Backpacking at Wolf Lake in Yellowstone

This July we backpacked into Wolf Lake in Yellowstone National Park.  Wolf Lake ranks as one of my most special places.  Its beauty is wild and calm; the Gibbon River babbles through the meadow here.  In a short while, the river’s flow and drop become ferocious. But at Wolf Lake, the world is gentle.

The bugs were wicked, but the chance to spend time in the park and on the water made them bearable.  Comfortable in the backcountry now, in a way I never was as a young adult, I can relax and enjoy my surroundings. 

Time changes when one backpacks.  There is no need to mind the clock, to rush along and be back to the car before dark.  Distance is halved; there’s plenty of time to sit by lakes and streams, to watch birds and waterfowl, to contemplate the clouds, and to swim if one chooses.  We did choose. 

morning mist at Wolf LakeThe first time we swam in Wolf Lake, loons and geese came out of nowhere to greet us.  I thought this was a coincidence, until it happened every time we got in the water.  Loons were nesting in our favorite spot, so we camped farther afield.
moon risingLoon voices are varied and magical. Visit this Cornell Lab of Ornithology website to hear them. Here’s our audio file with one of their calls.

In the evenings, we heard another loon call sounding much more like a wolf than a bird.

On the return trip, we stopped at Ice Lake for lunch and a swim.  The swans, normally so aloof, started moving toward us the moment we got in the water.  So did the loon.  (The same or a different one?)  Who were these strange water creatures?

Yellowstone Lake
Yellowstone LakeYellowstone Lake



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10 Responses to Backpacking at Wolf Lake in Yellowstone

  1. Monica says:

    It is, Ian, and we go back in three weeks!!

  2. Monica says:

    We stayed two nights, Bluebee, and had just barely enough food!! It all tasted delicious, even though freeze dried. Eggs, stew, soup – yum. The bears are out and about, but we didn’t see any. One must hang food at night or when leaving the campsite. The video they make you watch before handing out a backpacking permit ended with this happy thought: “A bear entering your tent at night does not have good intentions.” I tried to forget this when going to sleep. I also hoped the mosquito repellent we were forced to slather on would not enrage the grizzlies. All went well. The grizzlies we do see from time to time scatter in shock at the sight of humans; they are eager to avoid us. Now sows with cubs – say your prayers quickly.

  3. The Emu says:

    A beautiful relaxing camping trip Monica, nature all around you.
    It really must be a beautiful place, a nature lovers paradise.

  4. bluebee says:

    Gosh, the Loon pair wail is beautifully spine-tingling – it reminds me of whale song. How long do you stay out there on a backpacking trip, Monica? What sort of food do you take along? Are there bears about in summer? Lots of questions 🙂

  5. Monica says:

    Oh, thank you, Laz! It was so refreshing.

  6. Monica says:

    Dear Kenny, Not so cold as you might think – for a short summer interlude. No wonder swans are endangered, Kenny! Yes, it was lovely. I try to recapture that sense of time suspended while back home.

  7. Monica says:

    Vielen Dank, Gislinde!

  8. lazfreedman says:

    A pleasure and so refreshing Monica… 🙂
    All The Best!

  9. Kenny2dogs says:

    Hi Monica, looks like you had a lovely time of it in yellowstone. BRRRRRR… bet that water was cold. You could have done that ice bucket for charity thing !!! in your bikini lol. I love swans Monica but i could only eat one a week :))
    That looks a lovely moment as you stand gazing at the rainbow. Certainly well in touch with mother Nature.
    Be well my lovely friend and “keep smiling” 🙂

  10. giselzitrone says:

    Einen schönen Montag wunderschöne Bilder und Text ich wünsche dir eine gute glückliche Woche liebe Grüße und Freundschaft Gislinde

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