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Rainy Days and Bear-399 in GTNP 🐻

Updated: May 9, 2021

A gloomy Sunday morning turned into a beautiful overcast day with light rain falling across the valley. Animals of all kinds are currently on the move as the winter snow begins to melt and people return to the park. Many are headed for the highlands. Park roads reopened yesterday, marking the beginning of the busy summer season in Teton and Yellowstone National parks.


The highlight of this trip was front row seats to Bear-399 and her 4 cubs grazing in a field 20 feet away. Bear-399 is famous in western Wyoming. She is 25 years old and regularly has cubs with her year after year. The cubs with her today are from last years litter, and will remain with her until they are grown enough to fend for themselves. From the pictures it may look like we had the bears to ourselves as I took full profile shots of the beasts, but in reality the road was lined on both sides for hundreds of yards by dozens of cars and over a hundred people trying to get the same shot. Alas, that is often the reality of national parks today. Gratefully; however, we had many more animal encounters all to ourselves with numerous elk herds, mountain goats, bison, eagles, hawks, marmots, ground squirrels, and a coyote taking advantage of the rainy day, void of people, to get out and graze in open fields free of disturbance.


Snow persists in much of the park and in the surrounding hills making hiking and travel along dirt roads complicated. I recommend driving the main roads inside and out of the park, perhaps exploring the first parts of side roads and less traveled areas of the Tetons during this time of year in preparation for returning in the warm summer months.


Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, there is an abundance in the mountainous terrain of the Tetons. I love how unique each trip has been! Last trip was dominated by dozens of moose grazing in the high plains amongst feet of snow. Summer months bring wildflowers and greenery unmatched during any other time of year. Even so, a cold rainy day offered incredible backdrop for the wildlife and the mysterious mountains behind them.


Here are pics from today's adventures, enjoy!!



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