Lamar Valley is often referred to as the “American Serengeti” and includes a diverse wildlife population of Elk, Grizzly Bears, Bison, and Wolves. The hills of Lamar are lower than those around Hayden Valley and the grassland seems to be vaster with less “lush” green vegetation.
The famous Lamar Valley resident that lures in most visitors is the Gray Wolf. Wolf packs have been increasing in number and size and they are predominantly located in the Lamar area. It’s estimated that there are 51 wolf packs supported by the Yellowstone ecosystem. The predominant prey of the gray wolf is the elk. Each pack takes down 9-14 elk per month and much of this wolf hunting ground and habitat is this valley.
This ‘serengeti’ is just a short ride from the Roosevelt Lodge. In less than a 10-minute car ride from the Lodge (towards the Northeast entrance), the road comes along the Lamar River and for the next several miles you’ll be in the “American Serengeti”.
Our trip to this area was one that I “squeezed” into the evening immediately after our cowboy cookout. We hopped into the car and took advantage of the day’s last hour of daylight in the hopes of catching a glimpse of a wolf. And while we didn’t see a wolf, we got to see one of the most entertaining events from our trip: A Buffalo stampede! Right at dusk, we could see a large cloud of dust on the horizon and started to hear and feel a rumble. Next thing we knew, the cars in front of us had all stopped and buffalo were crossing the road in front and behind our car as if they were running for their life! This was so exciting. It’s hard to get adolescent and pre-adolescent boys excited about anything…but they loved the buffalo stampede!
So while we were hoping for a glimpse of a wolf or a bear, we got a much better wildlife show. One of the biggest lures of Yellowstone National Park is its wildlife. If this is something that you’d like to see on your Yellowstone Vacation, make sure Lamar Valley is on your list of places to go. And while it’s near impossible to predict what you’ll see, chances are very good that you’ll see something. The wildlife of Yellowstone hasn’t put on one bad show, yet.