Watching Wildlife in Mount Rainier National Park

Also abbreviated as Mt. Rainier, this northern American National Park is home to 63 species of mammals, 16 amphibians, 5 reptiles, and plenty of birds. The elevation difference of 13,000 feet creates a varied habitat with different life zones that are home to a variety of animals.

About half of the birds observed in the park nest there as migrants that winter in the southern portion of the United States or central America.

Mount Rainier National Park’s Top Animals

  • Coyotes
  • Bighorn Sheep
  • Black-Tailed Deer
  • Mule Deer
  • Elk
  • Mountain Goats
  • Mountain Lions
  • Black bears

Viewing Locations

Stevens Canyon Road: Coyotes
Box Canyon: Coyotes
Longmire: Bighorn sheep
Eastern Side of Mt. Rainier: Elk
Summerland: Bighorn sheep, mountain goats
Paradise and Sunrise: Pikas, chipmunks, squirrels

When Should You Go?

The best time of the year to see the park’s elk at large is during the months of September and October. The summer months will be your best chance for seeing ground squirrels, marmots, chipmunks, chickarees, and pika. However, it is during the winter months that you will see the bigger mammals, like bears, mountain lions, etc. roaming in the lower elevations to escape the brutal winds and snows that are common on the gigantic mountain.