4 Animals You Could See in Yellowstone

Yellowstone is home to many beautiful species of wildlife. The National Park protects its wildlife from any hunting, and the wildlife preserved inside flourishes because of it. This is just a brief overview of a few different animals you could see in the park, you could certainly see even more variety than this list covers. 


Elk is most abundant in Yellowstone during the summer. During the summer, Yellowstone has approximately 10,000 to 20,000 elk. This number drops to less than 4,000 during the winter months. So, if you are wanting to see elk make sure you visit during the summer.

You can find Elk herds frequently near Lamar Valley, Madison Canyon, and Cascade Meadows. Elks’s antlers change depending on the season. Every winter elk shed their antlers. In the spring, the antlers grow back and are covered in a soft layer of velvet. That velvet layer is shed during the summer months while the antlers are at their largest.


One of the most famous species of wildlife in Yellowstone is the bison. The bison reside in Yellowstone year-round. Bison is a near-threatened species. The nearly 5,000 bison that roam Yellowstone are particularly special because Yellowstone is the only place where bison have roamed since prehistoric times.

These large creatures are normally very calm, but many tourists make the mistake of getting too close or even trying to pet these animals. Even though the bison may seem tame at a glance, they are wild animals that should not be touched. Don’t be surprised to find them hanging out in the middle of the road and bring traffic to a standstill.


Photo credit: Pixabay by Creative Commons

There are lots of coyotes in Yellowstone. Coyotes are commonly mistaken for wolves, but these creatures are only about ⅓ the size of a wolf. If you are lucky you could see these curious animals sing.

They are nick-named “song dogs” because they howl, or sing, to one another to communicate. There isn’t an exact location that is the best for viewing coyotes, but in general, coyotes like to hang out in meadows and fields.


It’s on everyone’s bucket list to see a bear while in Yellowstone. In fact, when people see bears it can cause a “bear jam.” Where traffic is piled up for a mile or two as tourists stop their cars and attempt to see the bears.

There are both Grizzly bears and black bears in the park. Seeing a bear is an unlikely and special treat. It’s more common to see a black bear than a Grizzly. If you are extra lucky, you’ll get to see a mama bear and her cubs. You’re more likely to see a bear and her cubs during spring.

The wildlife of Yellowstone is fascinating to watch and study. The animals within Yellowstone are protected to keep populations of these species stable. Being able to see large wild herds of bison roaming is something that you can only witness in Yellowstone. It’s not likely you’ll see each of these animals every time you go to Yellowstone, but booking a photography tour with a wildlife expert, like, could help you have a better chance of seeing them.

Have you ever been to Yellowstone? Were you impressed with these 4 animals you could see in Yellowstone?


Christy has three children. She has over 22 years of parenting experience, including parenting as a young mom, a single parent, and dealing with chronic illness/pain. When she isn't writing, you can find her coloring, playing Candy Crush, and listening to Taylor Swift.

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  1. Making a trip to Yellowstone seems so good even in winter. I would love to see those animals and the Bison do look prehistoric.

  2. I really hope we can go to Yellowstone one day. It’s gorgeous! Plus seeing the animals will be fun.

  3. Liz Mays says:

    I’d be so excited to elk see in person. They’re such impressive animals and they’re super cute too.

  4. We’ve been trying to decide if we want to add it to our trip or not. We’ve both been there a few times, but it’s always so beautiful.

  5. We live near Yellowstone, and enjoy visiting. The animals are definitely impressive, but I wish more people would realize that they’re truly wild. Every year someone gets gored by a bison. (By the way, the picture you have for the bison is actually a water buffalo. American Bison look quite different)

  6. I’ve never been to yellow stone park before. I would love to visit with my family, and see all of these amazing animals in person.

  7. This is so cool! I had no idea that you could see so many different animals in Yellowstone. I would love to get here some day in my future.

  8. Oh my goodness it would be absolutely incredible to see these animals up close! How amazing, I had no idea you could see such animals in Yellowstone.

  9. It would be so neat to be able to visit Yellowstone and see these animals. I have never been out that way and it sounds like such an amazing place to visit.

  10. I love going on adventures especially in our national parks. It’s good to have a check list of things you might see, makes the trip all the more fun!

  11. Wow! It’s really exciting to see these animals in Yellowstone. Wish I could bring my family here and introduce to them these animals. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Ruth I says:

    You don’t see these everyday. I may have seen some 1 or just 2x in my lifetime. It would be great seeing them again.

  13. I’d love to visit Yellowstone with my husband and son someday. But except for the elk and bison, we also have bears and coyotes roaming around here too. LOL.

  14. Yes I’ve been through Yellowstone a couple of times. I’ve seen Elk and Bison. Elk are so beautiful.

  15. I have always wanted to visit Yellowstone. I’ve heard great things about it, my kids love wild animals. I am sure they would love to visit Yellowstone someday.

  16. Yes Yellow stone is nature’s wonders. we are planning to go there. These are wonderful animals.

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