Glacier National Park
Wildlife
 
 


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Glacier National Park is grizzly bear country! All grizzly bear safety rules apply.Never camp with food in your tent. Keep all food in your car with the windows rolled up, or in bear proof containers away from your tent. In the backcountry, keep food a quarter mile from camp and suspended. Do not cook or prepare food near your tent in the backcountry. If fishing, never leave entrails along the shore. Throw them in the deepest part of the lake that you can. Always carry bear spray when hiking Glacier National Park, and make sure you make noise when hiking so you do not surprise the great bears. Many of the camp stores do carry bear spray for around $50.



Not only is Glacier National Park one of the most scenic parks in the U.S., it also happens to have the most full and intact array of wildlife. It's only wildlife peers in the lower 48 are Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks (also covered in our Northern Rocky Mountains Campground DVD's). Glacier National Park, along with Yellowstone National Park arehome to the last sizable grizzly populations in the lower 48. This is truly wild country. Your best bet of spotting a grizzly would be on the trails or the Many Glacier trailhead lot.

New - Check out our Valley of the Snow Grizzlies photo page!

Glacier National Park is incredibly diverse. Its huge lakes, many different old growth tree species, mountains, rivers and alpine tundra are home to mountain goats, moose, wolves, elk, bighorn sheep, cougar, black bear, fisher, pine marten, wolverine, lynx, bobcat, bald eagle, golden eagle, osprey, otters, various hawks, owls, mule , white tail deer, and many others too numerous too mention. The west side of Glacier National Park gets more moisture than most places in the Rockies and is home to rare animal and plant species.

Mountain goats can often be seen at Goat Lick, along U.S. 2 near Essex. They can also frequently be seen at Logan Pass on Going To the Sun Road, along with bighorn sheep. Moose can often be spotted in Many Glacier valley and around the ponds at Two Medicine. Wolverines are sometimes spotted in the tundra near Logan Pass, along with grizzly bears. Wolves are mostly spotted on the west side side of the park, north and west of Lake McDonald. Osprey and bald eagles are easily seen along the park's scenic lakes. Lynx are present but hard to find. Bobcat also call the park home. Coyotes range throughout the park. Mountain lions are present but difficult to see.

You can read the printable Glacier National Park mammal and bird checklist at these PDF links. Print them out and enjoy them on your trip:

free Adobe PDF reader
Birds of Glacier National Park
Mammals of Glacier National Park

Photography in Glacier National Park is an amazing experience. If you enjoy nature photography (both landscape and wildlife), Glacier is the place to be. For the wildlife, a 300mm lens should put you in a good position to get some nice bear or moose shots. Your standard 3x zoom consumer camera might work for curious bighorn sheep and mountain goats on Logan Pass. So if you want wildfire shots, but only have a consumer 3x zoom, head up to Logan early and often. For DSLR users, a 28mm lens should be wide enough (18mm on a 1.6x crop sensor) for most of Glacier's scenery. Bring your favorite wide angle lens and your favorite zoom to appreciate Glacier. If you only bring a wide angle you will miss out on the fantastic wildlife opportunities. A spotting scope
is very helpful in catching Glacier wildlife as the animals are often high up on
the slopes.

Always respect wildlife. Give wildlife enough room and do not crowd them while taking a picture. You could spook the animal for others, or even injure yourself. Never approach bears in Glacier.



 


Parkcamper: Northern Rocky
Mountains Edition features
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Yellowstone, Grand Teton,
Badlands and Theodore
Roosevelt National Parks.
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