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Safety Tips for Viewing Yellowstone Wildlife

By Christine Gianas Weinheimer, Explore Big Sky Contributor

We’ve seen the viral photos and videos: wildlife close encounters of the wrong kind. But the fact is that animal attacks in Yellowstone are relatively rare and almost always preventable. It is easy to enjoy observing the park’s magnificent animals without putting yourself at risk.

“If you follow these five safety tips and take the Yellowstone Pledge [at], you will protect yourself and protect this exceptional place,” said Morgan Warthin, public affairs specialist for Yellowstone National Park. “Thanks for being a steward of Yellowstone.”

  1. Enjoy wildlife from a safe distance. Park regulations say you must stay at least 100 yards—the length of a football field—away from bears and wolves, and at least 25 yards away from all other large animals such as bison, elk, bighorn sheep, moose and coyotes. Don’t forget, bears and bison can easily outrun you, so maintain a safe distance from wildlife at all times.
  2. Carry bear spray. If you plan to hike in Yellowstone, bring bear spray and know how to use it. This is just as important for day hikes as it is for overnight hikes. You can purchase bear spray at numerous locations throughout the park, including Yellowstone Forever Park Stores, and even rent it at Canyon Village…


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