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How To Spot Wildlife in Yosemite


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Hi, I'm Anne!

Anne Lowrey is an award-winning travel writer and book editor based in San Francisco. She believes passionately in the balance of travel and home. Find her at parttimetraveler.com and @anne_elizabeth on Twitter and Instagram.

Many make the trip into Yosemite National Park in search of mountain peaks, waterfalls, and the area’s varied wildlife. But it can be hard to spot some of the park’s 400+ species of animals. Here are the best ways to see bears, foxes and more.

What You Can See

Black bears, mule deer, bobcats, mountain lions, foxes, and bighorn sheep are some of the most commonly spotted mammals at Yosemite National Park. There are also more than 250 species of birds, plus a variety of amphibians and reptiles, including three species that can only be found in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Keep an eye out for turtles, snakes, and the Yosemite toad.

Tips for Wildlife Viewing

  • Stay quiet. Large and small animals will both steer clear of loud noises or rapid movements.

  • Avoid large groups of people. Wild animals are not likely to be found near crowds.

  • Look for animal tracks. Evidence of an animal’s presence is the best clue that they may be nearby.

  • Do not disturb the animals’ habitats. Respect the home of wildlife, and do not cause harm to them or yourself in an attempt to encounter animals.

  • Check in with a National Park Service ranger they have the latest information and tips for wildlife viewing.

More ways to explore Yosemite National Park

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