• National Parks

Best National Parks for Wildlife Spotting

Group of Elk deer in Rocky Mountain National Park
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Getty Images/Flickr RF

You don't need to go on safari to see wild creatures up close—just head to one of these U.S. national parks.

Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

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With the herds of elk, moose, bighorn sheep, and deer—and clouds of bluebirds, Steller's jays, and butterflies—at this 265,800-acre park, it's no wonder most visitors cite wildlife watching as the top draw here.  Many find the resident small mammals, like chubby yellow-bellied marmots, Abert'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.

Group of Elk deer in Rocky Mountain National Park

Best National Parks for Wildlife Spotting

Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

With the herds of elk, moose, bighorn sheep, and deer—and clouds of bluebirds, Steller's jays, and butterflies—at this 265,800-acre park, it's no wonder most visitors cite wildlife watching as the top draw here.  Many find the resident small mammals, like chubby yellow-bellied marmots, Abert'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.

Getty Images/Flickr RF
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