Best time to travel to Yellowstone National Park

Moose in Yellowstone National Park

Follow the song of a bull moose during the mating season. But watch out and don't come too close!

Best time: September–October


In the last 40 years, the number of moose has declined, but still you can find around 200 individuals living in the territory of Yellowstone Park. These are the largest animals of the deer family. Males weigh around 450 kg and are 1.6-2.2 metres high at the shoulder. Their lifespan is around 20 years. You can see them along the rivers and near lakes.

In Yellowstone moose are spotted in forested areas and willow flats. They are well adapted to survival in the deep snow that appears in Greater Yellowstone. Moose are mainly seen alone or in small families. But during the rut season, from late September till early October, things change. At this time bulls and cows call for each other, and this can be heard from a distance of 500 m.

Although these animals aren't aggressive, during the mating season they can be quite dangerous, especially bulls. One more curious fact about the rut is the changing of habitat. During the rest of the year, bulls stay on higher elevations, while cows with calves stay closer to water in the lowlands. When the rut season comes, moose bulls leave their constant habitat and rove the forests, lowlands, and wetlands searching for cows.

Practical info

When is the best time to visit Yellowstone National Park to see moose during the rut season?

To observe moose during their rut season, you should visit Yellowstone National Park between late September and early October. This is when bull and cow moose call for each other to mate, and you can get an excellent opportunity to see them up close. Keep in mind, however, that bull moose can be particularly aggressive during this time and caution is advised. Show more

Where in Yellowstone National Park can I spot moose during my visit?

Moose in Yellowstone National Park can typically be found living in forested areas and willow flats. They are known to reside near rivers and lakes, but can survive in deep snow. Moose are often seen alone or in small families, however, during their mating season, bull moose move to the wetlands, forests, and lowlands in search of mating partners. Show more

How many moose can be found living in Yellowstone National Park?

Yellowstone National Park is home to approximately 200 moose, but this number has decreased in the last four decades. Moose are part of the deer family, and male specimen can weigh up to 450 kg, reaching up to 1.6-2.2 metres tall at the shoulder. This type of animal is known to be nocturnal and solitary in their behavior. Show more

What makes the mating season of moose different from other times of the year?

The breeding season of moose, also called rut, takes place between late September and October. During this time, bull and cow moose call for each other to mate. These calls can be heard from a distant 500 m away. Moose's habitats also change during this time, and male moose will move to the wetlands, lowlands, and forests in search of mates. Show more

Is it safe to get close to moose during the rut season?

For safety reasons, it's necessary to keep a safe distance from moose during rut season. Bulls tend to be aggressive and territorial when searching for females. Moose are considered the largest animals in the deer family and can be very dangerous. While attacks on people are rare, caution should always be exercised when observing them in Yellowstone National Park. Show more

Ask a question

Find hotels and airbnbs near Moose (Map)

Last updated: