Wildlife Viewing in Colorado

Few places in North America offer the bounty of wildlife-watching opportunities available in Colorado. Who in your group will win the eagle-eye award by spotting some of the Centennial State’s most majestic residents like Colorado’s state animal — the bighorn sheep — plus bald eagles, mountain goats, moose, elk and pronghorn?



A white mama and baby mountain goat climb up a rocky ascent
Mountain goats on Mount Blue Sky near Idaho Springs
Pronghorn on Colorado's eastern plains near Limon
An elk rests near Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park
Colorado's state mammal, the bighorn sheep
Pronghorn on Colorado's eastern plains near Limon
Sandhill cranes migrate from south-central Colorado
Birdwatching at the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge
A bugling elk in Rocky Mountain National Park during Estes Park's annual Elk Fest
A Colorado mountain bluebird is a top prize for birders, near Boulder
A bald eagle takes flight in Boulder, CO
A Calliope hummingbird hovers over a plant in Moffat County, CO
Hooded Mergansers
Birding in Colorado
"Hopping Cranes"

Where to See Wildlife in Colorado

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, 13 national parks and national monuments, 43 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. Here are some of the many places you can spot our coolest creatures:

Find more ideas for wildlife-viewing experiences in Colorado

Birds of Colorado

The Colorado Birding Trail is another way to see Colorado’s wild creatures. The network of Colorado trails leads to more than 400 species of birds, guiding novice birdwatchers and die-hard ornithologists alike to habitats of white-throated swifts, pinyon jays, snow geese, plovers and prairie chickens. Find more ways to spot birds:

Colorado Animal Sanctuaries

Pick a Colorado wildlife sanctuary or wildlife refuge for viewing opportunities: The Wild Animal Sanctuary, for instance, houses large carnivores indigenous to Colorado like bears and wolves along with rescued lions and tigers. The Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge is home to deer, coyotes, raptors like bald eagles and bison. More ideas:

Featured Destinations

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Visit Montrose

Perched on Colorado’s Western Slope, Montrose is a year-round hub for outdoor adventure and to experience the grandeur of Black Canyon National Park.

Visit Colorado Springs

Exquisite natural landscapes, rich Western history and impressive cultural offerings are just a few things that attract visitors from near and far to Colorado Springs, Olympic City USA, nestled at the foot of Pikes Peak one hour from Denver.