Amidst winter's crisp air and pristine beauty, our Wolves and Wildlife of Yellowstone expedition is a visually stunning wilderness adventure providing opportunities to spot bison, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, elk, moose, foxes, coyotes, otters, owls, eagles, and of course, wolves.
Nearly 100 years ago, wolves were driven to extinction in the region, then reintroduced in 1995, as scientists began to fully understand wolves' role in the food web as a keystone species. Joined by two expert Orbridge Expedition Leaders and professional naturalist guides, learn informed perspectives and first-person accounts of the wolves’ setbacks, survival, and victories in this fragile ecological paradise.
Witnessing majestic creatures in the wild is a thrilling experience. While chances are favorable to see wolves in Yellowstone during the snowy winter months, wildlife viewing as a whole can be notoriously challenging—making preparation and patience key. Here are three ways our expedition enhances the opportunity to see wolves.
1. Location, location, location. Wolves and other free roaming wildlife gravitate to the prime habitat located in Yellowstone's broad valleys. Orbridge spends full days immersed in the rich Lamar Valley and Northern Range—nicknamed “America’s Serengeti” because of the large, easily seen populations of megafauna that it supports. Revered as the best place in North America to spot wild wolves, the Lamar Valley has become a wolf-watching mecca where wildlife enthusiasts gather to watch the extraordinary Canis lupus in its natural habitat.
2. Timing. Why winter? For many wildlife lovers, winter is when Yellowstone is at its best. Not only do explorers benefit by avoiding crowds, but wildlife is more easily spotted against the bare trees and frosty background. Orbridge currently has winter journeys scheduled to the American wilderness inside Yellowstone in January and February of 2022.
In winter, conditions are likewise better than any other time of year to spot elusive predators. Wolves are both concentrated into the park's viewable, drivable areas, and they’re much more active. Keep your optics poised to watch for wolves romping about in a mating dance as winter is also courting season.
While numbers fluctuate, there are roughly 94 wolves grouped into eight different packs inside Yellowstone. With Orbridge, learn about the wolves' evolving family tree, the packs currently roaming the park, and the dynamics between individuals and families.
3. Group size matters. For the best wolf watching, go with a small group, rather than a big tour. Orbridge's departures are limited to a maximum of 18 guests, which promotes the ability to be still and quiet in the presence of wildlife and to enjoy the flexibility of quickly moving to areas where wildlife has recently been spotted.