Colorado is so abundant in wildlife that chances are you have seen some on your own property at one point or another! There are certain areas of the state you can visit that increase your chances of seeing elk, deer, bighorn sheep, moose, bison, bald eagles and more…and the best part? You don’t even have to leave the safety of your car! These road trips are fun for the whole family, so grab the kids and head out on a safari… Colorado style!
1. State Forest State Park: This area near Walden, has been named the official moose capital of Colorado! More than 600 moose live here, as well as elk, mule deer, beaver, fox, eagles and black bears.
2. Guanella Pass Scenic Byway: As if the stunning views of 14,060-foot Mt. Bierstadt aren’t enough, this drive also gives you a great glimpse of Rocky Mountain wildlife which includes bighorn sheep, beavers, mountain goats and a variety of beautiful birds.
3. Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge: Located in Commerce City, this refuge is one of the largest refuges in the country! It’s home to more than 300 species which includes mule deer, coyotes, bison, songbirds and bald eagles.
4. Rocky Mountain National Park: Take a drive through Estes Park before hitting the Park and take in Elk galore. The park itself is also home to numerous species of wildlife, not to mention spectacular vistas!
5. South Platte River Trail: During the winter season, more than 100 bald eagles call this area home. They can be seen sitting on the branches of cottonwood trees all along the river. Red-tailed hawks, kestrels, merlins and golden eagles also live in this area.
6. Mount Evans Scenic Byway: This 28 mile route climbs more than 7,000 feet in elevation, and is home to mountain goats, bighorn sheep, marmots and pikas. *Note: closed during Winter
7. Bighorn Sheep Canyon: You can catch Bighorn sheep year-round scaling the walls of the canyon and drinking from the Arkansas River. There are rafting tours available here too!
8. San Juan Skyway: Great place to see elk, foxes, eagles, goshawks, red-tailed hawks, bluebirds, kestrels and perhaps the occasional black bear. Also home to some of the state’s most majestic mountain passes.
9. Garden of the Gods: Drive through the parks winding roads and take in the beautiful scenery. You can usually catch some Bighorn sheep walking around the park as well.