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Best places to see wildlife

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Best places to see wildlife

We are going to visit Yellowstone and GTNP in late July/early August and want recommendations on best times and places to see wildlife. We have two boys (5 and 7) who would love to see wildlife.

Please recommend best places for spotting wildlife.

Atlanta, Georgia
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for Road Trips
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1. Re: Best places to see wildlife

Here is a great post. We have seen wildlife throughout both parks.


Albany, New York
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2. Re: Best places to see wildlife

If you are serious about wildlife, you have to be up early and out late. We went in August for our first trip to the parks and we didnt plan on seeing too much because of the time of year. It WAS incredible. But only because we were up every day and out by 5 am.....Yes thats what i said, LOL sounds awful i know but sooooo worth it!! We saw so many bears both black and grizzly, wolves galore, coyote, elk, bison, eagles, and we didnt have spotting scopes, these were with the naked eye, some very close!!!! Lamar valley and Hayden valley are prime viewing places....plus they are stunning to view!!! Have binoculars for everyone in your party, even the little ones!!!! ENJOY!

bay area, ca
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3. Re: Best places to see wildlife

Just got back from Yellowstone earlier in the week and saw a lot of wildlife. Bison and pronghorns seem the most plentiful, particularly in the valley areas like Lamar and Hayden.

We saw grizzly, black and brown bears [ with cubs! ] mostly on the road from Canyon Village up to the Tower-Roosevelt Junction. There is a water hole right before the junction which seems to get a lot of photographers out right around early evening in anticipation of a bear visit.

Best times seem to be early evening [ as it starts to cool down ] or quite early in the morning. Definitely not so much during high sun hours of the day.

You can usually tell there is a sighting nearby when cars are pulled over and people are out of them. It can get hectic and scary when there aren't rangers around for crowd control though.

Big bison sighting early morning at Fountain Flat Drive. Also all along Lamar Valley, especially closer to the Yellowstone Association Institute. Of course, we would randomly see a few in the busier areas like Mud Canyon or on the side of the road too.

We saw elk in the Mammoth Hot Springs area, some right by the parking lot (!!) or just slightly on the hills behind the public buildings.

Also agree with the recommendation to have binoculars for all. Had a lot of fun sitting at lookouts scanning the tree lines for bears with the more seasoned spotters.

Final recommendation is to ask park rangers at stations/visitor centers where most recent sightings were. They know because they get radioed for traffic/crowd control.

Jackson, Wyoming
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4. Re: Best places to see wildlife

With all due respect "Brown Bears" are not in Wyoming unless you consider Grizzlies Brown Bears. Most folks consider Brown Bears to be the same as Grizzlies but live within 80 miles of the ocean and ingest far more animal protein than their interior relatives and are consequentially much larger.

Black bears in Greater Yellowstone are often cinnamon, brown, or blonde in color.

If you go to forums.yellowstone.net Max has info on an awesome wildlife guide he compiled. Greater Yellowstone is the greatest mammalian habitat in the Temperate Zone. Ther eis all kinds of info out there to help you see wildlife.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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5. Re: Best places to see wildlife

We always saw elk in the Madison Campground area, along the river mornings and evenings. Saw huge herd of bison in Lamar Valley during the day. Deer, squirrels, chipmunks, pikas, beaver, birds of all kinds all over.

We didn't see any bears or wolves at all during our late July trip! So we drove to West Yellowstone and visited the Grizzly/Wolf Discovery Center. Decent place that works on saving animals that can't be in the wild. Our teen enjoyed it and for younger kids like yours they have a program that they can hide food in the bear enclosure and then watch the bears look for it (of course bears aren't out when the kids are there!) Discount coupon on the website. http://www.grizzlydiscoveryctr.com/

Bucks County...
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6. Re: Best places to see wildlife

Absarokanaut-- I went to the Yellowstone.net forums and did a little searching to try to find the wildlife guide or map you mentioned. I found this discussion for anyone who's interested: forums.yellowstone.net/viewtopic.php…

And here's a link to Max's wildlife sighting map from that discussion: http://www.maxwaugh.com/yellowstone/map.php

Thanks for the info!

Cinnaminson, New...
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7. Re: Best places to see wildlife

Here's the basics...Best times and places to see wildlife would be about a half hour before dawn, and from around 5pm to dusk. Lamar Valley and Hayden Valley are always hotspots. In Lamar, you will have a good chance for grizzly and black bears, wolves, bison, elk, badgers, coyote, fox, moose (eastern end) and pronghorn.

In Hayden Valley, good chances for Grizzly bears, bison, coyote and possibly wolves. There is a wolf pack (Canyon Pack) that frequents the valley and recently they have been spotted on the western side of the road near Alum Creek out by the power poles.

As someone mentioned, for black bears, anywhere from Dunraven pass through Tower Junction up to Phantom Lake. There has been a very visible black bear sow with 3 COY (cubs of the year) at Rainy Lake (water hole as someone else called it) up to Calcite Springs.

On the western side of the Grand Loop, Swan Lake Flats down to Gibbon Meadows has been good grizzly territory.

Basically, wildlife can and will be anywhere at any time. The places and times I mention have the highest chances of sightings. All you have to do is keep your eyes open and have everyone in the car looking for wildlife. And if you see the cameras and scopes out, park in a pullout and ask politely what is in view.

Also, make sure you have good binoculars. I learned my lesson from my first trip in 2008. Bring good glass.

8. Re: Best places to see wildlife

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