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Bridalveil Falls, Yosemite National Park

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Re: Wildlife Sightings

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Wildlife Sightings
December 31, 2014 09:41AM

I have never been to the USA. I live in South Africa and I often go to wildlife game reserves.
I would love to go Yosemite to view wildlife.
Do a lot of people go there to view wildlife? Or just for the scenery?

Re: Wildlife Sightings
December 31, 2014 03:08PM
I think some people go to Yosemite to appreciate the wildlife---although it really doesn't compare on that level with Africa. The only park in the US that can hold a candle to those is Yellowstone, where we have seen Moose, Elk, Bighorn Sheep, Deer, Bison, and Mountain Goats all on the same day.

In Yosemite you will probably see deer and maybe a bear. Coyotes are less likely, I think,. And then lots of smaller animals (squirrels, chipmunks, etc.) and lots of birds.

But the scenery in Yosemite is simply stunning. And that's why most people go there.


follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
avatar Re: Wildlife Sightings
January 01, 2015 12:34AM
Coyotes are less likely, I think,

There are usually some in the Valley begging for handouts.
Re: Wildlife Sightings
January 01, 2015 12:42AM
Thanks so much!
But do you think there are atleast one or two sightings each day?
avatar Re: Wildlife Sightings
January 01, 2015 03:01PM
If you are a bird-watcher, Yosemite won't disappoint. Yosemite has a variety of wild birds that you will be able to spot if you have a sharp eye (and a good pair of binoculars helps too). They include falcons, eagles, hawks, kingfishers, woodpeckers, ravens, jays and many more types of birds.

In regards to mammals, beside the small rodents (squirrels, field mice, etc.), you very likely see deer and at least one coyote if you spend at least two days in Yosemite. Bears can be spotted too, but it's hit and miss. Though if you see a lot cars parked on the side of a road staring into a field or the woods, it's probably because they're watching a bear.

As someone else has already stated, if you want to see wildlife in the lower 48 states in the United States, Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming would be your best bet. In California, if you want to spot a black bear, they're more common and visible in Sequoia National Park than Yosemite.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/01/2015 03:04PM by plawrence.
Re: Wildlife Sightings
January 01, 2015 11:26PM
Thanks so much everyone!

And last question, if you are looking for wildlife or birds, can you just rely on driving on roads? Or you mostly hike there?

avatar Re: Wildlife Sightings
January 02, 2015 06:01AM
You would get out of the car. There are at least a hundred places along the roads in the park where you can stop and walk 100 or so meters into the woods and sit in a folding chair and wait a while. All sorts of things will pop out. Look at the map that shows the roads in the park and you will see that the valley proper is a very small part of the park.

Old Dude
Re: Wildlife Sightings
January 03, 2015 09:22PM
I was in Yosemite for the past week and saw at least one coyote everyday, sometimes several a day.
Re: Wildlife Sightings
January 01, 2015 06:51AM
Deer, probably, particularly if you spend time in the meadows in the middle of the valley around dawn or dusk. . The others you might not see for days....unless there is a problem bear in your campground that arrives every night. For obvious reasons, that is a short term situation and can 't be predicted.


follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
Re: Wildlife Sightings
January 01, 2015 09:12AM
About 80% of the Yosemite's larger critters are nocturnal...probably not going to see them much unless lucky and /or quiet.
Bears do abound but mostly seen nowadays in Valley campgrounds foraging for a convenient meal - seldom (rare) in the backcountry due to strict regs about carrying bear cans today.

Squirrels, marmots, and mule deer are common...maybe the illusive pika up high, but heard more often than seen...perhaps a rare sighting of Big Horn sheep...flying squirrels...lots of bats.
There are rattlesnakes, gopher snakes, and king snakes but rare there too.
Birds are the main draw - Eagles and Osprey, Stellers Jays, Clarks Nutcrackers, Red tail Hawk, Woodpeckers, Ravens, Ouzels, Great horned owls...lots of small brown birds, .
avatar Re: Wildlife Sightings
January 01, 2015 09:44AM
Just a note regarding the smaller 4-legged mammals. Many of them have learned to become beggars because they look so cute and people like to feed them. This is actually killing them because they spend their summer begging for food rather than storing it for the winter. When winter comes they starve to death. You probably know this but just in case, please don't feed the animals. Also, if you take a break on a trail watch your day packs. The little beggars will sneak right up and steal from your pack if you let them. Enjoy.winking smiley
avatar Re: Wildlife Sightings
January 01, 2015 02:27PM
Mostly for the scenery. Wildlife is bonus in the heavily visited places. The "big game" is more in the back country.

Old Dude
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