The Colorado mountains are home to spectacular views, pristine lakes, beautiful flora and a wide variety of fauna. Ranging from the elusive ptarmigan to antelope, moose, and black bears, you might come across one of these mountain residents, especially if you are hiking along one of the many trails in Grand County or Summit County. As with all wild animals, safety is paramount and care should be taken to avoid getting too close or startling them!
The trails above Silverthorne, near Buffalo Mountain, for instance, offer many opportunities for birdwatching with species like Ospreys and Barrow's Goldeneye ducks and in the county’s wetland areas, Warblers and Sparrows are fairly common. If you go further north into Grand County, you may be likely to spot a Black-chinned Hummingbird or the Juniper Titmouse. Hikes on the Continental Divide Trail might offer a glimpse of the Ptarmigan, whose plumage blends in with the snow during the winter making it easy to miss!
The Burro Trail in Breckenridge is another great hike offering the opportunity to see red fox, squirrels, and chipmunks. This is an easy hike accessible from town.
The largest wild cat in the United States is the cougar and though they are increasingly harder to find in areas outside of the western US, the Colorado mountains are one place they call home. In fact, they are an animal to watch out for as they are rather solitary and may feel threatened if approached too closely.
Elk, moose, mule deer and whitetail deer are some other animals that are all residents of the Colorado Mountain area. Bison too, are not uncommon in this part of the Rockies and definitely would be hard to miss considering some can reach weights of up to 2,000 pounds or more!
Another large animal that hikers should watch out for is the black bear. The black bear is the only remaining species of bear in Colorado as the last recorded sighting of a Grizzly bear was in 1979. Black bears usually weigh somewhere between 150 to 300 pounds and feast on both vegetation and animals. Extra caution should be taken when an encounter with a bear occurs. If you are planning a hiking trip in Summit or Grand Counties, be sure to read up on bear safety here.
Other animals that call the high mountains home are coyotes, foxes, and there have even been sightings of gray wolves although they tend to stay away from humans. Likewise, one may see a lynx, a bobcat, or on the rarest of occasions, a wolverine. There are a few rattlesnakes and they like to sit in the sun and lie on rocks or along trails so keep an eye out for them!
Exploring the many trails that exist in the Colorado mountains is sure to provide a lasting impression of this vast and glorious landscape that is host to such a wide array of animals who roam freely. If you are considering a Summit County property search, and becoming a resident of this area, you will begin a magical journey of memorable hikes in a thriving environment with so many forms of wildlife. Life on the mountain is also filled with a great deal of tranquility and offers a singular experience for anyone who appreciates the natural beauty of the wilderness.
With summer on its way, now is an excellent time to look at Summit County real estate and explore the myriad of trails around the area and experience its beauty for yourself. Take a look at some exquisite homes in Summit or Grand County! At Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties we have many of the finest homes and properties on the market so please contact us today and consider taking a look at the views and maybe even your next new home!
By Coldwell Banker