Of all the places to potentially spot gray wolves in Yellowstone, the open spaces of the Lamar River Valley are the best bet. Consequently, this also the most popular place to try to see them. Along the side of the road and pullouts, you’ll see many pilgrims peering through tripod-mounted, high-powered spotting scopes. For the best chances, go early and late in the day.
Prior to its reintroduction into the wilds of Yellowstone in 1995-97, the gray wolf (Canis lupus) had been absent from the park for more than half a century, the victim of predator control and bounty hunting. Since that release of around 40 individuals captured in Canada and northwest Montana, the population has grown to approximately 100 wolves distributed in 13 or 14 packs, and wolves have extended their terrain outside the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park.
A male wolf, which is typically 15 to 20 percent larger than the female, stands two to three feet high at the shoulder and four to five feet long from nose to rump. A healthy male might weigh more than 150 pounds, and the gray wolf can range in color from gray to white to solid black.
For field classes that have wolf watching, check listings with the Yellowstone Forever Institute. They run field seminars out of their Buffalo Ranch Field Campus, located right in Lamar Valley. Cozy log cabins are available to rent by registered students.
Thanks to Mike McCoy for helping out here.