How to Spot Wildlife in Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park attracts photographers, nature enthusiasts, and outdoor adventurers from around the world with its spectacular scenery and abundant wildlife, including the largest concentration of mammals in the lower 48. Here’s what you need to know to make the most of your wildlife-spotting adventure in Yellowstone.
Best Ways to Spot Wildlife in Yellowstone National Park
Join a tour of the Upper or Lower loops of Yellowstone, two of the best places in the park for wildlife viewing.
Take advantage of the knowledge of a naturalist guide as you explore the park’s 2.2 million acres (0.9 million hectares).
Head to Hayden Valley to look for grizzly bears, elk, and bison.
In winter, explore geothermal basins, whose warmth attract animals.
What You Can See
The national park provides a habitat for some 300 species of birds, 16 species of fish, six species of reptiles, five species of amphibians, and 67 species of mammals. For many visitors, the large mammals are a highlight; common sightings include black and grizzly bears, wolves, bighorn sheep, bison, moose, elk, and mountain goats.
Tips for Wildlife Viewing
Go early or late ; animals tend to be feeding and easier to spot in the early morning and evening hours.
Bring binoculars or a long lens for a clear view without disturbing the wildlife.
Stop by a visitor center to ask about recent sightings.
Stay alert ; wild animals might show up anywhere in the park, even away from the typical hot spots.
Keep quiet and still ; loud noises and sudden movements can spook wildlife.