20 Amazing Wildlife Photos in Yellowstone National Park
Bears, moose, elks, oh my! These stunning animal photos capture the true essence of Yellowstone National Park.
Momma and babies
“I was working in Yellowstone National Park one summer. We were driving to work and saw a bear crossing the road. We stopped in amazement as three little cubs were following her. They had just crossed the river and were soaked. Mom headed up the mountain with babes running behind. They were so small and so cute! This was truly a once in a lifetime moment. One of the cubs struggled to keep up. Mom was patient to wait on him. He is the one with his nose sticking out from behind the safety of her side. What a precious sight, one that I will never forget.” —Becky Farrell. Check out these spectacular photos of America’s national parks.
“Yellowstone National Park has always meant a lot to me. The amount of wildlife alone is enough to draw me to Yellowstone, much less the scenic views and unique geological features. The geysers and hot springs create some beautiful landscapes, but I will always appreciate the variety of wildlife and the chance to see up close bears and wolves. To see massive herds of antelope, elk, and bison walk right past your car is a one-of-a-kind experience. But to see the wolves? That was truly awe-inspiring.” —Ali Berezin
Open meadow sunset
“Yellowstone National Park was our first National Park and still remains my favorite after visiting it every year for many seasons. The dazzling array of thermal features plentiful wildlife and beautiful landscapes will forever capture our attention. In this image, I felt lucky to have photographed a bull elk and cow in an open meadow with the setting sun casting color in the background near the Madison River. For me, the best time to visit Yellowstone is in the fall during the annual elk rut which happens at the same time as peak fall color in the National Park to the south in the Tetons. Both of these parks are beautiful and serene.” —Brent Young. Check out these stunning photos of national parks in full bloom.
“While exploring the Mud Volcano area of Yellowstone National Park; I had the exciting opportunity to capture this photo. My parents and I were headed down a quiet walkway where no other people were venturing at the time. We all stopped as we heard a small creature fussing at us; unsure if it was bird or mammal. Suddenly one of the tiny things darted across the walkway in front of us and up a dead tree limb where is proceeded to loudly express its disapproval of our presence. We could then see that it was an adorable Uinta Chipmunk, and it was not alone! Two others came out near the edge of the walkway and began calling back to the first. We stayed to watch them for a while it was definitely a fun experience.” —Cammie Myers
“All in nature does not have to be perfect to be perfectly beautiful. This Pronghorn calls the Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park home. I sat and watched him as he stopped to watch me. It was almost as if he was posing so I could share his unique look! I have seen many pronghorn in my travels but this gentleman will always be my favorite.” —Catherine Cox
“I chose this photograph because it was a moment we almost missed. Heading toward the summit of Beartooth Pass in Yellowstone National Park we were constantly on the lookout for grizzly bears and wolves. Something drew my eyes upward (about 100 feet up) and there in an old scraggly pine tree was a family of Great Horned Owls. The kids fell in love with them as they appeared to be posing so perfectly for us.” —Collesce Beck. Here is what national parks look like covered in snow.
“I have taken many trips to Yellowstone National Park to hike and photograph the wildlife and scenery. I love this fall shot of an elk since it reminds me of what an amazing time fall is at Yellowstone. The crowds are down; the animals are more prevalent and the bull elk engage in sparring matches with other males starting with a bugling call and then coming face to face and hitting antlers against each other.” —Dave Gish
“While stopping near Sheepeater Cliffs in Yellowstone National Park, we heard a series of little squeaks and yelps. It took a few minutes to find the source of the commotion, but eventually, I saw this little pika alerting its nearby friends about our presence.” —Elisa Shaw
Built for the cold
“Winter in Yellowstone National Park is the best way to witness the bison. One really gets a sense of how amazingly insulated and adapted they are for survival in the cold.” —Erica Harvey.
Year of the fox
“I had only ever seen a wild fox three times in my entire life, let alone photographed one with my DSLR. Then I visit Yellowstone National Park this past February (2016) and I see 14 or more. Not openly did I photograph many of them I witnessed them hunting in the snow. What a treat!” —Erica Harvey
“I walked with this wolf for approximately a quarter mile along a small lake south of Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park. I then ran ahead and took this picture as he came clear of some trees. The wolf then crossed behind me and disappeared in tall timber. A memorable experience.” —John R. Carlson
Mammoth hot springs
“Yellowstone in the spring is a wonderful time to see new life unfold. Newborn bison calves are especially plentiful. This calf was really trying to get the attention of the adults!” —Laurie Gerber.
“My family spent one week at Yellowstone Park this past June. Near the end of our trip, we encountered this amazing elk. It was early in the day and my husband and I were driving north from our cabin near Yellowstone Lake and I spotted two enormous elk about 50 feet from the road. The animals were busy eating and paid no attention to me as I left my car and was able to snap a couple of photos. I was able to take this image while standing close to my car because I didn’t want to disturb the two wild animals. The antlers were impressive even from afar.” —Marcia Pedriana
Grazing in the pond
“The first time myself along with my family ever saw a Moose live. It was so cool!” —Mark Webb
Speaking of moose, learn the correct plural of moose.
“In Yellowstone, a bald eagle had just caught this rabbit when our vehicle approached him on the side of the road. He was not happy with the thought of us taking his meal. We watched him for several minutes as he decided what to do. He hopped along the side of the road all the while holding on to his rabbit. Finally taking flight with his dinner we watched as he flew somewhat awkwardly away to enjoy his catch. This encounter was the closest one we have ever had with a bald eagle and will be one we will never forget.” —Michael Abraham. These are the most majestic birds found in nature.
A rare glance
“In Yellowstone Park, you can see plenty of buffalo, elk, and deer and if you look carefully enough, you will spot a bear or two roaming across the prairie or through the trees. This little ole coyote was wandering through the bushes and you could see just the tufts of his ears. I stopped the car and whistled a bit to see if I could get a reaction, in hopes to maybe get a better peek at this fellow. Much to my surprise and excitement, he took a moment and stopped as if he were posing for my picture. Not very often do these critters give anyone a glance or an eye. A coyote like a fox or a wolf remains pretty shy to the human visitors in the park. It’s definitely a treat to see one in the wild.” —Ralph Weatherstone
“I was so excited to finally see a moose in Yellowstone and then her baby stood up and started nursing! I didn’t care that it was sleeting. I just sat and took pictures.” —Sharon Andreassen. These arrestingly beautiful photos stand the test of time.
Grizzly in the wild
“Grizzly bears are symbolic of our remaining wilderness and it is always a lucky treat to encounter them. This guy was turning over rocks near the road that goes to Cooke City, Montana, near the northeast entrance of Yellowstone. It is late October, already with moderate snow at this higher elevation, but this road is kept open as it’s the only way in and out for the people who live there. He’s probably close to denning and they are said to eat 23 hours per day during this hyperphagic period before hibernating. Wildlife photography is being prepared to be lucky in my opinion.” —Steven Akre
“Finally captured a bighorn sheep in the wild close up. Outside of Yellowstone Park in Wyoming.” —Arthur Holderied
Along the river
“Yellowstone National Park in the winter is extraordinary. Frigid temperatures but steaming geyser basins. Spectacular scenery and wildlife watching but still very serene. In January 2017, I was able to spend several days in the interior of the park. It was magical! To catch a Bobcat along a river is quite out of the ordinary.” —Carol Braman. Now, check out the most amazing animal photos of the year.