Where can I see wildlife around Grant?
Bison, elk, and mule deer can often be viewed around the West Thumb Geyser Basin and in meadows along Big Thumb Creek during the summer. Waterfowl and raptors, such as bald eagles and osprey, can be observed along the lake shore. Ground squirrels, marmots, red squirrels, and other small mammals are common throughout the Grant area. During the winter months, river otters are commonly seen along the shores of West Thumb where underwater thermal features melt holes in the frozen lake.
The West Thumb Paint Pots aren’t what I remember from years past. What happened?
Like all thermal features in Yellowstone, the West Thumb Paint Pots are subject to change over time. These features became less active and more fluid in the early 1970s. During the past 4-5 years, they have shown renewed vigor with new mud cones forming, some of which periodically throw mud into the air.
Why doesn’t the Grant Campground open until June 21?
Grant was developed in prime grizzly bear habitat. There are five streams in this area that cutthroat trout use for spawning during late May and early June, thus bears, both grizzly and black, frequent this area to feed on spawning trout. To help prevent any bear/human conflicts, the campground doesn’t open until most of the spawn is over.
What happened to the development at West Thumb?
West Thumb used to be home to a gas station, a marina, a photo shop, cafeteria, more than 100 cabins, and even a tennis court! In an effort to protect the fragile thermal features at West Thumb and to improve the quality of visitor experience here, all of the development except for the historic log Ranger Station and log restrooms were removed. The development at Grant mitigated the loss of facilities at West Thumb.