wolves at a den across highway 191. This year I didn't see or hear any wolves or other wildlife besides elk. I went up to the first campsite and the only other hikers were 2 volunteers hiking on their day off. I did see some bear and wolf or coyote scat that was not recent. This picture is looking toward the Gallatin Mountains.



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