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Lamar Valley
Lamar Valley

Lamar Valley

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172 Reviews
Yellowstone National Park

The Basics

Wildlife sightings are almost guaranteed in Lamar Valley, and since it’s located in the more remote northeastern corner of the park, it’s largely free of crowds. Self-guided driving tours of Yellowstone's Upper Loop often include Lamar Valley, as well as the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Norris Geyser Basin, Obsidian Cliff, and the Petrified Tree. For wildlife spotting tips from an expert, consider booking a private wildlife tour through the Lamar and Hayden valleys.

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Recent reviews from experiences in Yellowstone National Park

star-5
Great hike in Lamar Valley
Jerry_P, Jul 2021
Lamar Valley Safari Hiking Tour with Lunch
We loved this hike. Emily Jo did a great job, giving us so much history and information on the area. We loved seeing all the wild life too!
star-5
Must Do!
Jeannette_K, May 2021
Lamar Valley Safari Hiking Tour with Lunch
Josh was great. Very knowledgable. We saw so much thanks to him. Saw places we otherwise would not have. Lunch by the river. Can't wait to be back there one day.
star-5
WHAT A GREAT DAY!
Pete_G, May 2021
Lamar Valley Safari Hiking Tour with Lunch
My son (22) and I (55M) booked this hike after reading reviews of several companies and it did not disappoint. In fact, it exceeded all expectations! Communication before the day of the hike were great and the directions to the trailhead were spot on. Our guides, Josh and Alex were at the meeting site early and enthusiastically greeted us and the other hikers. They passed around the day’s snacks and lunches along with trekking poles, binoculars and bear spray for everyone. After a brief safety review, we started off on our hike. The valley isn’t like hiking in the mountains, but it’s also not perfectly flat. You’ll need to be in moderate shape even though you’ll stop multiple times for breaks to rest, learn about the flora and fauna and have a snack if you want. We walked about 3 miles before eating the provided lunch which was a turkey and Swiss sandwich, chips and any of the snacks that you might have left. It will take about another 3 hours to make it back to the trailhead to complete the hike. Josh talked to us about the plants animals in the park along with history of the area including how the valley was formed. We saw hundreds of bison, many pronghorn, some grizzlies (from a great distance), bighorns and countless cute little ground squirrels. It was a great day that we’ll never forget. A few pointers: bring your own binoculars if you have good ones , don’t forget a rain jacket, you’ll need plenty of water and sunscreen and make sure your hiking boots are well broken in. I highly recommend this trip!!!

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Lamar Valley is a must-visit for nature lovers and families traveling with kids.

  • Bring binoculars or a long camera lens to view wildlife safely from a distance.

  • Make use of the many pullouts lining the road through the valley for wildlife viewing.

  • Always remain at least 25 yards (23 meters) from wildlife and 100 yards (91 meters) from bears and wolves.

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How to Get There

Lamar Valley is located along the Northeast Entrance Road (Route 212) just off Grand Loop Road at Tower Junction.

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Trip ideas


When to Get There

Lamar Valley is accessible to cars year-round, and the best time to visit depends on what animals you’re hoping to see. Bears tend to start emerging in March and April as they graze in the valley meadows, while wolves are easier to spot in winter when they stand out against the snow. No matter the season, plan to visit in the early morning or late evening when animals are at their most active.

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Lamar Buffalo Ranch

During the early 20th century, the Lamar Buffalo Ranch was established in the Lamar Valley to breed bison to be released into the park’s free-roaming population in an effort to protect the species. Today, the park’s bison population ranks among the largest and most genetically pure in North America. The Lamar Buffalo Ranch Historic District, included on the National Register of Historic Places, comprises five historic structures.

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