Yellowstone National Park is the world’s first national park, and whether you are simply looking for a vacation experience that walks on the wild side or if you have vacation goals to visit all America’s national parks, this one should be at the top of your list. It is known for being the best place for spotting wildlife in West Yellowstone, especially in the Lamar Valley area here in Montana, ensuring you won’t have far to drive to get from your Sweet Home Montana vacation rental to where the wildlife roams most frequently. This guide to spotting wildlife during your explorations of West Yellowstone in Montana will give you an even better idea of the types of animals you might be able to spot and photograph!

First, a Little of What to Expect

If this is your first time visiting Yellowstone, you may be wondering how you can find the wildlife that roams free throughout the park, and our most important piece of advice is to just keep your eyes peeled. As you are driving along the roads that meander through the park, you may come upon cars parked (safely) on the side of the road, and small groups of people milling around in the grassy areas with cameras and phones in hand. This is a sign that there is some sort of animal within sight, and when you realize that there are over 300 species of birds, six reptile species, and 67 species of mammals, you can pretty much count on being able to see something wild during your time in the park.

Exploring early in the day or later in the evening can help ensure a great sighting, as this is when the wildlife steps out to feed, and stopping by the visitor centers in Yellowstone can give you an idea of the most recent sightings. In addition to your cell phone and camera, be sure to add binoculars to your viewing supplies, ensuring that you can easily check out mountain goats scampering up the cliffs, or perhaps a herd of bison grazing in distant meadows.

Spring and Summer Viewing

By the time you are reading this, you may already be planning your summer vacation, but if you have no plans as of yet, late spring is the perfect time to visit, especially as the temperatures begin to warm up and the baby wildlife begins to make their appearance.

In April, the “red dogs” (baby bison) frolic in fields and pastures and the skies come to life with flocks of birds who are making their way here from Mexico, including swallows and peregrine falcons. Elk calves take their first steps in May, and wolf pups start to explore the world beyond their dens, and if you get to spot either of these sweet babies, be sure to document it with pictures so that you can keep the memories alive in your heart long after your vacation has reached its natural conclusion. In June, babies are all over the place, exploring their fresh new worlds much as your own babies once did, bringing an innocent joy to your Yellowstone adventures.

Every month in Yellowstone provides a new opportunity to explore the wild side of our beloved national park, ensuring that you enjoy a vacation unlike any you have experienced before.

Animal Encounters to Remember

Yellowstone is where the wildlife lives, and as visitors in their homes, you will experience your own animal encounters that may thrill. Whether it is a lone wolf walking through the parking lot of a visitors center late at night or you find yourself suddenly in the center of a herd of bison as you are driving along one of our roads, these experiences will change you in ways you never thought possible.

But, as we mentioned earlier in this paragraph, it is also important that you remember you are in there home and the wildlife that lives here is, well, wild. There are no gates, no corrals, no fenced-in habitats, and if you do encounter an animal during your explorations, stay a safe distance away and do not attempt to pet them, no matter how cute and cuddly those bear cubs may look; mamas are destined to be nearby, and they do not take kindly to interlopers touching their babies.

Bring It Home to Sweet Home Montana

When it is time to take a walk on the mild side, our Sweet Home Montana vacation properties will all be located just a short distance away from the gates to Yellowstone, ensure your drive from wild to comfy will be a short one. Offering the rustic charms of country cabins and all the comforts of home, don’t be surprised if you hear the cries of lonely elk seeking a mate in the late night hours or if you catch sight of a timid doe stepping out from the tree line as the sun sets over the Montana landscape. Contact us today and choose your favorite Montana escape today!