Winter safari

Head a few hours east toward Yellowstone National Park
Lora J. Finnegan

This month, road-trip a few hours east toward Yellowstone National Park, and you'll journey into a snowy landscape filled with wildlife. In West Yellowstone, Montana, the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center brings visitors up close to both species ― rare in the wild. Spend a few minutes observing the six wolves of the Gallatin Pack habitat, and you'll quickly pick out the alpha (dominant) male: Its tail is often held straight up in the air. The wolf pack howls a lot in winter, mostly in the morning and toward evening, a thrilling sound and sight.

At the park's north end, near Mammoth Hot Springs, join a guided cross-country ski, snowcoach, or snowmobile tour to look for bison, coyotes, deer, elk, pronghorn antelope, trumpeter swans, and wolves. In the Upper Geyser Basin, bison and elk are often seen grazing on exposed grasses around hot springs.

INFO: The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center is just outside Yellowstone National Park (8–5 daily, until 5:30 Jan 21–Feb 10; $9.75, $5 ages 5–12, $9 ages 62 and over; 201 S. Canyon St., West Yellowstone, MT; www.grizzlydiscoveryctr.org, 800/257-2570, or 406/646-7001). For details on Yellowstone park tours from the Mammoth Hot Springs area, visit www.travelyellowstone.com or call 307/344-7311. Contact Yellowstone National Park for further information (www.nps.gov/yell or 307/344-7381).