The Greater Yellowstone Region is a dream-come-true for wildlife and nature photographers—both professionals and amateurs alike! This area is home to the most abundant and diverse herds of large wildlife species in the lower 48 states including bison, bighorn sheep, elk, moose, grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, pronghorn, and deer. Raptors include bald eagles, golden eagles, peregrine falcons, osprey, great horned owls, and hawks.
Take a drive on any backroad (or even in the town of Gardiner!) and you will most likely come upon wildlife. Jardine Rd., Tom Miner Basin, Old Yellowstone Trail, and Paradise Valley’s East River Rd and Trail Creek Rd. are a few locations where you will find wildlife, along with spectacular scenic vistas.
Yellowstone’s Northern Range from Gardiner to Cooke City is accessible year-round which allows for incredible photography opportunities no matter the time of year. You’ll find resident elk and bison herds at Mammoth Hot Springs. Bison, wolves, and bears amongst other wildlife species frequent the Lamar Valley, and moose wander around the Cooke City/Silver Gate area. If you’d like to go on a guided tour and let the experts drive while leading you to area wildlife, click on this link.
- Unmanned aircraft are prohibited in Yellowstone. Launching, landing, or operating unmanned aircraft (drones) on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service is prohibited.
- There are rules regarding commercial photography in the Custer Gallatin National Forest. There are also rules in Yellowstone National Park
- Because you are in bear country, always be aware of your surroundings and carry bear spray! Please click on this link for important information on safety while viewing wildlife in and outside of the Park.
- Remember, it is illegal to willfully remain near or approach wildlife, including birds, within ANY distance that disturbs or displaces the animal.
- The optimal times of day for wildlife sightings, and great photography lighting conditions, are early mornings and evenings. Make sure you have extra camera batteries and be prepared to have the time of your life photographing nature!