Discover 5 Surprising Coyote Sightings in Yosemite National Park

Yes, there are coyotes in Yosemite National Park. Coyotes are a common sight in the park, especially during the winter months when snow covers the ground. These cunning predators are known for their unique hunting tactics, such as listening for small mammals moving beneath the snow and then leaping into the air to catch their prey.

Coyote Presence in Yosemite National Park

Coyotes are a natural part of the Yosemite ecosystem and have been present in the park for centuries. They can be found throughout the park, from the high-elevation areas to the lower valleys. Coyotes are adaptable and thrive in a variety of habitats, including forests, meadows, and even urban areas.

According to the National Park Service, coyotes are one of the most commonly observed wildlife species in Yosemite. They are particularly active during the winter months when their prey, such as small rodents and rabbits, are more easily accessible under the snow.

Coyote Behavior and Hunting Tactics

Are There Coyotes in Yosemite National Park

Coyotes are known for their cunning and adaptable hunting strategies. They use their keen senses of hearing and smell to locate their prey, often listening for the movement of small animals beneath the snow. When they detect their target, they will leap into the air, using their powerful hind legs to pounce on their prey.

Coyotes are also known to work in packs, with some individuals acting as “scouts” to locate prey while others wait to ambush. This cooperative hunting strategy allows them to be more successful in capturing larger prey, such as deer or elk.

Coyotes and Pets in Yosemite National Park

While coyotes in Yosemite National Park do not pose a direct threat to humans, they can be a danger to pets, especially smaller dogs and cats. Park officials recommend keeping pets on a leash and under control at all times, especially in areas where coyotes are known to roam.

It is important to note that the possession or use of bear spray is prohibited within Yosemite National Park, and discharging a firearm for any reason is also illegal. Instead, visitors are encouraged to take precautions, such as keeping food stored properly and avoiding approaching or feeding wildlife.

Coyote Sightings and Reporting

If you are lucky enough to spot a coyote during your visit to Yosemite National Park, it is important to observe them from a safe distance and not approach or feed them. Coyotes are wild animals and should be respected as such.

If you encounter a coyote that appears to be aggressive or exhibiting unusual behavior, it is recommended to report the sighting to park rangers. This information helps the National Park Service monitor the coyote population and ensure the safety of both visitors and wildlife.


In conclusion, coyotes are a common and natural part of the Yosemite National Park ecosystem. While they do not pose a direct threat to humans, it is important to take precautions to protect pets and follow park regulations regarding wildlife. By respecting these animals and their habitat, visitors can enjoy the unique opportunity to observe these fascinating predators in their natural environment.


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