Photo courtesy of Dave Martinek
Photo courtesy of the Colorado Division of Wildlife
Few other places in North America offer such a bounty of wildlife-watching opportunities as Colorado. Who in your group will win the eagle-eye award by spotting some of Colorado’s most majestic residents — state mammal bighorn sheep, bald eagles, mountain goats, moose, elk, pronghorns?
One of the best things about wildlife viewing in Colorado is how easy it is. With eight National Wildlife Refuges, hundreds of State Wildlife Areas, 11 National Parks and National Monuments, 42 Colorado State Parks and millions of acres of National Forest and other public lands, you’re never more than a short drive from the natural habitat of more than 900 species of Colorado wildlife.
Some of the most popular spots include Rocky Mountain National Park for elk, the Alamosa and Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuges for bald eagles, moose in State Forest State Park, bighorn sheep in Bighorn Sheep Canyon, mountain goats on Mount Evans and pronghorn in the Comanche National Grassland.
Of course, there are hundreds of more places to watch Colorado wildlife. For more ideas, the Colorado Division of Wildlife has an interactive map to more than 200 Colorado wildlife sites.
The Colorado Birding Trail is another way to see Colorado’s wild creatures. The network of trails across Colorado leads to more than 400 species of birds, guiding novice birdwatchers and die-hard ornithologists alike to habitats of white-throated swifts on the Western Slope, pinyon jays in the Rocky Mountains and snow geese, plovers and prairie chickens on the Colorado eastern plains. Along the way, you’re likely to run into the hundreds of non-bird wildlife species found on Colorado’s natural lands.
Check out Colorado Parks & Wildlife's list of most watchable animals. Before you head out, check out handy tips on watching wildlife and focusing your binoculars. It’s important to always keep a safe distance from the animals. Remembering never to feed, pet, chase or harass them will ensure you and the wildlife stay safe and healthy.
With so many species of Colorado wildlife — and so many places to find them — the real trick would be to leave here without spying a few of the animals who call Colorado home.