Trip Pictures

Grizzly

Wolf and Grizzly

Wolf and Grizzly

Wolf and Grizzly

Wolf and Grizzly

DSC04563

Grizzly

Grizzly

Wolf

Wolf

Wolves

Wolves

Grizzly

Grizzly

Black bear

Black bear

Grizzly

Absarokas

Powell Panthers

Powell, Wyoming

Powell Panthers

Absarokas

Absarokas

Snake

Beartooths

Beartooths

Beartooths

Beartooths

Beartooths

Beartooths

Beartooths

Beartooths

Beartooths

Beartooths

Beartooths

Beartooths

Beartooths

Beartooths

Absarokas

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The long weekend of 2 Jul 10, Tracy and I headed up to Wyoming to check out the North

Absaroka Wilderness and the Washakie Wilderness.  We hadn't really been in this area, so I

wanted to check it out a little more.  I also wanted to check out the Beartooths since I would be

doing a week in those mountains a week later, so I wanted to see what the snow situation was

like.  The Absarokas are thick with grizzlies, and I kind of wanted to see some bears.  We

stayed in Rexburg on Friday night, then drove through Yellowstone and out the east entrance

on Saturday.  We hiked for a couple of hours near Grinnell Creek (Google Map) looking for the

North Absaroka Wilderness sign.  We either didn't hike far enough, or there wasn't a sign, so

after a couple of miles we headed back to the car.  That trail was uneventful, and it overlooked

the highway for most of the time we were on the trail.  After getting back to the truck, we

headed into Cody.  We checked on hotels, but it was a holiday weekend, so they were too

expensive for our tastes.  We then drove up to Powell, WY, to take a picture of the Powell High

School Panthers to prove to people back home that they had all "Liked" the wrong school on

Facebook.  We then drove out to the Shoshone River (Google Map) at the base of Carter

Mountain.  The drive out to the trailhead was really nice.  There were a lot of cabins along the

Forest Service Road, which is bad for access, but they were really pretty if you want a cabin in

the mountains.  The river crossing at the trailhead was too high, so we just walked along the

dirt road, and then we car camped at the trailhead.

The next day we drove around the Shoshone River valley, and then headed up towards the

Beartooths via the really pretty Chief Joseph Highway.  We drove up Sunlight Basin (Google

Map) and did some hiking on the closed Forest Service Road.  I was a little spooked by the

thought of grizzlies in the thick forest, though, so we only walked a couple of miles.  Sunlight

Basin was really nice, also.  After leaving Sunlight, we got lunch in Cooke City, and then I

checked out the trail for a little ways at Kersey Lake.  From there, we continued up the

Beartooth Highway, and checked out some of the trail at Island Lake (Google Map)  The

following week I planned to start hiking for a week at Island Lake, and then exit at Kersey

Lake.  There was no snow at Kersey, and there wasn't a whole lot of snow at Island Lake.

There were probably going to be some high creek crossings, but I felt like the snow would not

be a big issue.  We then continued down the Beartooth Highway to Red Lodge, and then we

headed to East Rosebud Lake (Google Map).  The drive from Red Lodge was very pretty, with

endless rolling grasslands at the base of the Beartooth Mountains.  East Rosebud Lake was in

a very pretty cirque, but there were a bunch of cabins right at the trailhead at the end of the

road, which detracted from the view.  It was getting late, and we had made a hotel reservation

in Cooke City, so we had to head the couple of hours back.  We made it back to Cooke City

just before they started the Fourth of July fireworks, so we stopped on the side of the road just

outside of town to watch the fireworks.  They actually had a pretty nice show considering the

town has about 100 residents.  It was really, really cool hearing the explosions of the fireworks

echoing off the surrounding mountains.  The echoes were really loud and just seemed to go

on forever.

The next day we just headed back home through Yellowstone.  On the way, though, in the

Lamar Valley we had the closest grizzly and wolf experience we've ever had.  Right on the side

of the road was a grizzly feeding on an elk carcass, and there was an entire wolf pack that was

hanging out nearby and kept trying to get some of the food.  We stayed there for 30 minutes

or so, and got some great close-ups of a grizzly, and our first pictures ever of some wolves.

After that, we just made the long drive back home.  This was a nice trip, but I'll have to figure

out how to hike the Absarokas.  The wildernesses are huge, and the pretty areas seem to

have some long approaches through thick grizzly-filled forests.  However, I do think it's worth

hiking up there some more.