For a state bursting with so much beauty and adventure, it makes sense that Colorado is home to a wide range of incredible wildlife. When you wander into any of the abundant national parks, mountain trails, or nature preserves, you’re sure to come across many rare and fascinating creatures. As you travel through the state, keep your eyes peeled and your camera ready for a glimpse of these most iconic animals of Colorado.
America’s bison herds were once stunning symbols of the rugged Wild West. Even though they’ve faced near-extinction and rarely exist outside of nature preserves and other protected areas, these creatures remain just as impressive today. Standing over six feet tall and weighing up to 2,000 pounds, bison make incredible sights for any Colorado traveler lucky enough to encounter them.
Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep
How do we know the bighorn sheep is one of the most iconic animals of Colorado? The state declared it the official state animal back in 1961. Like many Colorado residents, bighorn sheep are mountain-climbing enthusiasts. You can spot them scaling sheer mountain cliffs and canyon walls. Male bighorns, or rams, are known for their thick, curled horns. These distinctive features come in handy during mating season, when you can hear two males ramming their heads together—even when you’re standing a mile away!
Rocky Mountain Elk
Many first-time Colorado visitors are eager to catch a glimpse of the Rocky Mountain elk. You can find elk roaming many of Colorado’s forests. The males are easier to spot. They stand at about five feet at the shoulder and weigh up to 700 pounds. Their most recognizable feature, however, is the massive set of antlers on top of their heads. These impressive crowns consist of solid bone, and they can weigh up to 40 pounds on a mature bull. Elk also travel in herds. If you see one, get the camera ready—dozens more are sure to be close behind.
The abundant wildlife is just one of many reasons to visit Colorado. Stock up on all the best Colorado accessories, and start planning your experience in the Centennial State today!