The United States, compared to the size of many other countries in the world, is enormous. The sheer number of different kinds of people from different places and backgrounds, the range of diverse ecosystems and vistas, and the rainbow of different varieties of animal life are enough to boggle the mind. Animal life, in particular, draws many tourists to the States, both from inside and outside of the country. There are several species found in America that can be seen nowhere else on this vast planet. Some of the best wildlife reserves in the world exist on American soil. Let’s take a look at some of the best locations in the United States where you can experience an incredible array of nature’s animal creations.
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
While Yellowstone is famous for its sprawling, exquisite vistas and wonders, it is also the animal life that brings visitors to the park every year. Naturally, interacting with Yellowstone’s many animals is strictly forbidden; viewing them in their natural habitat is one of the many benefits of spending time in the park. Close to 300 species of birds, 16 different kinds of fish, six species of reptiles, five species of amphibians, and an incredible 67 species of mammals call the park home. Yellowstone is a cornucopia of natural life, from grizzly bears, coyotes, gray wolves, and elk to cutthroat trout, western tiger salamanders, and rubber boas. Keep an eye out for alerts, as not all areas of the park are always open for tourists.
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
The Rocky Mountains are a natural haven for all kinds of wildlife. Over the park’s 415 square miles, you’ll find meadows, woods, rocky peaks, and alpine lakes. The pristine beauty of the park is almost unmatched. The wide array of plant life brings in the ungulates, and the ungulates, in turn, bring in the predators who complete the circle of life. The park’s lowlands are frequently home to herds of moose that move through the area, while bears make their homes in more remote areas, which is all the safer for tourists. You’ll hear bull elk letting loose their mating cries in early winter. At the same time, bobcats and mountain lions stalk their prey in the undergrowth. Rocky Mountain National Park will be your dream vacation if you’re a birdwatcher. You’ll be able to see red-headed woodpeckers, hummingbirds, horned owls, nighthawks, and eagles.
The Florida Everglades
A far cry from the rocky reaches of national parks, the Florida Everglades are brimming over with every kind of natural life you could imagine. Humid days are followed by nights buzzing with the cries of birds and insects; everywhere you step, some beast, large or small, will be in your path. Chief among the wildlife in the everglades is, without question, the American alligator. These ancient monsters prowl the swamps on the hunt for their next meal, which might be you if you aren’t careful! The strikingly colored Roseate spoonbill can be glimpsed through the trees from time to time, and white-tailed deer frolic in the woods. A lot harder to spot, but an incredible sight to see, nonetheless, is the Florida panther. Any boat trip in the oceans around the Everglades will offer up dolphin sightings and a fresh sea breeze to cool you off after the heat.
Custer State Park, South Dakota
Home, home on the range! Custer State Park in the Black Hills is home to some of the most recognizable American wildlife anywhere in the country. The park has been operational for just over a century now and has hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. The majestic American buffalo and bison are some of the chief draws of the park. These incredible animals dot the plains from time to time, along with pronghorns, mule deer, white-tailed deer, coyotes, mountain lions, wild turkeys, and rabbits.
San Juan Islands, Washington
If the ocean air is more to your taste than the planes and mountains, take a day trip to San Juan Island in Washington State. The waters of the Salish Sea positively seethe with life and natural nutrients that are vital to the biodiversity of the sea and the coastline. Rent a kayak to get up close and personal with pods of orcas, adorable river otters, harbor seals, and rotund Steller’s sea lions. Humpback whales are seen in the waters off the island from time to time as well. From land, you might see a fish eagle or encounter a skittish red fox. There are tufted puffins, common murres, black-tailed deer, and more.
Any of these locations would be an ideal outing for a lover of wildlife and natural beauty. Have you seen any yourself?