johnohio wrote in post #18277999
We've been studying guidebooks and tour books to help plan our trip. We know we want to visit Lamar and Hayden Valley. Are there any areas outside the park that you would suggest we try for wildlife?
Well, you already mentioned the Beartooth in your OP.......that is an excellent idea! The Beartooth really is, like, the pinnacle of natural grandeur. And in September you have the possibility of some storm activity up there, which makes things beautiful in an otherworldly way. Unfortunately, the Beartooth isn't really going to present you with too many wildlife opportunities, at least not like the parks themselves will. You can get some fun action with Chipmunks and Golden-mantled Ground squirrels around the overlooks and other attractions, but if you encounter Mountain Goats on the Beartooth, they will probably be fairly cautious and not come close to the roads.
There may be a little bit of wildlife in the town of Gardiner - some mule deer in people's yards, as well as cottontail rabbits.
Another place that can sometimes have wildlife outside the park is the Elk Refuge north of Jackson......but there won't be much wildlife there in September - it's more of a wintering ground.
You may find a few pronghorn in the area around Ennis, and a few Bighorns in the area around Big Sky.
But these outside-the-park wildlife opportunities are really not very reliable, or very good even if you do find wildlife there. The wildlife opportunities you want really are those inside the parks (at least in September).
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