We made it! We arrived at the North Entrance, the Roosevelt Arch, at about 5:00.
No more than five minutes into the park, we came across our first "Jam.” Tons of cars, some pulled off the side of the road, some parked in the middle, pedestrians everywhere…it was a Bighorn Sheep Jam. They are often spotted in this area, on the rock cliffs of the Gardiner Canyon. I can see about five in this photo. Look for a white butt just above the tree, in the center of the photo (I promise, the wildlife pictures get better).
I was so excited! Two minutes in, and I had already seen large mammals! This was going to be awesome.
We needed to get to Canyon Village and our campsite before dark. About an hour drive, without animal jams…so we got back in the car and continued on.
In Mammoth, the elk were EVERYWHERE. This stop took a little while.
And then more elk after we left Mammoth. Apparently they were fighting just before we got there.
Given we had only traveled about 10 minutes into the park by this point, we were thinking it was going to take a while to get to Canyon. Fortunately, we only caught a couple glimpses of lone bison on the way (no pictures), so we made it to Canyon long before sunset.