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Best National Parks for Wildlife Spotting


Daniel Dempster Photography/Alamy

Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

With herds of elk, moose, bighorn sheep, and deer—and clouds of bluebirds, Steller's jays, and butterflies—it's no wonder most visitors to this 265,800-acre park cite wildlife watching as the top draw here. Many find the resident small mammals, like chubby yellow-bellied marmots, Albert's squirrels (which have long, tassel-like ears), and pikas (resembling hamsters but actually related to rabbits), especially adorable. Stay in the nearby town of Estes Park and check out the animals with the naturalists at Yellow Wood Guiding.

Viewing Tip: In summer, low-lying meadows and tundra are the best places to see wildlife. In cold-weather months, though, look to southern-facing hillsides.

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