Nature & Wildlife

Nature & Wildlife

Yosemite National Park plays host to a myriad of plants and wildlife through a range of ecosystems that span 1,169 square miles. With over 400 species that call Yosemite home, there is plenty of life at the park. Hiking allows for the best opportunities to catch a glimpse of the wildlife in Yosemite. 

Here are a few animals you may spot on your visit:

Black Bear

There are around 300-500 black bears that dwell in Yosemite National Park. Black bears despite their name are more brown in appearance. Learn how to be "Bear Aware."


It is fairly common to see coyotes in the park. Coyotes are typically shy and avoid human interaction. If you don't see a coyote, you may hear them howling in the evenings. 

Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep

There are over 600 bighorn sheep in Yosemite National Park thanks to efforts to preserve the species. The Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep are currently on the endangered species list. These sheep prefer the higher elevations of the park, so it is best to spot them with binoculars. 

Mule Deer

Deer are very common in the park and many have become accustom to humans being nearby. It is important to not feed or touch the deer. More injuries have been reported from deer than from bears in the park. 


Birders love Yosemite as there are over 262 species in the park! With the varying elevations, seasons and terrain, there is a wide array of birds to see depending on when and where you are in the park. 

In partnership with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, you can now get the inside scoop on which birds you might see during your next visit!

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