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Best Park to see Animals

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Jan 12th, 2005, 08:55 AM
  #1
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Best Park to see Animals

We are contemplating a trip to a National Park--and my main reason for going is to see wild animals.Any suggestions on the best park for this purpose,and the best time of year???Thanks alot!
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Jan 12th, 2005, 09:33 AM
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In Yellowstone last June, we saw bison, pronghorn antelope, beavers, eagles, a coyote and more. Late spring/early summer is a good time with good weather and lighter crowds than mid-summer.
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Jan 12th, 2005, 09:44 AM
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Banff National Park or Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada.

Spring, summer, autumn.
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Jan 12th, 2005, 09:49 AM
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Denali in Alaska.
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Jan 12th, 2005, 01:01 PM
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In Yellowstone-Grand Tetons we've seen black bears, grizzly bear, bison heards, moose, eagles, & elk.

Jasper-Banff National Parks we've seen black bears, grizzly bear, moose, mountain goats, coyote, & big horn sheep.

We saw a lot of wildlife when we drove the Alaska Highway, but saw very little in Denali National Park. I was kind of disappointed in Denali, but your spotting might vary.

We usually go June or July.

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Jan 12th, 2005, 01:07 PM
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There is no solid answer to this question other than a zoo. they are animals after all with their own agendas.

That being said, mile for mile, we saw more animals, closer, at Custer in the Black Hills than anywhere else including every park mentioned above (except Denali, haven't been there). Early and late in the day are best for animal movement no matter where you are.

PS: Animal Kingdom at WDW is a sure thing as well ;-)
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Jan 12th, 2005, 02:41 PM
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I've been to all the places noted here, and seeing animals in the wild is a passion of mine.

For me it'd be a tie between the Yellowstone region and Denali. Early spring is a good time to see animals, as they come out of their wintering grounds being famished. The best time of the day to see them is dawn or dusk.

Interestingly, many of the times I've put out the most effort to see animals have turned out to be the least effective times. I've done much better just driving in an area where animals congregate. The two I noted above make it almost impossible NOT to see a wide variety of large animals in the wild.
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Jan 12th, 2005, 03:05 PM
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If you want to see animals, skip the national park, and head to the Bronx Zoo or National Zoo in D.C. Those poor animals are kept in cages that are smaller than NYC apartments.

But seriously, we saw a lot more animals in Yellowstone than any other park I've visited. In fact, you will be quite sick of bison after you leave Yellowstone.
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Jan 12th, 2005, 03:43 PM
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Regarding Denali, like most parks, it depends on where you go. I doubt if you'd see a whole lot on one of the major busses going the minimal distance into the park -- or even driving as far as you can go. But we saw a ton of them on the long ride all the way back to the Denali Backcountry Lodge, and saw even more coming back out as the first vehicle early in the morning. Caribou, lynx, grizzlies, a whole pack of wolves.
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Jan 12th, 2005, 06:12 PM
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We have visited all the parks and I have to say Glacier was where we saw the most animals. Denali was great, grizzlies and cubs!, but that is a long trip. Yellowstone was also good, but the crowds were pretty big. There are lots of animals on the Icefields Highway between Banff (which has more elk than people) and Jasper.
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Jan 12th, 2005, 06:16 PM
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We saw lots of animals at Glacier and in the nearby National Bison Range.
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Jan 12th, 2005, 09:13 PM
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It's not a national park but the place we've seen the most animals was Custer State Park in South Dakota. Great lodging at the "resorts" within the park as well.
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Jan 12th, 2005, 10:57 PM
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Definitely Jurassic Park.
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Mar 30th, 2005, 07:05 AM
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As a wildlife and nature nut who goes to all the animal hot spots, I think I'd have to vote for Custer State Park in mid-summer. But avoid the week that the motorcyclists all converge on Sturgis, South Dakota. During that week, the wildlife tends to be scarce due to the extra people and noise. In addition to wildlife watching on your own, you can go in jeeps with guides who do a safari-type outing that gets you closer to more wildlife.

I'll mention two other options that may not be as convenient or are not in the parks category. If you are a bear fan, these might be of interest.

Katmai in Alaska is a brown bear (grizzly) haven. Either Brooks Falls, where the bears fish for salmon, or day trips from Homer would give you plenty of bear activity. I've gone with Hallo Bay Wilderness Lodge, out of Homer, which does both day trips and overnights for as long as you want.

The Vince Shute Bear Sanctuary in Orr, Minnesota, about a mile south of International Falls, offers amazing black bear viewing every dusk from Memorial Day to Labor Day, Tues through Sunday for free. The bears enter and leave the sanctuary's meadow and trees of the unfenced grounds at will. There is a 50-year history of putting out food for the bears at this location, so generations have been coming to this spot to supplement their diet. The free viewing for the public is on elevated wooden platforms and members of the sanctuary are there to answer questions about the black bears and provide information. If you pay the photographer's fee, you can spend the entire day with the bears on the ground. Iíve also seen deer and woodchucks at the sanctuary.

Feel free to contact me if you want at the above email address.

Happy travels.
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Mar 30th, 2005, 09:11 AM
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I vote for Yellowstone. You can't help but see wildlife as you are driving through the park...bison, deer, and elk were right next to the car! My kids joined the Junior Ranger program and received a checklist of animals in the park. Every day we saw different animals to check off.
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Mar 30th, 2005, 09:12 AM
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Katmai National Park and Preserve- day trip with the best company in Homer to see almost hundred grizzly bears. In one day. Emerald Air Service
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Mar 30th, 2005, 09:24 AM
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Zoos aside, I have to concur with Yellowstone and Custer State Park. I have also visited Denali and Katmai, and while both provided decent viewing (Denali an assortment of animals; Katmai primarily bears) I didn't find them to be as good as the former.

I would also suggest the National Bison Range which is located near Ronan, MT. Bison, elk, and pronghorn in large numbers when we visited in September a number of years ago.

Glacier was a bust for me.
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Mar 30th, 2005, 09:30 AM
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If you are interested in marine life, I would recommend either a Kenai Fjords or a Glacier Bay tour.
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Mar 30th, 2005, 09:35 AM
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Take the 12 hour school bus trip into Denali Park. (Bring a pillow unless your butt is extremely well padded!). But do not expect to see the variety of 'wild' animals you would see at the St. Louis Zoo--which I feel is excellent. Plus, the STL zoo is free!
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Mar 30th, 2005, 10:47 AM
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Outside of Alaska, I think our second best success for animals was not at a National Park, but rather at Custer State Park in South Dakota, which we loved. Be prepared to stop your car as you are surrounded by bison, but there are many other animal sightings there as well.
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