Best Wildlife Destinations in Western USA

wild bear

grizzly bear ©Nomadic Lass/Flickr

Its large wilderness areas and numerous natural parks make the United States of America a prime destination for watching wildlife. And few places offer such abundance and diversity as the national parks on the Western Coast.

Covering almost a third of the surface of the United States, the mountain of the North American Cordillera are host a great variety of species, from rattle snakes to moose. Each year, millions of tourists visit the national parks in the Rockies and other major mountain ranges to admire the unspoiled nature and get a glimpse of wild animals. Here’s a list with some of the hottest spots for wildlife watching:

Yellowstone National Park

America’s oldest national park is THE destination when it comes to wildlife watching. Famous for its geysers and thermal features, Yellowstone is set upon the caldera of a super-volcano. The park is also home to some of the best preserved ecosystems in the world. Thus, the buffaloes at Yellowstone have been living there for hundreds – if not thousands – of years, unlike in many parts of the country where the buffaloes had to be re-introduced. Buffalo, elk and mule deer are some of the most frequently seen animals in the park. But it is not uncommon to encounter coyotes, wolves, grizzly bear and black bear, moose, as well as beavers and river otters.

lonely buffalo

bison@Yellowstone @copy; Lee Edwin Coursey/Flickr

Glacier National Park

One of US’s northernmost national parks (if we exclude Alaska), Glacier is home to amazing fauna. Here among the permanent snows, crystal-clear lakes and fast mountain streams lives one of the biggest grizzly populations in the United States. The white and furry mountain goats are the park’s pride. Large predator birds are also common in this areas, and if you are very lucky you might also get a glimpse at fierce felines such as the lynx and mountain lion.

wild bear

grizzly bear ©Nomadic Lass/Flickr

Olympic National Park

This park in Washington might as well be one of the most under-rated national parks in the country. Combining the snowy peaks of the Rockies with the rugged shores of the Pacific, the Olympic National Park is by far one of the best wildlife destinations in Western USA. Not only is this park the only place in the world where one can see an Olympic marmot, but also one of the only nature reserves where you can see both whales and elks during a single trip.

Grand Tetons National Park

Neighboring Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons National Park is extremely pretty with its sharp peaks and clean mountain lakes. It is also a great place to spot mountain animals such a beavers, black bears, deer, coyotes, marmots or mountain lions. The park is famous for its elk population, and in certain seasons you have high chances to spot moose.

elk herd

elk in the Tetons @copy; markbyzewski/Flickr

 

 

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