Yellowstone National Park’s wild critters frequently gain fame on social media, and a “moose” that seems to hang around the Lamar Valley is no exception.
Except it’s actually a tree.
Viewed from the right angle, a tree that tenaciously clings to a rock face near the top of a ridge bears a striking resemblance to a moose’s head.
It recently generated attention through social media posts, as photos of the unusual phenomenon began circulating.
Some outdoors photographers who frequent Yellowstone told Cowboy State Daily that hadn’t seen it yet, but images of the “moose” piqued their interest.
“I’m headed up there (the Lamar Valley) tomorrow. I’ll check it out. That is really cool,” Tristen Moffett of Jackson said Tuesday after seeing a photo of the moose tree. She runs Roam Wild Photo Tours in Teton and Yellowstone parks.
Avid outdoor photographer Dave Bell of Pinedale, who frequently visits Yellowstone, had a similar reaction to a photo of the moose head.
“I have not seen it, but that is cool,” he said.
So where is it?
Apparently, if a person isn’t really looking for it or doesn’t know exactly where to look, the “moose tree” is easier to miss than one might expect.
Those who’ve seen it indicate that the moose tree is visible from public restrooms “near some horse trailers” in the Lamar Valley.
Tim O’Leary of Cody said he’s familiar with the area, but hasn’t yet seen the moose tree.
“I’ve heard about it, but I haven’t seen it,” he said.
“Well, I’ll be darned, there it is,” he added after seeing a photograph of the moose tree.
Near The Confluence Of Creeks
He surmised that the location is near the confluence of Soda Butte Creek and Lamar Creek.
“Those two creeks run together in a corner area,” O’Leary said. “And there is a restroom about a quarter to a half-mile northeast of there. Supposedly it (the moose tree) is visible from the road.”
The “horse trailers” that people mentioned are probably those belonging to horseback tour guides who frequently park their trailers near the restrooms, he said.
Online, several people indicated that they’d been in the area and completely missed it.
“It’s such a cool thing and when you know it’s there you wonder how you ever missed it,” said Crystal Deatherage.
O’Leary, Bell and Moffett said now that they’ve seen images of the moose tree and know where to look, they’re determined to find it and photograph it for themselves.
Mark Heinz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.