Glacier National Park Animals

Glacier National Park Animals

Many wildlife species call western Montana home. The region's diverse habitat makes Glacier National Park trips more exciting. While exploring the area's natural beauty, visitors may spot roaming animals, from giant bears to smaller mammals like porcupines.

Wildlife to Look Out For

Learn more about this region's natural wildlife and some necessary measures you can take to stay safe from large creatures.

Grizzly Bears

Many of these bears wander Glacier National Park's forests. You can distinguish them from other bear species by their larger size, brown coat and hump on their back. This hump comprises a large muscle that powers the creature's front legs, helping it dig for food.

If you see these animals in the wild, steer clear. The average weight for adult males ranges from 400 to 600 pounds, and they can also sprint toward you. Try to stay at least 100 yards away, and leave the area quickly.


These larger deer relatives occupy many northern North American forests. As adults, they range from 800 to 1,600 pounds and can stand up to 6 feet tall. They have brown coats, and the males have large antlers. Due to their large size and antlers, these creatures pose a danger to humans, so if you spot one, keep your distance.

Moose do not have antlers all year — these creatures shed their antlers between November and March each year. Their antlers regrow in the spring with a velvety coat on top.


Like moose, elk inhabit the deer family. They appear similar to moose but have a thinner snout and a lighter rump. Elk also shed their antlers each winter after mating season and regrow them in the spring. At their largest, these antlers weigh up to 40 pounds. 


These mammals often occupy a body of water, creating dams. You may know a beaver by its flat, paddlelike tail. Beavers also have distinct teeth with an orange hue. Their incisors continue to grow throughout their life, so beavers never wear them down gnawing on wood.


You can most readily identify these creatures by their quills, which are hollow and brownish with white tips. Their quills lightly attach to their body, so they come off in contact with predators. Porcupines live most of their lives on the ground but are also skilled climbers who clamber up trees for food and sometimes to make dens.

Explore the Wildlife of Glacier National Park

If you need a place to stay during your trip to Glacier National Park, reserve a site at West Glacier KOA Resort. From this campground, you can benefit from easy access to the national park and all its fascinating wildlife.

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