Wildlife Guide

Like so many national parks in the US West, Yosemite is an outstanding haven for wildlife. You don’t have to stray far from paved roads to spot a black bear sow and her cubs foraging in a grassy meadow, or a red fox racing across new-fallen snow.

On just about any hiking trail, you’re likely to encounter a mule deer bounding through the forests filled with the songs and calls of myriad species of birds. Endangered bighorn sheep tenaciously survive at higher elevations, where yellow-bellied marmots dart among the granite talus, ever curious about human interlopers in their high Sierra Nevada home.

At almost the same breathtaking altitudes, the park’s Tuolumne Meadows is famous for its summer displays of alpine wildflowers. Groves of giant sequoias grow throughout Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon National Parks. In the eastern Sierra Nevada you can find stands of ancient bristlecone pines, the oldest trees on Earth.


Black Bears

Of all the megafauna found in Yosemite National Park, black bears are what most people come to see. (The last grizzly bear was destroyed in California in the early 1920s.) If you’re lucky, you’ll observe a black bear in the wild behaving naturally, for example, foraging for berries and flowers or ripping apart logs to snag the tasty insects living underneath the bark. In park campgrounds and other developed areas, as well as during backcountry trips, proper storage of food and other scented items is of critical importance, both to protect yourself and wild bears.  > See More

Mule Deer

Just about the most easily spotted animal in the park, mule deer are almost everywhere you look, whether bounding across meadows or grazing beside trails in the forest. Mule deer are easily recognized by the shape of their ears, which really do resemble mules’ ears, and by their tails, most often white with black tips. Despite being preyed upon by mountain lions, mule deer are among the most prolific fauna in the park. You can see them year-round, but their most active time is in the fall, when males energetically battle each other for mates during the rutting season.  > See More

Bighorn Sheep

Few visitors to the Sierra Nevada will casually stumble across bighorn sheep, which inhabit the rocky high country of the Sierra Nevada. Their agility and sure-footedness are sure to astound, however, as you glimpse them leaping along mountainsides and effortlessly scaling vertiginous cliffs. Like mule deer, bighorn sheep rut dramatically in autumn. As temperatures cool further and winter approaches, bighorn sheep migrate down from Tioga Pass to lower elevations on the east side of the Sierra Nevada range. An endangered species, they are threatened not only from predation by mountain lions, but also from the loss of their natural habitat. Seeing one in the wild is a special gift.  > See More


Look skyward in Yosemite Valley and you may just catch sight of a peregrine falcon doing incredible dives as it hunts its prey. Making a comeback from the brink of extinction, these raptors now nest in Yosemite’s plentiful granite walls and domes. If you listen at night, you may hear the call of a great gray owl reverberating through the forests at higher elevations, where you’ll also hear the noisy hoots of male blue grouse. And these are just a few of the many species that birders can check off their life lists here – and we’ll show you where.  > See More


Wildlife Field Guides

> See More


Fish and Amphibians

> See More


Mountain Lions

> See More



> See More


Marmots and Squirrels

> See More


pentax yosemite national park pentax yosemite national park
The DCF SP series of binoculars offer exceptional image quality at a sensible price. This high performance model is the only choice for discerning users with uncompromising standards. They are perfect for a wide variety of applications such as close-up viewing and use in less-than-ideal weather conditions.
The DCF NV series offers the perfect combination of a semi-compact design with bright optics ideal for all around use. This model offers high resolution, phase-coated and super-reflective coated roof prisms that provide high contrast images. The DCF NV is an extremely lightweight and durable binocular.
pentax yosemite national park pentax yosemite national park
Named for the Latin word for butterfly, PENTAX Papilio binoculars are the perfect choice for insect and bird observation in the field or in museums and galleries. With a long 15 millimeter eye relief and a protective rubber housing, Papilio is a great choice for spectator sports, hiking and travel.
The XCF series offers outstanding optical performance with multi-coated optical elements, excellent viewing comfort and a fashionable black-finish encased in a full-body rubber housing. With four different magnifications to choose from, the versatile PENTAX XCF series is ideal for almost any application — from casual viewing to serious observation.
Close X