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Roadside Wonders

Hayden Valley

Hayden Valley with Washburn Range
Hayden Valley with Washburn Range Hayden Valley Bison in Hayden Valley Orientation Map

The Grand Loop Road takes you through five miles of Hayden Valley, a wildlife viewing hot spot in Yellowstone, where sagebrush dominates the hillsides and large herds of bison roam wild across its expanse. Hayden Valley is another favorite spot for wolf watchers to set up their spotting scopes in hopes to catch these amazing predators in action. Grizzly bears, coyotes and elk are also often seen from the road as they wander through the valley. Many types of birds such as sandhill cranes, great blue herrons, canada geese and pelicans gather here when winter loosens its grip and the temperatures begin to warm up. There are plenty of photo opportunities to get a quick snapshot of wildlife, or an amazing landscape photo of the mountains from the Washburn Mountain Range to the north of Hayden Valley. Also be on the lookout for beavers on the banks of the Yellowstone River at the northern part of the valley. August and September bring bison from miles around who compete for the chance to mate during the fall rut (mating season). During this time, traffic through Hayden Valley can back up quickly and cause long delays due to slow moving traffic because of wildlife on or near the road.

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