Animal-lovers can find much to love in America’s national parks, which showcase a spectacular array of ecosystems and the abundant wildlife to match.
Mountainous regions with massive acreage attract larger mammals, while smaller parks near urban areas are home to more familiar creatures. Destinations near bodies of water have the added bonus of aquatic wildlife. And don’t forget to look upward: Birds may be challenging to catch in a photo, but they're fascinating to observe in action.
Some species are relatively easy to locate, while others are elusive or camouflaged. Planning a dawn or dusk adventure — or visiting during the less crowded off-season — may increase the possibility of encountering an animal. Sheer luck can also be a huge factor.
In America's most popular national parks, we've rounded up 45 animals that it's worth the effort to seek out. Some are mighty (grizzly bears, desert bighorn sheep, elephant seals), while others are adorable (beavers, marmots, pikas). All belong on your bucket list.
Don't forget your binoculars — or your camera.