Best Places to See Wildlife in Yellowstone

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Yellowstone wildlife is wild and unpredictable.  Be aware of the dangers of bison and elk that can result in injuries. Practice safe watching of wildlife in Yellowstone. 

Dawn and dusk provide the best chances to see bears and wolves. Plan to be in Lamar Valley or Hayden Valley before sunrise.    Bison can be seen any time of day.

The best season for wildlife watching in Yellowstone National Park is spring.  It’s calving season for all large mammals in Yellowstone. May is a terrific time to see all the animal babies! 

Summer is the peak tourist season in Yellowstone, but it’s the worst for seeing wildlife. In July and August the hot temperatures push the animals to higher elevations.

Fall is when the black and grizzly bears come down from the mountains, again roaming the roadside meadows. The elk rut around Mammoth Hot Springs provides a cool opportunity to listen to bull elk bugle and sometimes see them lock antlers with each other.

Winter is a great time to see animals because they pop against the white snow. You’ll see bison and elk in the North from Mammoth to Cooke City. This is the only road open for personal vehicles in the winter. Watch for wolves, red foxes, and coyotes in Lamar Valley.

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