Winter Wolves and the Wild West

“Our group has just sighted a pack of wolves and now we are observing a National Park Service helicopter zero in on the pack to place radio telemetry collars on them!” Jared Baecker’s elated voice came through the phone with a scratchy connection. “Today is a good day.” Jared, a part of the Wildlife Expeditions Biologist team leading the first Winter Wolves of Yellowstone trip of the season, was with his group in the Lamar Valley, a remote northeast corner of Yellowstone National Park. The Lamar Valley has always been an allure for visitors, and since the re-introduction of wolves in 1995 it has attracted avid wildlife-viewers and wildlife biologists world-wide.Back in our Jackson, Wyoming office, we have been busy preparing for and supporting these unique trips offering opportunities to sight these rare and majestic creatures. This involves shuttling the guests’ luggage up to Flagg Ranch, the southernmost entrance to Yellowstone National Park, and transferring them onto snowcoaches, safari-style vehicles that are equipped for snow travel. With most of the Yellowstone roads closed to wheeled vehicles in the winter, snowcoaches enable our groups to venture into this majestic, undisturbed winter landscape that harbors a large concentration and diversity of wildlife, and features unique geological formations, including some of the world’s most impressive geysers, hot springs, high-elevation lakes, and mountain ranges.

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