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10 Best Places to See Wildlife

More from Outdoor Living Newsletter April Outdoor Living Newsletter

There are so many places in the country that you and your family can visit to see wildlife in their natural habitats. Because of their living patterns, finding them can be a challenge. So we've come up with a list of the best places and best time to go so you can easily plan your next camping road trip to see them. Here's the list in order of state:

1.  Katmai National Park and Nature Preserve, Alaska

Wildlife: Brown bears, wolves, lynxes, moose, beavers, and caribou.

Best time to visit: July and September.

The Katmai National Park and Nature Preserve covers an area of nearly five million acres located in the southern part of Alaska. Its remote and spectacular landscape makes this very popular among backpackers and those that enjoy wilderness camping.

One of the most visited areas of this national park is Brooks Camp. The many bear viewing platforms in the area give you a great vantage point to see the brown bears living in the park as well as other kinds of wildlife.

Stay at Katmai National Park Brooks Camp Campground.

Bison in the wild
Include viewing wildlife as one of the things to do on your next camping trip. Here's where and how to do this.

2.  Sipe White Mountain Wildlife Area, Arizona

Wildlife: Deer, antelope, bald eagle, golden eagle, osprey, gray fox, badgers, ground squirrels, hummingbird, and bats.

Best time to visit: Fall season.

Located in the east-central region of Arizona, the Sipe White Mountain Wildlife Area is home to a diverse range of wildlife. If you're planning your first camping trip with the family to see wildlife, head over here in early September. This is when the park holds its basic wildlife viewing workshop where they teach you how to find, observe and enjoy the sights of the different kinds of wildlife living in the area.

Find campgrounds and RV parks near the Sipe White Mountain Wildlife Area.

3.  Channel Islands National Park, California

Wildlife: Elephant seal, northern fur seal, harbor seal, sea lion, humpback whale.

Best time to visit: Fall season.

Hailed as North America's Galapagos, the Channel Islands National Park is made of five small islands of the southern coast of California. It is a haven for campers that love all sorts of water activities like kayaking, fishing, snorkeling and diving.

The islands of Santa Rosa and San Miguel are the most popular. Of the five islands, they are the ones where you can see the most number of wildlife within the entire Channel Islands National Park.

There are 6 campgrounds in Channel Islands National Park all accessible only by boat and they provide tent camping only:

4.  Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Wildlife: Elk, big horn sheep, blue grouse, tree-toed woodpecker, moose, mule deer, black deer, coyote.

Best time to visit: Spring season.

Compared to most other parks, Rocky Mountain National Park has a small land area, just 415 miles. Despite its small size, the park is home to over 3,000 elks, 800 big horn sheep, and so many other kinds of wildlife. This is why it is considered as one of the best places to see wildlife in the US.

Find campgrounds and RV parks near Rocky Mountain National Park.

5.  Everglades National Park, Florida

Wildlife: Alligator, crocodile, heron, egret, dolphin, manatee, osprey, pelican, cormorant.

Best time to visit: December through April.

If you want to have a camping trip where you can see different kinds of wildlife and have a dose of adventure, the Everglades National Park is the best place to go. With a land area of 1.5 million acres, there is wildlife galore to see and you can enjoy a host of activities like hiking, kayaking, fishing, and guided boat tours through the dense mahogany jungles.

There are two main drive-in campgrounds accessible from the Homestead entrance to the park on the Main Park Road; Long Pine Key campground and Flamingo campground, which both accommodate tents and RV's with a limited number of group sites.

There are a number of ground sites, beach sites, and elevated camping platforms (chickees) available in various locations in the park. Most sites are accessible by canoe, kayak, or motorboat, though a few may be reached by hikers.

There are also privately run campgrounds near Everglades National Park:

6.  Yellowstone National Park, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming

Wildlife: Grizzly bear, black bear, trumpeter swan, sandhill crane, loon, peregrine falcon, osprey, bald eagle, bison, elk, wild horse, gray wolf, pronghorn antelope, buffalo, badger, ground squirrel, coyote, big horn sheep, moose.

Best time to visit: Summer and Winter seasons.

Yellowstone National Park is one of the country's most iconic park, and one of the most visited National Parks by RVers and wildlife enthusiasts. Because it spans through three different states, it is no wonder why there are so many different kinds of wildlife to see here.

The best time to visit Yellowstone National Park depends on the kinds of wildlife that you'd like to see. If you and your family want to see herds of elk and bison, summer is the best time to go. On the other hand, winter is the best time to see the eagles, big horn sheep, and the endangered gray wolf. If you're really lucky, you might even get to spot one of the very few moose living in the park.

Find campgrounds and RV parks near Yellowstone National Park.

7.  Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary, Missouri

Wildlife: Warbler, oriole, tanager, grosbeak, cuckoo, heron, egret, pelican, trumpeter swan, American bald eagle.

Best time to visit: January and February.

The Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary started out as a center to provide sanctuary for many of the migratory birds in the country. Today, it is not only one of the best places to see a variety of birds, but the waters and lands within the sanctuary make this a great place to enjoy other outdoor activities like fishing, hiking, boat riding, canoeing, biking, and jogging.

Find campgrounds and RV parks near Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary.

8.  Glacier National Park, Montana

Wildlife: Elk, bog lemming, grizzly bear, mountain goats, ground squirrel, wolverine, lynx, big horn sheep, moose, mule deer, white-tailed deer, coyote, mountain lion, wolf, badger, river otter, porcupine, mink, bald eagle, golden eagle, harlequin duck.

Best Time to Visit: July through September.

Glacier National Park has been called as the "Crown of the Continent Ecosystem" for two reasons. First, it is located right on the northern part of Montana, bordering the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. Second, its diverse landscape has made it possible for a lot of different kinds of wildlife to thrive here. The park also offers a number of other activities like guided horseback trips, scenic hiking trails, and even boat cruises.

Find campgrounds and RV parks near Glacier National Park.

9.  Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Wildlife: Bison, feral horses, elk, white-tailed deer, mule deer, pronghorn, prairie dog, golden eagles, great-horned owls

Best Time to Visit: Summer season

Theodore Roosevelt National Park is more than just another great place to see wildlife in the country. It serves as a living memorial to President Theodore Roosevelt, particularly his love for nature and the outdoors. It is said that he spent his younger years hunting bison across the rugged landscape that now makes up the park.

The park is made up of two units. In the North unit you'll find mule, white-tailed deer, longhorn cattle, and bison. In the South unit you'll see bison, mule, white-tailed deer, pronghorn, feral horses and elk.

The park has three campgrounds: Juniper Campground in the North Unit and Cottonwood Campground and Roundup Group Horse Campground in the South Unit. Juniper and Cottonwood are open all year-round and can accommodate both RV's and tents. In addition, there are a number of privately-owned campgrounds surrounding the park.

Find campgrounds and RV parks near Theodore Roosevelt National Park North Unit.
Find campgrounds and RV parks near Theodore Roosevelt National Park South Unit.

10.  Custer State Park, South Dakota

Wildlife: bison, pronghorn, elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, mountain lion, feral burro

Best Time to Visit: September

Located within the Black Hills of South Dakota, Custer State Park is the second largest state park in the country. Its winding roads and tunnels offer you and your family a glimpse into some of the most captivating landscapes you'll ever find.

What makes this park truly a great place to see wildlife is that you don't have to wait for hours at a time to see some. During the month of September, members of the park staff round up over 1,000 bison, making this a great time to visit and see wildlife here.

Other outdoor activities you and your family can enjoy here are hiking, paddle boating, rock climbing, Jeep tours, and even some gold panning

Find campgrounds and RV parks near Custer State Park.

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