Advice for Glacier Np etc.

Hello all,

Haven’t been on for a while, have been lazily mostly posting to the fb group. I have read past trip reports for the Glacier area. I am planning to drive up to Glacier from Southern California making many stops along the way. I was considering going straight through to my first stops in the SLC Utah area. I was planning to check Jordan and Weber rivers for mink, and the Alta area for Porcupine(I had some luck last year). Afterwards to go through to spend a day and half in Grand Teton NP and 2 days in the Lamar area of Yellowstone. Afterwards I am planning to head up to Glacier NP. I was wondering if anyone had any general advice for good areas to check en route or in any of these places. My plan is to check Grand Teton for the usual moose, bear, great grey owl, beaver muskrat and Yellowstone for Badger, Marten, Grizzly, wolf, muskrat etc. I wanted to check Glacier for Mountain Goat, grizzly, lt weasel, pika, moose, etc. I love seeing almost any mammal, I would appreciate any advice for mustelids, especially voles, snowshoe hare, wt jackrabbit, jumping mouse, various chipmunks, owls and grizzly. If anyone knows of good stops on the way from Yellowstone to Glacier that would be amazing.

I am also debating whether to return from Glacier through Craters of the moon and then the Nevada route or to go back through the 15 in Utah. Craters looks really cool but I am not sure the trip back from there traveling through the 93 in Nevada would be very productive. Seems like the 15 in Utah might be better with more places to stop too but I wanted to see if anyone has any experience with this. Sorry to ask so much, I will appreciate any advice on any of this or really anything mammalian.


Thank you,


Gary Skipper

Post author



  • Vladimir Dinets

    Driving through Glacier now requires pre-booking, and it might be too late for that. Check their website.

    • gskipper

      Thanks for the heads up, I am looking into it. Some people online are making it sound like you can go if you get there before 6am, do you happen to know if that is true? Thank you for your comment, wouldn’t want to go out there if I can’t do the park justice. Wow! 4 months in advance is crazy!

    • gskipper

      Disregard last comment, I checked and as long as you get there before 6 am you are good to go. That isn’t a problem for me, I always start before then to see as many mammals and other wildlife as possible!

  • NW

    What time of year are you going?

    In Yellowstone, I’d look for White-Tailed Jackrabbit in the mornings around Mammoth. The village there is also good for Uinta ground Squirrel, Mountain Cottontail, and Badger (in the right season: May-early September for small mammals). Elk are pretty much guaranteed at Mammoth and the road up to Gardiner has historically been a good place to see Bighorn (though they may be harder to see with the new route).

    A little south of Mammoth is Sheepeater Cliffs, which is one of the best and most accessible places to see pika. Though I haven’t seen Marten or weasel in the park, my experience has been that pika habitat is usually the best place to find those species in the mountains. Sheepeater is also good for marmot, GM ground Squirrel, red squirrel, and chipmunks. There was moose sign there last time I visited.

    In the Lamar valley, bison are ubiquitous, and pronghorn usually aren’t hard to see. Bear and wolf can be seen by following the large crowds with scopes, though usually close views of wolf are just a matter of luck and I’ve seen bear up close more often near the lake. Bighorn sheep can be found near the specimen ridge area and I narrowly missed a badger there as well. As long as the mountains re reasonably snow-free, it’s not hard to spot mountain goat at scope range on the cliff faces visible from the road between pebble creek and the baronette peak trailhead. That area is also good for moose and red fox.

    in yellowstone, I’ve most often seen muskrat in the hayden valley, but also seen one at Beaver Ponds. (a hike from mammoth)

    I’ve also seen either bobcat or lynx scat (probably the former) and voles in the willow park area, between Norris and mammoth.

    • gskipper

      If it works out it will probably be late June since I was thinking I would need to wait until then if Glacier works out(so the going to the sun road will hopefully be fully open). Thank you for the information. I will probably mostly go for wildlife since I have seen most of the geysers etc. already so I can take a lot of your advice. I remember previously seeing muskrat in a pond in the lamar valley but its always good to have several spots to try. Did you need to go on a hike to see the hayden valley muskrat?

  • Miles Foster

    Hi, Gary,

    my wife and I are heading for Yellowstone and Grand Teton ourselves in a few weeks and considered pushing on to Glacier but after careful thought we have actually decided to head south to California! However, we asked some very expereinced friends who live in Bozeman for advice on a Yellowstone-Glacier route and this is what they came up with – hope it helps.

    ‘The most-scenic route from Yellowstone to Glacier is via Helena. Seeley Lake would be a good spot to break the journey. And Whitefish, which is close to Glacier, is another nice area to stay. Note that route will get you to the west side of Glacier. To get to the east side, follow 287 North from Helena towards Wolf Creek and Augusta and then 89 to Choteau and Browning. That route is mostly agricultural land, and I can’t recommend a place to stay along the way, though Choteau is O.K. The other route is much more scenic and has more wildlife.’

    In any case, have a great trip.


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