Yellowstone in Winter

“Stop! Look! Listen!”

We headed out before dawn on our first trip into Yellowstone. We were giddy as we sighted the Roosevelt Arch at Yellowstone’s North Entrance, where Roosevelt gave a dedication speech in 1903 and laid the cornerstone for the arch.

Kira Cassidy, a biologist with the Yellowstone Wolf Project, kicked off our first full day of exploration. She possesses a wealth of information from her twelve years studying and documenting the wolves of Yellowstone. Kira told a story about one of her favorite wolf experiences. A wolf nervously moved at the top of a snowy ridge. With one misstep and a howl, the wolf set off an avalanche; fortunately, that wolf, as well as the opposing pack at the bottom of the ridge, all escaped unscathed.

Kira spotted our first wolf at the top of Specimen Ridge, near the west end of Little America. We each took turns excitedly viewing this majestic canid. Imagine our surprise when, all of a sudden, a vehicle pulled up and out jumped Rick McIntyre! We were admittedly all quite starstruck due to him being featured in our required reading about the history of wolves in the park. Amid snapping selfies with Rick, we eagerly listened to his knowledgeable insights into the various packs of wolves and their lineages. He became such an aficionado through his over thirty years of observations of the Yellowstone wolves.

The group with Rick McIntyre (in blue jeans) and Kira Cassidy (far right in blue).

The group with Rick McIntyre (in blue jeans) and Kira Cassidy (far right in blue).

It wasn’t long after that we noticed four coyotes interacting with three wolves on the north side of the road in Little America. One wolf was a yearling female (less than a year old) and the other two were born in the spring of 2022. They were from the Junction Butte Pack.

Black colored wolf on the left being chased by three coyotes on the right. Photo by Adam Smith.

Black colored wolf on the left being chased by three coyotes on the right. Photo by Adam Smith.

Later in our journey we headed towards Barronette Peak where we spotted a beautiful red fox right on the road. She gave us a show as she posed on a seasonal stream. It flows during times of high snow melt in the spring. This third canid led us to the achievement of a three dog day, meaning we had observed a fox, coyote, and a wolf all in one day!

Red fox on left, two wolves (one gray and one black), and coyote howling on right. Photos by Adam Smith

Today was epic, but we are even more excited about what tomorrow holds: we will pile into a snowcoach and travel throughout the interior of the park down to Old Faithful.



  • Wendy Hall

    5 months ago

    This looks like an amazing day!!! So happy for all of you! Incredible to see so much wildlife! And a great encounter with wildlife experts. 🙂

  • Mike Dunn

    5 months ago

    It doesn’t get much better than that, and on the first day! Congrats to all. And a great blog by the way. Excellent pics, Adam. I especially liked the feature of how some of you prepped for the trip. Sounds like an impressive group.

  • Brittany Smith

    5 months ago

    What’s remarkable day! My favorite has to be the fox. And you all got to meet Rick!! Glad to see everyone safely having the adventure of a lifetime ❤️ Can’t wait to see more 😀

  • Tonya Dobson

    5 months ago

    This was more than a triple bonus day, Kira, wolves, and Rick! Y’all hit the trifecta! Thanks for the great pics and I know each of you will love the snow coach!!

  • Andy Kauffman

    5 months ago

    I am so glad, and a bit jealous, you guys had this awesome start! A Three Dog Day! A wolf experience, with Rick present no less, to start the trip is truly amazing! The weather is giving you guys the REAL winter experience on this trip! You’ll never forget Yellowstone! Looking forward to hearing more!

  • Penelope Manley

    5 months ago

    It looks like you guys are having a great time! The fox is so cute and I miss you a lot Mrs Heinze! I hope you have a great rest of your trip!

    I personally thought the photo with the coyotes and wolves were neat. Just to see them covered in snow running was remarkable.


  • Kaylee

    5 months ago

    Hope you’re having a great time sis – we’ve been tracking your journey in the evenings and are excited to hear more over family dinner when you return!

  • Ursula

    5 months ago

    Remarkable first day in Yellowstone!!

  • Joseph Beamon

    5 months ago

    That has got to be one of the most exciting days ever! You got pics of wolves! Enjoy the park in all its Winter splendor.

what do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.