what is the giveaway? the tail? i think i read somewhere that coyotes have a bushy tail, and it stays close to the ground. plus wolves are big, right? anyway i figured i would post it and let you guys tell me.
As people mentioned, in Sequoia (or anywhere in California, I think), the identification is easier because there are no wolves. North of the Brooks Range, on Alaska's North Slope, that is not the case. This individual was about 500 feet away, so I needed to take some photos and have a second look:
(It is a coyote.) For scale, the pipeline is 4 feet in diameter.
There are differences in appearance between coyotes and wolves, but it's still possible for a non-expert to confuse one with the other in the field. Viewing them side-by-side helps show their differences:
Here are museum specimens showing the two animals together:
And two photos:
This page has a diagram and a couple of photos to contrast the coyote and wolf: