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The Great Yellowstone Ecosystem is one of the greatest wildlife hotspots in North America. The Lamar Valley is one of the main wildlife hotspots in Yellowstone (so it's a hotspot within a hotspot). Lamar Valley is a wild place where animals roam freely and is sometimes called the Serengeti of America for how easy it is to see populations of large animals. It may come as a surprise to many, but America has been ranked as the best country in the world for wildlife tourism.


The Lamar Valley is a stunning piece of wilderness where one can see the best of North America's fauna in some of the most dramatic concentrations. No trip to Yellowstone is nearly complete without visiting the Lamar Valley. This is where many of the wildlife tours of Yellowstone go.

Lamar Valley - The Serengeti Of America

There is a dizzying array of wildlife in the Lamar Valley. Wildlife one can see in the valley include gray wolves, bison, pronghorn, badgers, grizzly bears, bald eagles, deer, coyotes, ospreys, and more.

Lamar Valley is where everyone should go who is eager to see the wildlife of Yellowstone. The best time to see the wildlife is when they are the most active, in the early morning and at dusk.

  • Called: The Serengeti of America

Lamar is home to every animal that inhabited Yellowstone - and they are all in this one special location. When visiting Lamar Valley, be sure to bring one's binoculars and keep one's eye's peeled. This is where one can see hundreds of iconic bison and other animals.

  • Wildlife: Elk, Bison, Grizzlies, Wolves, Pronghorn, Black Bears

To see the best of Lamar Valley, consider a guided wildlife Lamar Valley tour.

Another attraction includes discovering the history of ranching in the park - buffalo ranching operations continued in Lamar until the 1950s.

Planning One's Visit Of The Lamar Valley

Lamar Valley is located in the northeastern corner of the park along the Lamar River. The valley is closest to the Northeast Entrance to the park, but that entrance is not actually open all the year. If one is visiting in regular months, then visit from the Northeast Entrance - if it's winter, then the North Entrance is open year-round.

To get to Lamar Valley from Mammoth Hot Springs, take the Grand Loop Road and continue on to the Northeast Entrance road.

  • Accessible: By Car Year-Round

Unlike some other parts of the park, the Lamar Valley is accessible by car year-round.

Related: Want To Make The Most Of Your Stay In Yellowstone National Park? Consider A Wildlife Tour

Lamar Valley Wolf Packs

One of the most famous attractions of Lamar Valley is the Junction Butte and Lamar Canyon wolf packs. The Lamar Valley is a magnet for photographer enthusiasts wanting to see wolves as they frolic, play, and hunt. Bring one's spotting scopes and see the top predators in action.

The National Park Service notes that the Lamar Valley has been the mecca for watching wolves in Yellowstone ever since their reintroduction in 1995. The story of the reintroduction of wolves of Yellowstone is a fascinating one. In the early days of the national park, the park rangers would shoot them - times have certainly changed.

Related: How To Plan A Visit Around Yellowstone's Wildlife Mating, Migration Patterns, and More

Camping In Lamar Valley

Lamar Valley also has some places to camp. There are two small, primitive campgrounds (Slough Creek and Pebble Creek), and they are ideal for launching one's next day's adventures in the valley.

  • Primitive Campgrounds: Slough Creek and Pebble Creek

Slough Creek Campground:

Slough Creek Campground is located at an elevation of 6,205 feet, right close to some of the best wildlife-watching opportunities in the park. The park is best suited for tents and small RVs.

  • Sites: 16 Sites
  • Cost: $20.00 Per Night

There is also the Slough Creek Trail that starts just nearby. At night, listen to the howling of the wolves. Reservations are managed by Yellowstone National Park Lodges.

Pebble Creek Campground:

Pebble Creek Campground is the other option for a campground in the Lamar Valley. Camp at an elevation of 6,900 feet with the dramatic backdrop of the Absaroka Mountains. The campground offers a fairly isolated camping experience and has 27 sites.

  • Sites: 27 Sites
  • Cost: $20.00 Per Night

Silver Gate or Cooke City are the closest restaurants and stores around nine miles away.