Animals in Yellowstone

I just got back from taking my daughter to Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park. We were there for several days and I have a lot of photos to go through. We did have a lot of fun looking for the large animals and I am posting some of those pictures today.

One thing that you will see plenty of in Yellowstone is bison. There are herds of these things everywhere and they often get in the road and block traffic. They don’t really seem to pay much attention to people as far as I can tell, but I don’t want to be close to something that massive and having those horns. The below photos were shot at 200mm focal length from a safe distance. I saw people getting much closer to get photos with their phones.

Bison in Yellowstone National Park
Bison in Yellowstone National Park
Bison Blocking Road in Yellowstone National Park
Bison Blocking Road in Yellowstone National Park

We also saw elk a few times. I do find the elk to be a bit more photogenic than the bison with their antlers. The two in the below photo were just resting near the side of the road as several dozen people gathered around to take their photos. I waited until they were in the frame together and for the one on the right to lift his head out of the grass to take this photo. I think I got a good profile of their antlers against the green backdrop of the hill.

Elk in Yellowstone
Elk in Yellowstone

There were also quite a few of these pronghorns around. I pulled over and waited for them to get into a good position to photo. They didn’t seem to care that I was there. There is a river down the hill behind this one, but I couldn’t find a way to get it in the frame.

Yellowstone Pronghorn
Yellowstone Pronghorn

Along the same road as the pronghorn we saw a lot of black bears, including a mother bear with her two cubs. The bears seemed not to take notice of the people but I gave them a lot of room anyway as I don’t want to face a mother bear that feels her cubs are being threatened. I took this from a hill across the road at 200mm. There were several people much close to the bears than we were and didn’t seem to be taking them seriously. The cubs were cute and I was glad that I bothered to pack my heavy longer lens for this trip.

Black Bear and Cubs in Yellowstone
Black Bear and Cubs in Yellowstone

Not far up the road we found this guy right along side the road digging at an insect nest I think. We were very close to this bear and in our car shooting out the window. The bear just went about his business of digging around and eating flowers. It was pretty cute.


We also saw a large grizzly bear but it was a long way off and I didn’t really get good pictures of it. Just the same, I am glad that it was a long way off.

We didn’t see any moose in Yellowstone and we were worried that we wouldn’t get to see any. But on our last day we went down to Grand Teton National Park, which is apparently where the moose like to hang out. Driving around we saw several moose including this one laying down in the grass near the roadside. I was pleased to get one with the large rack of antlers. We waited around several minutes for him to get up, but he seemed content to lay about in the late afternoon.


Those are my best animal pictures from Yellowstone and Grand Teton. It was a lot of fun finding the animals and stopping to look at them and shoot photos, though it does take quite a bit of patience with the crowds of RVs.

Thanks for reading.

7 thoughts on “Animals in Yellowstone

  1. Great shots. I really like the elk. That would make a nice, framable picture, in my view. We’re planning a trip to those parks, next month, and I’m glad my Nikon has a 60X zoom. Like you, I want to keep a safe distance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the compliments.

      Be prepared to be patient. Whenever there is an animal, sometimes people will just park in the middle of the road and block traffic because they’re special that way. There are a lot of pull-over areas along the roads though, so you can park and look at the animals.

      My daughter was really into looking for animals and she looked into the best time and read that the Lamar Valley area in the morning was a great place to see animals. So we did that a couple of mornings and saw a lot of black bears and other animals.

      The first day we didn’t make it to the park until about noon due to a luggage issue with the airline (long story). This was a terrible time to show up and we had to wait in a long line at the gate (over an hour). On the subsequent days we got to the park early and didn’t have to wait more than a couple of minutes at the gate. So, get there early if you are staying outside of the parks.

      If you are going to get out of your car, bring bug spray.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love these photos! I haven’t been to Yellowstone in over a decade and these really bring me back. I do remember the bison just crossing the road and us having to wait, which wasn’t a big deal. I’d love to go back now that I have some decent photography gear! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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