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view of mountain goats at Glacier National Park

Wildlife Watching

Glacier National Park

Watching Wildlife

Montana is home to some truly majestic creatures, big and small. From the prairies to the mountains, our beautiful natural landscapes provide a rich diversity and abundance of wildlife habitats. National Parks, state parks, forests, wilderness areas, and wildlife refuges offer prime opportunities for wildlife watching, but head outdoors anywhere in Big Sky Country while paying attention and you're bound to encoutner some of our amzing fauna. 

Keep the following guidelines in mind whenever you're on the lookout for Montana wildlife. 

For Safe Viewing

Montana's wildlife are not pets. Never try to touch them, chase them, disturb them or take photos of them with kids sitting on their backs. Remember: these are wild animals in their natural habitat. distrupting that natural order can be disastrous for the animals and dangerous for you. 

Leave No Trace

Respecting the wildlife and their habitat by:

  • Not leaving behind your empoty pop cans and potato chip bags.
  • If you see trash left behind by someone else, pick it up. 
  • Camp in desginated areas only.
  • Use pre-existing campfire rings. Do not start chopping at live trees and begetation for your campfire. Only use dead wood from fallen timber on the ground.


Tread Lightly

Stay on designated roads and trails to minimize the impact of vehicle and foot traffic. In delicate ecosystems of Montana, there really is a fragile balance. Traffic (whether by foot or vehicle) can create ruts and trails where they didn't exist before. These ruts can lead to erosion, loss of plant life, habitat and so on.

Things to remember:

  • Public & Private Lanes: respect the boundaries of private and public lands. Ask permission before venturing onto private land by consulting a map before you begin your trip. 
  • Wildlife: respect the wildlife as well! Never feed the wildlife as aniamls get used to human food and human contact, which can lead to agression.

Take Safety Measures

Certainly everyone knows that bears, mountain lions and other large animals can pose dangers. But keep in mind that any wildlife can be dangerous - even animals as seemingly harmless as deer can injure if provoked. Most animals react with alarm when approached by humans on foot or in any type of vehicle. Depending on the situation, an animal may remain, flee or attached. What's the best way to avoid injury? Keep your distance and enjoy with the help of binoculars.