Best time to travel to Yellowstone National Park

Grizzly Bears in Yellowstone National Park

The greatest attraction or the greatest risk? Maybe both!

Best time: March–early November

Grizzly Bears
Grizzly Bears
Grizzly Bears
Grizzly Bears
Grizzly Bears

The greater Yellowstone ecosystem and north-west Montana are the only places where large populations of grizzly bears can be found. Around 150 grizzly bears live in the park. They are massive animals, almost twice as big as black bears with a weight of around 300 kg. They have a large hump above the shoulders and have an upturned nose. Grizzly bears can run up or downhill, swim, and even climb trees. When growing older it becomes too heavy to climb and longer curved claws make it more difficult. It can run at speeds up to 55 km/h. Grizzlies are hibernators with a mating season in spring and cubs are born during winter.

Grizzly bears are one of the most popular reasons people come to Yellowstone Park. But you shouldn't forget that they are also rather aggressive. In the park, there are lots of rules on how to behave if you meet a bear. Rule no.1—don't get too close, watch them from a safe place and large distance.

The best time to see grizzlies is early in the morning, late in the evening, and at night. The best viewing spots are located around Yellowstone Lake, Fishing Bridge, Hayden and Lamar valleys, Swan Lake Flats, and the East Entrance. In mid-summer, they are mainly seen near the Tower–Roosevelt meadows and in the Hayden and Lamar valleys.

Practical info

When is the best time to visit Yellowstone National Park to see grizzly bears?

To catch grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park, visiting between March and early November is ideal, with mid-summer being the peak time. They can be easily spotted near the Tower-Roosevelt meadows, Hayden and Lamar valleys, and sometimes even early in the morning and late at night. Show more

Where are the best viewing spots for grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park?

Yellowstone Lake, Fishing Bridge, Hayden and Lamar valleys, Swan Lake Flats, and the East Entrance are known for being the prime viewing spots for grizzly bears. However, maintaining a safe distance from the bears cannot be overemphasized. The Tower-Roosevelt meadows and Hayden and Lamar valleys are the popular areas to spot them in the summer. Show more

How many grizzly bears are there in the park?

The total population of grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park is around 150, making it one of the most significant populations of grizzly bears in the United States. They are impressive animals, but it's essential to observe them from a safe distance to avoid any untoward accidents. Show more

Are grizzly bears aggressive towards humans?

There have been reports of grizzly bears showing aggression towards humans. They are more aggressive than black bears, and park visitors must be well-aware of safety rules when sharing space with these animals. It's necessary to keep a safe distance from them and avoid surprising or provoking them. Show more

Do grizzly bears hibernate?

Grizzly bears hibernate during the winter months from November to March in Yellowstone National Park. The period of hibernation helps the grizzly bears save energy by slowing down their metabolism and entering a state of reduced activity, breathing, and heart rate. During hibernation, female grizzlies usually give birth to cubs. Show more

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