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Wildlife in the USA: Top 11 Wildlife Hotspots You Can’t-Miss

Wildlife in the USA: An eagle siting on a tree branch.

America is not just home to high-tech cities and towns but the wildlife in the USA is also rich and diverse that you cannot find anywhere else. It has deep forests, empty deserts, rugged mountain ranges, and some of the best national parks in the world for protecting wildlife reserves in the country.

From coral reefs in the Virgin Islands to the desert of California, there is a wide spectrum of wildlife in the USA and it is simply incredible. Diversity is the trademark of the country when it comes to wildlife habitats and biotopes.

You will explore eagles soaring in the skies, whales frolicking in the oceans, and wild buffaloes roaming the planes. Mountain lions are wandering in dense forests and rattlesnakes sunbathing on rocks. The tropical waters are occupied by manatees while the alligators laze on the riverbanks.

Top 11 Wildlife Hotspots to Witness Wildlife in the USA

There are numerous iconic species worth exploring when it comes to wildlife in the USA. If you are eager to explore wildlife, there here are some of the best places to wildlife in the USA.

1. Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is one of the oldest national parks in America and was established in 1872. This park encompasses a wide variety of natural features ranging from enormous mountains to geysers.

Yellowstone is a wildlife-rich region in North America and is undoubtedly the best national park for wildlife watching. This park is home to nearly 60 species of mammals. It includes the most iconic species ranging from grizzly bears to wolves, black bears to moose, elks to bighorn sheep, and other animals native to North America.

The national park is also home to some of the most iconic national park birds including swans, bald eagles, Sandhill cranes, trumpeter, and ravens. If you are a wildlife enthusiast and wager to go on a wildlife safari, then there cannot be a better place than Yellowstone National Park. Visit this place to experience some of the best wildlife in the USA.

2. Channel Islands National Park – Home to marine wildlife in the USA

Channel Islands National Park – Home to marine wildlife in the USA

This national park has earned the nickname, “the Galapagos of North America”. It is a major biodiversity hotspot. This mountainous archipelago is a refuge for numerous land and marine animals.

The region has been occupied by over 2,000 species of plants and animals. It is home to three endemic mammals – Spotted Skunk, Deer Mouse, and Channel Islands Fox. You can also spot Island Fence Lizard here. Thus the Channel Islands National Park is certainly one of the best places to see wildlife in the USA.

The surrounding waters also exhibit the greatest diversity. Present at the confluence of cool northern and warm subtropical ocean currents, these waters burst with life from microplankton to blue whales.

On a boat ride from the mainland, you can be certain to spot harbor seals, California sea lions, dolphins, humpback whales, and gray whales. Sharks can also be seen in these waters. Additionally, fin whales, orcas, and blue whales make occasional appearances in the summer.

3. Northern Maine: Moose Haven wildlife in the USA

Ever wanted to spot a moose? This Pine Tree State houses the largest population of moose in the Mainland US. There are over 75,000 moose in the region. The remote areas such as the Aroostook Country and the Maine Highlands are worth exploring. You can book a tour to watch moose in the wild from a canoe.

4. Katmai National Park

Katmai is undoubtedly one of the best places in the world for bear-watching. It is not easy to gain entry here. You must fly to a nearby town and then charter a plane to land in this national park.

If you have a thing for wildlife photography, then Katmai is going to offer you the ultimate experience. Apart from watching some of the biggest bears, you can also indulge in kayaking, wilderness camping, and canoeing at this place. Fishing is also permitted in the national park premises. All the adventure options make the Katmai an ideal place for wildlife vacations in the USA.

This park has only 5 miles of designated hiking trails. However, you can explore beyond the trails if you wish to. The region is one of the remotest and the wildest regions on earth. Visit this place for a phenomenal experience far from the hustle-bustle of everyday life to encounter the most exotic species of wildlife in the USA.

5. Virgin Islands National Park

Wildlife in the USA: Virgin Islands National Park

This tropical place is home to palm tree-lined beaches and mesmerizing coral reefs. It covers the entire Hassel and St. John Island and acres of surrounding waters. You can spot 50 species of coral and over 300 species of fish. This national park is one of the best snorkeling destinations in the world.

If you have a thing for exploring underwater life, then this is the place where you need to be. The major highlight of this national park is the signposted underwater snorkeling trails. Beginners need to begin with a self-guided underwater trail.

You will get to spot leatherback turtles, tropical fishes, dolphins, hummingbirds, pelicans, and more in this national park.

6. Point Reyes National Seashore, California

Over 2,500 elephant seals crowd the beaches of Point Reyes National Seashore. You can reach this place in an hour and a half from San Francisco. These marine creatures possess an elephant-like snout and can weigh up to 5,500 pounds.

Do check for seasonal closures prior to visiting. There is restricted access to beaches that are overrun with seals, however, you can still watch them from a distance.

7. Everglades National Park

This is the third-largest national park in the United States after Yellowstone and the Death Valley. It is popular for its vast tropical wilderness and for having the largest mangrove ecosystem in the Western Hemisphere.

This national park is super accessible and is one of the greatest national parks in America. It is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site that is also a wetland of international importance and an international biosphere reserve.

Everglades is the first American national park that was created to preserve an ecosystem. It has a massive network of forests, waterways, and wetlands which makes it quite unique. It is an important nesting region for water birds and is a habitat of both salt and freshwater fishes.

This national park is also home to threatened animals and iconic species such as American Crocodile, Florida Panther, and West Indian Manatee. The best way to animal spotting in this national park is by kayaking, hiking, and taking guided tours on iconic airboats.

8. Glacier Bay National Park

Wildlife in the USA: Glacier Bay National Park

This national park is situated to the west of Juneau and is a great place for watching marine life in the wild. It is popular for its deep fjords, forests, and imposing coastlines. The park is a part of the bi-national UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the best places to see wildlife in the USA.

The wild seas and the lands provide limitless opportunities for adventurous activities such as camping, mountaineering, and hiking. It offers a spectacular wildlife-watching program in the USA. 20 percent of the park is comprised of marine waters.

You can spot moose and brown bears roaming in the forests and the coats. The bald eagles soar high in the sky. The biggest spectacle is in the waters. You can spot sea otters, orcas, humpback whales, sea lions, seals, and mink whales in the region. You can check to find a suitable vacation rental property in the vicinity.

9. Rocky Mountain National Park

This is the closest national park to Denver and is the most accessible wildlife national park in America. There is so much to do here including camping, hiking, cycling, and more.

It houses some of the most extraordinary animals including mule deer, bighorn sheep, moose, elk herds, and more. It is also home to mountain lions and black bears. You can also spot beavers, bats, marmots, pikas, and numerous other bird species.

10. Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park

The largest wild herd of Roosevelt Elk in the USA can be found amid sub-alpine meadows and glacial streams of Washington. These elk are bigger than the usual varieties found elsewhere. You can watch them graze the ferns in the low land rain forest in this national park.

The rainforest offers you a plethora of opportunities for encountering a wild species. You can hike deeper into the forest alongside the Glacier Meadows to spy on elks. During the months of March to May, you can watch the annual migration of grey whales from Kalaloch Beach.

Have a look at our comprehensive Washington road trip destinations sampling to plan a trip in this state.

11. Badlands National Park

This national park has sprawling dusty plains that are home to black-tailed prairie dogs. These meerkats of the US are rodents, but their tiny bark has earned them the name. You can watch them burrow to escape cold winters, hot summers, and high winds. The Roberts Prairie Dog Town is the largest colony of these rodents in the US. You will also get a glimpse of grazing Bison, Pronghorns, Bighorn Sheep, Burrowing Owls, and Beavers in the region.

The national park has intense routes and unmarked trails where you can encounter several species of wildlife in the USA.

Wildlife in the USA: Conclusion

The USA offers a plethora of wildlife places to explore for wildlife enthusiasts. You can travel far and wide in the country to witness majestic animals in their natural habitat.

Browse if you are planning to visit any of the wildlife parks in the USA and are looking to book a property around that area. On the other hand, if you have a vacation rental property near any national park zone, you can list your property with us through a simple signup process to help wildlife enthusiasts by providing them a safe place to relax.

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