Crater Lake Wildlife

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Crater Lake National Park not only boasts some of the most breathtaking scenery in the Pacific Northwest, it is also home to a variety of beautiful wildlife.

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  • The park’s largest inhabitant is the Black Bear.
  • Around 150 Rocky Mountain Elk reside in the park.
  • Smaller creatures in the park include hares, marmots, squirrels, pine martens, and chipmunks.
  • A variety of beautiful birds can be seen at Crater Lake during the summer, including Bald Eagles.


Although amazingly clear, deep blue waters attract thousands of people to Crater Lake, wildlife native to the area is a beautiful part of the amazing scenery. Crater Lake National Park wildlife includes a variety of animals, both large and small. It is not unusual to see a herd of elk quietly grazing in an open meadow or golden-mantled ground squirrels scurrying about. Majestic bald eagles grace the sky, along with a variety of other beautiful birds. Always remember when you visit Crater Lake that you are a visitor in the home of the animals that live there, so treat the area with respect.

Over 150 Rocky Mountain elk inhabit Crater Lake National Park. One of the largest Crater Lake animals, elk can weigh up to 1,100 pounds. They can usually be seen from mid-June until October in the southwestern part of the park.

Mule deer gracefully roam the park feeding on a variety of grasses and lichens. They also eat the bark and twigs of the pine and fir trees that grow in the park.

Early in the summer you may spot Pronghorn antelope in the northern part of the park migrating through Pumice Desert.

Black Bear
The largest of all the Crater Lake National Park animals, the black bear is native to the area. An estimated 30 to 40 black bears currently inhabit the park.

Pine Martens
This adorable little creature lives in the park year round and is quite active during the winter months. Unlike its cousin, the short-tailed weasel, pine martens maintain a brown fur coat all year long. They have long bushy tails and are often seen climbing in trees.

Also known as wood chucks, the yellow-bellied marmot weighs between 5 and 8 pounds. They hibernate during the winter and often hide out in burrows to avoid predators. They are notorious for the distinctive loud whistling noise they make to warn each other of danger.

Snowshoe Hare
These furry little creatures have large feet that keep them from sinking in the snow. Active mostly at night, they can be difficult to spot. Their fur is white during the winter and brown during the summer to protect them from predators.

A variety of beautiful birds can be spotted at Crater Lake during the warmer months. These include the Bald Eagle, Golden Eagle, Clark’s Nutcracker, raven, Mountain Chickadee, Steller’s Jay, and Dark-Eyed Junco.