My Bozeman friend, Veronica, is a photographer. She and I had planned a weekend trip to Teton but had to cancel due to snowstorm, so we tried to make up for it with a brief day-trip to Yellowstone instead.
It is a cold 2 degrees and still dark at 6:20 as we leave Bozeman. I am aware that the big, 14 member Mollie’s pack had been in the Lamar the last two days, on one of their periodic visits. I am also aware that they took down a bull bison south of Picnic pullout in the fog yesterday, so I am particularly hoping this trip might afford me a chance to see them.
I never like driving the Pass in winter, and this is no exception. The roads are tolerable, but I have to hit the brakes a few times for mule deer threatening to cross the road.
But the sun comes out by the time we reach the Park. We stop a few places along the way and eventually turn towards Lamar. We reach Picnic pullout in the middle of the day, not a great time to see wolves. But I notice that numerous people have already walked out to the edge of the river by the cottonwoods. They could be looking for otters, I guess, but the carcass is visible if you know where to look and they may be out there for wolves.
And sure enough, I see them: four big Mollies: three blacks and a gray. We stay about a half hour, alternately looking for otters, too.
We drive on to Warm Creek where we stop to eat our packed lunches. Then on we go into Silver Gate and turn around in Cooke. On the way back we find a very photogenic ice-fall on the north side of the road in Icebox Canyon.
I do not see wolves on the way back, and we start for home around 3:30PM, managing to get back to Bozeman with a bit of light to spare.
Today I saw: bison, elk, 4 Mollie wolves and the spirits of Allison and Richard.
P.S. I am not a wolf or wildlife expert, but a somewhat knowledgable enthusiast, so if you find anything in this report to be wrong or misleading, feel free to bring it to my attention by e-mailing me at