Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife at Yellowstone

Wildlife Viewing at Yellowstone National Park – Bears, Elk, Bison, Bald Eagles and More. If you’ve always dreamt of going on safari, then plan to visit Yellowstone Park vacation where you’ll see grizzly and black bears, herds of elk, moose, and bison; bald eagles, mountain goats, and pronghorn sheep.

Wildlife at Yellowstone National Park is abundant and varied, and visitor sightings change with the seasons and time of day. Plan to visit the three areas in Yellowstone with the largest number of wildlife sightings (Lamar Valley, Hayden Valley, and Mt. Washburn) and you won’t be disappointed. Since animals look for food in the early morning and evening hours, you’ll have the best opportunity to see wildlife then.

Lamar Valley – The mountains that surround Lamar Valley offer a picturesque backdrop for viewing packs of wolves and coyote, and herds of bison. You’ll also see grizzly and black bears, as well as elk and moose, earning Lamar Valley its name as “North America’s Serengeti.” Bald eagles, beaver, mountain goats, pronghorn sheep, ducks, great horned-owls and other birds can all be spotted with ease; however, you will enjoy closer viewing with use of binoculars or a spotting scope…READ MORE

Mt. Washburn – Mt. Washburn offers one of the best viewpoints of Yellowstone Park. At 10,243 feet, it is the largest mountain peak in the Washburn Mountain Range it offers extraordinary views of the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone Lake, and the Grand Teton Mountains. Wildlife is in abundance, with prong-horn sheep, bears, coyote, and eagles in view, so pack a light-weight camera for amazing shots. Bear sightings are common around these trails so hikers must be conscious not to wander off trail…READ MORE

Hayden Valley – Naturalists and wildlife enthusiasts love Yellowstone Park’s Hayden Valley. This lush green valley is best known as a flourishing wildlife habitat teeming with grizzly and black bears; herds of bison, elk, deer, and moose; and coyote, fox, and wolves. The Valley’s LeHardy Rapids are a wonderful area for viewing a great mix of water animals like beavers and otters, jumping cutthroat trout (especially when spawning), and birds like the American Dipper, Harlequin Duck, and Common Merganser. Lucky visitors may even be treated to river crossings by individual or herds of bison, moose, or bear!…READ MORE

Driving the Loop – Yellowstone’s Loop offers a great way to see multiple sightings of wildlife, and the park has created areas for cars to stop and watch wildlife without disturbing traffic. These “roadside pullouts” are a great way to capture close-up photos without disturbing wildlife, so don’t hesitate to take the time to stop momentarily while driving around the park. In fact, it’s this sensitivity to the animals that will allow you to see their true natural behavior and activity!

Bear Safety – Did you know it is illegal to approach wildlife and birds within any distance that disturbs or displaces them? Each year a number of park visitors are injured by wildlife when approaching too closely. Approaching on foot within 100 yards of bears or wolves, or within 25 yards of other wildlife is prohibited. Yellowstone Park is bear country, and most visitors to the park see grizzly and black bears roaming in the park, crossing roads and hiking trails, and catching fish in the park’s streams and lakes. Bears hibernate for approximately 5 months each year in Yellowstone National Park, and are active feeders during the remaining 7 months of the year.

Safe hiking and visits to Yellowstone Park grounds requires learning about bear safety, and the Visitors Center offers materials to help you learn specific tactics that will help you avoid a bear confrontation. These include watching for bear signs (scat, tracks, digging), avoiding hiking at dawn, dusk, or night; and hiking in groups of three or more people. When hiking, stay alert and aware of your surroundings.

If you would like a guided tour to see these areas we recommend you consider the  ”2-Day Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks Wildlife Adventure,” or the “4-Day Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks Wildlife Adventure.”