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The Wildlife of Yellowstone National Park

The wildlife of Yellowstone is a top reason why photographers, nature lovers, and travelers visit Yellowstone National Park all year round. While staying at Yellowstone West Gate Hotel, it’s impossible to visit the park without seeing an abundance of majestic wildlife as you hike, explore, drive, and tour. Yellowstone is home to over 400 species of different forms of wildlife including birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. While we’d love to talk about every single animal you may see during your vacation, the list would go on for days, so we’ll go over the most popular and where to find them!



Yellowstone is home to over five thousand bison, so you can just about imagine the opportunity you’ll have for photographing an American bison during your travels. Take a drive through Lamar Valley where you’ll spot hundreds of these beautiful mammals. While they may seem like a calm animal, they have been known to put up a fight, so it’s always best to keep a reasonable distance. Set out for a self-guided tour to Lamar Valley as the drive is only two hours from our West Yellowstone hotels!



There are two species of bears in Yellowstone National Park including the black bear and grizzly bear. While there are a vast number of black bears included in the endless list of Yellowstone wildlife, the park is home to over 500 Grizzlies. For best viewing times, be sure to explore early morning or late evening near Yellowstone Lake, Swan Lake Flats, Fishing Bridge, Lamar or Hayden Valley.



Yellowstone National Park is home to 13 wolf packs, and they are one of the most intelligent animals in the park. To distinguish a wolf from a coyote look for the difference in size as wolves are usually more than two times the size of coyotes and travel in packs. While no wolf has ever attacked a human in Yellowstone, it’s smart to keep a safe distance of at least 100 yards over the recommended 25. A large number of wolves are spotted in the northern range of Yellowstone near Lamar and Hayden Valley.



We can’t forget about our friends in the water as 5% of Yellowstone is made up of water, featuring 220 lakes and miles upon miles of streams and waterways. Yellowstone River is the longest undammed river in the U.S. and is 692 miles long. There are 16 different species of fish in the park with the Yellowstone cutthroat trout being the most popular. When you’re planning to fish in Yellowstone, it’s best to research rules and regulations before setting out on your adventure!


West Yellowstone Lodging

Aside from the animals listed here, the most famous viewing opportunities also include spotting moose, badgers, fox, and otters. While staying at our West Yellowstone hotels, plan a visit to the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center just minutes from your stay to further expand your knowledge of the local wildlife of Yellowstone. We provide a convenient location to the West Yellowstone entrance and a comfortable stay that includes a complimentary breakfast. To view out accommodations and amenities browse our page online. Our helpful staff is ready to help answer any questions you may have⁠— give us a call at 1-406-646-4212.