Wildlife Watching

Just a few miles from the northeast entrance to Yellowstone National Park, Cooke City offers easy access to the spectacular Lamar Valley and its abundant wildlife, including grizzly bears, wolves, elk, and bison. The rest of Yellowstone's wildlife and the scenery is within easy reach of the Elk Horn.


Just 20 minutes from our lodge, you'll find herds of grazing buffalo throughout Lamar Valley. Springtime is birthing season, and red dog newborns can be found playing and basking in the sun. August is when bison go into rut and begin looking for a mate. You'll often see bulls rolling around in the dirt so that the dust cloud helps them to appear larger and therefore more appealing to cows. Although they appear docile, bison are wild and unpredictable, so never get within 50 yards of a bison.


The reintroduction of wolves to the park in 1995 caused a cascade of changes in the Yellowstone Ecosystem, both direct and indirect. Some of the notable changes include an increase in beaver populations, stabilization of river banks, increased vegetation, and more. The best time to catch sight of a wolf is early in the morning around sunrise, or later at night after sunset. 


Both black and grizzly bears call Yellowstone National Park home. Sightings are common throughout the spring, summer, and fall, and bears go into hibernation at the beginning of winter. Remember to keep 100 yards between you and a bear at all times and always carry bear spray any time you venture away from your vehicle, especially while hiking.