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Best National Parks for Wildlife Spotting

Shaun Cunningham/Alamy

Olympic National Park, WA

Olympic's diverse ecosystems include glacier-topped mountains, rainforests, and 73 linear miles of Pacific coast. The park protects the largest population of Roosevelt elk in the world, plus snowshoe hares, Columbia black-tailed deer, Olympic marmots (found nowhere else in the world), newly reintroduced fishers (cat-size members of the weasel family), and underrated bright-yellow banana slugs. Near the shore, you can spot seals, sea otters, sea lions, and—between March and May—migrating gray whales.

Viewing Tip: Columbia black-tailed deer congregate in Hurricane Ridge; elk are common on Upper Hoh Road.

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