CRYSTAL CREEK BENCH
View across Crystal Creek Bench -- major wolf country.
An artistic rendering of an Oct. 1997 photograph is the view from Specimen Ridge across Crystal Creek Bench and the lower Lamar Valley to Druid Peak in the center distance.
Copyright © Ralph Maughan
The Crystal Creek Bench enclosure was located at the base of the northwest-facing side of Specimen Ridge, on a small level area above Crystal Creek. Crystal Creek is one of several small streams draining to the north from Specimen Ridge to meld with the Lamar River as it meanders across the Lamar Valley -- Crystal, Amethyst, Jasper, Opal, Chalcedony, and Flint Creek.
After holding new wolves for two winters, and the Soda Butte Pack for much of the summer of 1996, the Crystal Creek enclosure was finally torn down. Its parts were used to construct other Park wolf enclosures.
The area all around the Bench has been the heaviest-used wolf range in Yellowstone Park ever since the first wolves were released
Elk wintering on Crystal Creek Bench. Feb. 1997. © Ralph Maughan
The Crystal Creek wolf enclosure was about 100 yards up the hill from these elk. Two years later, in April 1997, wolf B9F, the famous alpha female of the Rose Creek Pack, denned just a couple hundred yards from this site. There she gave birth to seven pups.