Animals in Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park, Montana: Animals and Wildlife


Animals in Glacier National Park include grizzly bears, mountain goats, wolves and more – Learn where to view and photograph Glacier National Park wildlife

If you have read about the weather in Glacier National Park you may wonder whether any animals in Glacier National Park could possibly survive these harsh conditions.

Glacier National Park wildlife consists of more than 70 species of animals and hundreds of birds. It’s one of the largest, natural ‘zoos’ in the world!

Although the animals in Glacier National Park are generally shy, most visitors get a sighting of some of the following:

  • Grizzly Bears
  • Black Bears
  • Big Horn Sheep
  • Mountain Goats
  • Mule Deer
  • Mountain Lions
  • Grey wolves
  • Wolverines
  • Red Foxes
  • Moose (known as Elk in Europe)
  • Lynx
  • Bald Eagles

As Glacier is a National Park it provides a protected area for animals in Glacier National Park to roam free.

Of course, Glacier National Park wildlife have no regard for the national park boundaries so they also wander at will to and from Canada (no passport or visa required!), through the Flathead National Forest and the Bob Marshall Wilderness. The lush forests, rivers, lakes and meadows make it an animal’s paradise as well as a hiker’s dream.

Glacier National Park Wildlife Fact File

Grizzly Bears

There are about 350 brown bears, or better known as Grizzly Bears, in Glacier National Park.

Larger than black bears, they can be identified by the hump behind their head and are occasionally spotted near the Many Glacier Lodge.

They are huge predators. Females weigh 200-450 pounds and males weigh a massive 300-850 pounds. You do not want to pick a fight with these giants, so clap when going around blind corners. Generally if a grizzly bear hears you, he will be long gone!

Bears live for up to 30 years and hibernate during the winter.

Learn more about safety precautions for hiking through grizzly bear habitat and how to survive a grizzly bear attack.

Big Horn Sheep

Big horn sheep are one of the most iconic of all Glacier National Park wildlife.

These sure-footed creatures are easy to identify with their massive horns which curve backwards over their ears. They are often seen in the Logan Pass area.

With a brown coat and white bellies, their hard hooves make them agile climbers and jumpers even on the steepest rocks.

Mountain Goats

Mountain Goats are Glacier National Park’s symbol.

These sure-footed creatures will frequently be spotted at higher altitudes. They are mainly white and have a beard to distinguish themselves from big horn sheep. Weighing 150-300 pounds, nowhere is out-of-bounds to these incredible animals and they are happy to pose for photographs!

Of all animals in Glacier National Park, mountain goats are seen by humans the most. You can view this amazing specimen of Glacier National Park wildlife around Logan Pass and The Highline Trail.

Grey Wolves (Timber Wolves)

These shy, territorial animals stick to their own boundaries of 10 to 20 square miles, high in the mountains. The size of a large dog, they have a grey coat with a lighter underbelly and hunt mainly hoofed animals for meat.

Once almost extinct, they have successfully been reintroduced to Glacier National Park. You may hear their late night howls when camping near Bowman Lake.

Of all animals in Glacier National Park, wolves are the ones you will most likely hear at night but rarely see during the day. And let me tell you, wolf howls are terrifying! Nothing like Hollywood movies.

Learn more about wolves with this handy wolf facts page.

Mountain Lions

In my opinion, I’d rather encounter a grizzly bear than a mountain lion or cougar. These are dangerous animals that won’t think twice about snatching up your child or a lone hiker for a meal-so don’t let your kids hike far in front of you and never hike alone in Glacier National Park.

Fast and strong, they can kill animals many times their own size, including moose. Of all Glacier National Park wildlife, these are the most terrifying.


Once thought to be almost extinct, there is now a healthy population of these animals in Glacier National Park.

This is probably the only place in the world you may see these dark-coated carnivores which look more like a weasel or small bear than a wolf and are about the size of a medium dog.

Moose (Elk)

Surprisingly, these docile looking animals are by far the most dangerous of all Glacier National Park wildlife.

They are highly territorial so keep your distance, especially if there are young calves. Take cover quickly if they charge.

Learn how to survive a moose attack.

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Animals in Glacier National Park, Montana

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