Yellowstone Wildlife

Yellowstone grizzlyYellowstone park has many species of animals for you to view. It has the largest American bison herd in the world, tons of deer, elk, moose and even wolves.

Elk

Elk can be found in many areas of Yellowstone. These large animals are common throughout Yellowstone, but they can be tricky to find if you don’t know where to look.  Find out more about where to find elk in the park and when are the best times to spot them. Click here

Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn sheep typically stay high in the mountains. In some areas of the park they can be found during certain times of year, read more about where to find bighorn sheep and when are the best times to see them. Click here

Moose

There are a few different areas of Yellowstone where you can find moose. These large animals usually spend most of their time near water and marshy areas. During the fall is when they are most active, but with a little searching, they can be found all year long in the park. Click here to find out more

Bison

Bison can be found in high numbers throughout Yellowstone. These will likely be the most common large animals in the park. Yellowstone actually has the largest bison herd in the world. Click here to find out more

Wolves

Wolves in the park are becoming more common, but they are pretty elusive. Many areas of Yellowstone have more wolves than others. The most common place to find wolves in the park is the North East area, but they can often be seen in Hayden Valley near Yellowstone Lake. Click here to find out more about this species

Grizzlies

The best time to find grizzly bears is in the early spring, but they can be seen at all times of year if you are in the right area. Click here to learn more about grizzly bears in the park

Bird Species of the Yellowstone Area
Birds of Yellowstone and Teton National Park areas copy

Click here if you would like to identify some common birds found in the park.

Fish Species Found in the Area

Fish species of YellowstoneClick here to learn more about the fish found in the park

Animal Watching Tips

Watching wildlife in Yellowstone is probably the number one reason visitors come to the park. There are very few places on earth where you can so easily see such a vast array of wild animals. Most of the animals in Yellowstone are not afraid of humans, so getting good pictures and watching them perform natural behaviors is easy.

Gear

Canon VIXIA HF R700 makes a great camcorder for wldlife filming.

This compact, yet powerful camcorder is great for filming wildlife in Yellowstone.

A camcorder such as this Canon Vixia HF R700 will be able to zoom right in on wildlife and capture those stunning moments on film. This camcorder features a 57X zoom which will put you right into the action. Check it out here on Amazon.

In order to make the most of your time in the park, I recommend you get a good pair of binoculars. But bino’s are just one example of something that will help you spot wildlife in Yellowstone. Below, you will find a list of gear that will not only help you spot lots of rare wildlife, but it will help you capture those moments forever.

  • Binoculars: When you see a herd of elk getting chased by a pack of wolves at 300 yards, I can guarantee you will wish you had taken along a good set of binoculars. You can buy a decent pair for pretty cheap and they will surely come in handy on numerous occasions on your trip into the park.
  • Camera/Camcorder: A good camera will ensure your visit to Yellowstone will last forever. Sure, you can take pictures with your Iphone, but once you need to zoom in, your pictures will become grainy and not worth even looking at. (Check out our top choices for cameras under $200) Nobody is going to be impressed with the brown blob in your picture that was, at once point an amazing scene of a grizzly bear and her cubs.
  • Maps of Wildlife Locations: Bringing along a map that will tell you where you are most likely to spot certain types wildlife in Yellowstone, will surely allow you to find more animals. You could just drive around and hope for the best, but certain areas of the park are more likely to have wolves, if those are what you are interested in seeing. A good map will tell you right where to go in order to spot your favorite animals in the park.
  • A Backpack ready to take on a short hike: A small backpack loaded with essential gear will keep you mobile. When you arrive in an area, where a walk might be necessary to get in range of wildlife, you should be ready with a good backpack containing everything you’ll need to take on that hike.

Safety

Be aware that the animals inside Yellowstone are not tame. This is not a zoo, it is a National park with very dangerous wild animals all over. In order to be safe, we recommend you follow these tips.

  • Never attempt to approach wildlife too close, even if you think they are calm and kind looking. Each year people are hurt or killed by getting too close to Yellowstone wildlife. Keep a safe distance and you and your family will stay safe and sound.
  • Legally you can not approach wolves and bears to within 100 yards and 25 yards from all other animals in Yellowstone. Don’t forget, even bison can be extremely dangerous.
  • If you are leaving the road and headed even on a short hike, you should bring bear spray. Bear spray is a glorified pepper spray that could easily save your life if you encounter a bear.
  • Don’t get too close to cliffs to get that “money shot”. Every year people are injured or killed by trying to get too close to cliffs and canyons to get that “perfect picture”. If you are in an area with guard rails you should stay behind them. If you are off the trail be aware that a lot of the rocks in Yellowstone are loose rhyolite (a volcanic rock) which could crumble under your feet and send you sliding down a hill of cliff.

Following these tips should not only help you stay safe, but will also have you capturing those epic Yellowstone wildlife moments like a pro BBC camera crew. Stay safe and enjoy your vacation to the park!

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