By November 7, Yellowstone National Park is virtually closed to vehicle traffic. The only road open all winter within the park is a 47 mile stretch between Gardiner, MT, at the N entrance to the park and Cooke City, MT, at the NE entrance to the park. So, coming from Jackson, I had to travel west over Teton Pass, then north through Idaho on the "back side" of the Tetons, all the way up to Bozeman MT, and then drop down south to Gardiner. It's a long way around.
The open road in the extreme northern region of Yellowstone takes you into Mammoth Hot Springs and east through Lamar Valley which is rich in wildlife. Lamar Valley is often referred to as America's Serengeti. It's the best area of the park for spotting wolves and large herds of bison. And the best part is that during the winter there is virtually no one there. During my 5 day stay, traffic averaged a vehicle maybe every 20-30 minutes. Animal "jams" were more like 4 or 5 cars instead of 100 vehicles during summer and fall. Of course, there is usually 2+ feet of snow by this time. Although, winter this year was late in arriving.
© Thane Rogers Photography