Snowmass, Colorado is an amazingly beautiful destination. Many flock to Snowmass every year for the amazing skiing and snowboarding during the winter and the natural beauty in the summer. These views also come with a chance to see some wildlife. If you are wanting to see some of the Colorado wildlife around Snowmass, here are our top five spots to see them.
Colorado Nature at the Western Skyline
One of the best places to breathe in the amazing views of Snowmass is the Western Skyline. Between Snowmass and Aspen lies Owl Creek Road. This off the main trail road winds up and over rolling hills and through a massive pasture. In the summertime you will see the rolling green grass and wildflowers strewn across this open pasture. In the winter, this pasture is covered in a fine layer of snow that puts you in a painting of Americana. If you are looking for more views than just the greenery, you will also see many different examples of the wildlife that calls Snowmass home. You will see everything from horses and elk that roam the pasture to smaller critters that love the trees and hollows around the pasture. If you are lucky, you may even see a bear or two in the summer. This area is capped off with a beautiful red barn that just sums up the countryside beauty of Snowmass.
The Ice Age
The Ice Age is one of the most fun and historic views in all of Snowmass. This view starts by traveling up to Snowmass’ Sam’s Knob. Sam’s Knob is a well-known ski lift during the winter, but in the summertime it will serve as a portal to an ancient world. Looking off of Sam’s Knob, you will see lines of aspen trees and a nearly perfectly round lake below. This lake is Ziegler Reservoir, which is a repository for thousands of perfectly preserved fossils of Ice Age animals. The fossils include hulking animals such as mastodons and ancient camels. These fossils were discovered in 2010 by accident by a bulldozer operator who was not expecting to find anything but more dirt. This is a truly unique experience that you must see while you are in Snowmass. Due to the large amount of water in the area, you will also be able to see birds, elk, and more around this area.
One of the best lookouts in all of Snowmass looks out to Mount Daly. The lookout point is just one mile into the flat and easy Ditch Trail and offers major rewards of pristine views of the greenery around Snowmass. This trail is not a difficult one to climb and offers an amazing payoff for little to no effort. The lookout gives visitors looks at the Colorado wildlife of magical Snowmass Creek Valley. This is one place where visitors are likely to see large birds that call Snowmass home. The golden eagle loves this area, so make sure you look high in the trees for this majestic bird.
Often referred to as the most photographed peaks in North America, the Maroon Bells are an extraordinary destination not to be missed during a visit to Aspen Snowmass. The most convenient and eco-friendly ways to see the Maroon Bells is via shuttle bus from Aspen Highlands or by bike. There are tickets for the midday shuttle that runs from 8 am to 5 pm every 15 minutes. Advanced reservations are recommended due to the volume of people who are looking to see the Maroon Bells via shuttle. Once at the Maroon Bells, visitors can expect to see all kinds of wildlife that call Snowmass home.
Spiral Point is one of the most beautiful locations in all of Snowmass and is frequented by many visitors. Spiral Point is a 2.6-mile trail that makes up part of the full Rim Trail and offers incredible views of Snowmass Village and the surrounding mountains and valleys. Once you reach the scenic overlook at Spiral Point, take in the 360-degree view of the valleys, reservoir below, and peaks above. Once you’ve had your fill of magnificent scenery, you can choose to turn back or continue on through aspen groves and along the very scenic Rim Trail ridgeline until the trail ends at the pavement at the top of Sinclair Road. From there, you can either opt to continue your hike to Rim Trail North or you can make your way back to the trailhead. All of these trails are home to wolves, bears, elk, deer and more. Keep your eyes peeled on the Colorado nature while you are trekking through the Snowmass landscape, and you are sure to see some amazing animals. The best time of day to go is early in the morning to increase your chances of seeing animals while it’s cool.