Tips for Viewing Wildlife Safely in Northern Arizona

To help you have an experience that is both safe and memorable.

See our wildlife the way they’re meant to be — in the wild. From bird watching under brilliant skies to moonlight hikes to observe nocturnal species, every wildlife watching experience is sure to be unforgettable. The Flagstaff area and northern Arizona provide some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities in the nation. All you really need is your curiosity and willingness to go outside!

Did you know the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s mission is to conserve and protect Arizona’s 800-plus species of wildlife? To help you have an experience that is both safe and memorable — for you and for Arizona’s wildlife — they’ve shared the following tips on viewing wildlife safely.


Allow wildlife to be WILD.

The goal should be to observe normal wildlife behaviors and activity. Always practice responsible and safe viewing. For your safety and theirs, when you come across animals in the wild, remember:

  • Make every effort to avoid harassing wildlife.
  • Keep your distance. Getting too close could pose a danger if the animal perceives you as a threat.
  • Allow wildlife free access to food, water or their young.
  • Avoid chasing wildlife, as this can sap the animal of its energy and cause it stress.
  • Do not feed wildlife.

Respect the land.

Remember to respect the environment during your wildlife watching adventures.

  • Step lightly and leave rocks, logs, flowers, nests and other elements as you found them.
  • Leave no trace that you were there.
  • Leave your surroundings better than you found them.
  • Pack it in, pack it out.

Be prepared.

To ensure your wildlife watching adventure is safe and enjoyable, plan ahead and expect the unexpected.

  • Bring water and food.
  • Wear the appropriate clothing.
  • Let someone know where you are going and when you plan on being back.
  • Carry a whistle or signaling device for safety.
  • Pack a headlamp in case you are caught out after dark.
  • Bring binoculars to safely view wildlife from a distance.
  • Remember a camera to document your wildlife memories.

To explore wildlife viewing locations, register for upcoming events, watch live wildlife cams and sign up for its monthly Wild+Life newsletter, visit the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s website.

About the Author

Arizona Game & Fish

The Arizona Game and Fish Department is the state agency charged with conserving the entire range of wildlife within our borders, from big game such as elk and deer to smaller mammals, reptiles and fish.