The 7 Largest Animals in Yellowstone National Park

Written by August Buck
Published: June 14, 2022
Image Credit jack-sooksan/Shutterstock.com
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One of the main attractions in just about any national park has to be seeing wildlife, so what might some of the largest animals in Yellowstone National Park be? If you are planning a trip to this beautiful location, you should expect to see some wildlife, including some extremely large creatures that are rarely seen anywhere else in the world! 

In this article, we will go over the top seven largest animals seen in Yellowstone National Park, including ones that you may already be aware of. We’ll discuss the average sizes of these animals, as well as what makes them unique to the Yellowstone ecosystem. Let’s get started and learn all about the biggest and most infamous animals in Yellowstone National Park now! 

Largest Animals In Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is a wonderland when it comes to natural beauty, outdoor recreation, and, of course, wildlife viewing.

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Animals in YellowstoneAverage Height and Weight
Bison1,000-2,000 pounds; 4-6 feet tall
Elk500-700 pounds; 4-5 feet tall
Grizzly Bear200-700 pounds; up to 4 feet tall on all fours
Moose900-1,000 pounds; 5-8 feet tall
Cougar80-170 pounds; 6-7 feet long, including tail
Black Bear130-320 pounds; 3 feet tall on all fours
Gray Wolf80-130 pounds; 4-6 feet long, including tail

What Are Some of the Largest Animals in Yellowstone National Park?

Yellowstone National Park is a wonderland when it comes to natural beauty, outdoor recreation, and, of course, wildlife viewing. In fact, Yellowstone is the most concentrated location for a variety of mammals in the United States, including some that have been specifically reintroduced into the Yellowstone ecosystem and nowhere else. Here are seven of the largest animals that call Yellowstone National Park home!

Bison

Largest Animals In Yellowstone National Park
The American bison is revered for its history and size.

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Arguably the most notorious animal in Yellowstone National Park, the American bison is revered for its history and size. Considered the Yellowstone mascot by most park rangers and visitors, it is unlikely that you will visit Yellowstone and not see one of these majestic creatures! They are difficult to miss as well, reaching 1,000-2,000 pounds, depending on gender, and standing 4-6 feet tall. Bison are the largest animals in Yellowstone National Park, hands down.

Grizzly Bears

Largest Animals In Yellowstone National Park
Reaching up to 4 feet tall while walking on all fours, the grizzly bear is one of the largest bear species in the world.

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While they may hibernate during the winter months, there’s still a chance for you to see grizzly bears during your time in Yellowstone. Reaching up to 4 feet tall while walking on all fours, the grizzly bear is one of the largest bear species in the world. Females reach 200-500 pounds, while males top out at over 700 pounds… Especially in the fall when they are putting on weight for the long and cold winter ahead!

Elk

Largest Animals In Yellowstone National Park
Elk are another mammal that you are likely to see while visiting Yellowstone, as they graze and lounge in meadows throughout the park, all season long.

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The most abundant large animal in Yellowstone National Park has to be the elk. Ranging in weight from 500-700 pounds, this horned beauty isn’t one that you should mess with. Standing up to 5 feet tall, this height only increases when you consider bucks with large antlers! This is another mammal that you are likely to see while visiting Yellowstone, as they graze and lounge in meadows throughout the park, all season long.

Moose

Largest Animals In Yellowstone National Park
There is ample documentation of moose chasing Yellowstone visitors, so always use caution should you happen upon one while on your trip!

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Far more elusive than elk, moose also make our list for some of the largest animals in Yellowstone National Park. Almost as large as bison, moose range in weight from 900-1,000 pounds and stand up to 8 feet tall. Given the territorial and protective nature of moose, it is for the best that they are elusive; there is ample documentation of moose chasing Yellowstone visitors, so always use caution should you happen upon one while on your trip!

Cougars

Largest Animals In Yellowstone National Park
Cougars reach 6-7 feet long when you include their tails, and average 80-170 pounds, depending on gender.

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Also known as mountain lions, cougars are another one of the largest animals in Yellowstone National Park that you are unlikely to see. However, these big cats reach 6-7 feet long when you include their tails, and average 80-170 pounds, depending on gender. The cougar population in Yellowstone is difficult to track, given the solitary nature of these cats.

Black Bears

Largest Animals In Yellowstone National Park
Always secure your food and belongings while in Yellowstone, as it is definitely considered black bear country!

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Not nearly as large as their grizzly bear counterparts, black bears also live within Yellowstone National Park. They weigh an average of 200-350 pounds and only reach 3 feet tall while on all fours, but many black bears stand on their back legs in order to reach food. That’s why it is important to always secure your food and belongings while in Yellowstone, as it is definitely considered bear country!

Gray Wolves

Largest Animals In Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is one of the best places in the whole world to see gray wolves in their natural habitat.

Reintroduced into the Yellowstone ecosystem after nearly being hunted to extinction, the gray wolf is our final animal on our list of the largest animals in Yellowstone National Park. Reaching up to 6 feet long with tails included, gray wolves weigh an average of 70-130 pounds. While some dog breeds reach this size, the gray wolf is an imposing animal, which is why you should use caution should you see one while visiting Yellowstone. In fact, Yellowstone National Park is one of the best places in the whole world to see gray wolves in their natural habitat, so you should consider this a strong possibility!

Visit Some of the Largest Animals In Yellowstone National Park Today!

Whether you’ve been to Yellowstone National Park in the past or are planning your very first trip, you should plan some time for wildlife viewing. There are so many wonderful animals found throughout the park, including some of the largest mammals possible in any National Park. Check out our Yellowstone trip guides if you are planning a road trip or vacation, and be sure to marvel at the very first bison that you see!

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About the Author

I am a non-binary freelance writer working full-time in Oregon. Graduating Southern Oregon University with a BFA in Theatre and a specialization in creative writing, I have an invested interest in a variety of topics, particularly Pacific Northwest history. When I'm not writing personally or professionally, you can find me camping along the Oregon coast with my high school sweetheart and Chihuahua mix, or in my home kitchen, perfecting recipes in a gleaming cast iron skillet.