One of the main reasons to visit Yellowstone, aside from Old Faithful Geyser and beautiful scenery, is the wildlife. From Day 1 at the park, we were constantly scanning the forest, the meadows, the valleys, and the riverbeds for wildlife. We had our hawk eyes on so much that when we got back home to New Jersey we were still looking around while driving, just out of habit.
The funny thing is the first time we saw bison it was raining and gloomy, yet we still got out of the car to take pictures because we were excited. Two days later, we would drive by whole herds of bison without even slowing down because we’ve seen So. Many. Bison.
One of the best places to view wildlife in Yellowstone is Hayden Valley. The valley itself is gorgeous, with sunlit bright green fields and little streams flowing through the valley. It has a few pullouts for parking along the valley. We stopped at Hayden Valley for a picnic dinner twice, since we couldn’t get enough of the scenery.
In Hayden Valley, we saw wolves from REALLY far away, and we saw a whole group of wolf enthusiasts who gathered with their GIANT binoculars to watch wolves. It’s kinda crazy that there are so many different kinds of meetup groups for people with the most bizarre interests. Good for them!
One of the best ways to spot wildlife at Yellowstone is not by looking for animals in the shrubs and the valleys, but by looking for groups of people. Yes, we were people spotting at Yellowstone more than we were wildlife spotting. 🙂 The two times that we saw bears was because there because of the dozens of cars that were parked on the side of the road, with even more people pointing their cameras in the same direction.
Some of the wildlife is out and about in the fields and the roads, but some are more remote. Luckily we had the time to spend some time hiking and we saw some longhorn sheep on our hike to Mt. Washburn.
We saw this gorgeous male elk and this precious calf, both on the side of the road.
And last but not least, we saw a very concerned marmot. Don’t worry marmot, we won’t take your rock!
Needless to say, I love animals and we were very excited to see each of these creatures on our trip. We also saw a grizzle bear and a black bear, both from really far away. I’ll spare you the grainy picture of the bear, and instead tell you about how we went to the Bear & Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone when we were done with Yellowstone. It was $11.50 very well spent, since we got to support a great organization and got to see bears and wolves up close.
Here are some close ups of grizzly bears and wolves. These animals are amazing to watch, and you can really appreciate their power by watching them up close. From behind a fence. Where it is safe. 🙂
What other animals have you spotted at Yellowstone? What are your wildlife viewing tips?