Several interesting facts about Big Meadows:
- 3500 feet above sea level
- contains two wetlands that support globally rare plant communities believed to be endemic to the park
- early European settlers reported an abundant variety of animals that had disappeared by the mid-1800s including bison, elk, beaver, otters, timber wolf, white- tailed deer, cougars, turkey, black bear, and bobcats
- recently, most of these species (except bison, elk and possibly cougars) have returned to the park due to reintroduction or natural population recovery
As for cougars, there have been purported sightings ever since I first starting backpacking in the park. To date, though, none of these has ever been confirmed.