• A translucent blanket of clouds hangs over the snowy continental divide above Bear Lake Road. NPS Photo by VIP Olsen

    Rocky Mountain

    National Park Colorado

Animals

Nature and Science

Bull Elk

(NPS-RMNP)

From mighty elk to rare boreal toads, Rocky Mountain National Park protects animals of the high south-central continental divide. Elk number about 1000 in the park, and are easily seen. Moose are more rare, found primarily in the Kawaneeche valley. Bighorn sheep are fond of coming to mineral licks in Horseshoe Park. Mountain lions are fairly common, but as is also true of bobcats, secretive and rarely seen. Black bears thrive in the park's lower forests. Hardy ptarmigan remain active at higher elevations through the winter, as do pikas. Ptarmigan, snowshoe hares, and ermine blend with the season, whitening in winter. Marmots and ground squirrels sleep deeply then, but are easily seen during the summer. Greenback cutthroat trout have been restored to many lakes and streams, where they feed on a rich insect fauna. To find out more about animals ranging from butterflies to eagles, please visit our expanded website.

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