Kawuneeche Valley wildlife

Wildlife in RMNP

Rocky Mountain National Park’s Kawuneeche Valley is home to many species of wildlife both large and small. The valley is carved out by the headwaters of the Colorado River, which has its humble beginnings in the park’s high elevation snowfields. The river and riparian areas, as well as the lush meadows and woodlands, provide prime habitat for the park’s wildlife to flourish.

Rocky Mountain’s large grazing mammals, such as deer and elk, are often spotted in the Kawuneeche Valley. Cow elk are currently raising calves, and bulls are spending the summer months growing their antlers, which are currently covered in a layer of soft velvet.

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Bull elk in RMNP’s Kawuneeche Valley

Moose are often spotted in the Kawuneeche Valley as well. The largest animals in the park, moose usually stick to snacking on willows in the marshes and wetlands along the river.

The park’s predators can also be spotted in the Kawuneeche Valley, with bears, bobcats, foxes, and coyotes in the area. After all, “Kawuneeche” is the native Arapaho word for “coyote”.

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Coyote in Rocky Mountain National Park

Even the park’s small mammals are frequently out and about. Cute little chipmunks, marmots, and other furry critters are seen scampering around the valley and throughout the park.

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Chipmunk in RMNP

In addition to mammals, many birds take up residence in the valley. Songbirds can be seen and heard chirping in the trees; large birds of prey can be seen soaring in the skies above; even tiny hummingbirds can be seen buzzing amongst the wildflowers and shrubs.

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Rocky Mountain hummingbird!

Indeed, the Kawuneeche Valley is some of the best wildlife viewing in Rocky Mountain National Park, which also makes it some of the best wildlife viewing in all of Colorado. Oh, and remember to always view wildlife from a safe distance, and never approach or feed wild animals.

And perhaps best of all, the Kawuneeche Valley is mere minutes from the town of Grand Lake. Visitors can venture from Grand Lake to the valley for a day trip, and still be back in time to enjoy Grand Lake’s lodging, dining, and rustic mountain hospitality. Come visit! Contact us at the Chamber for more info!

To contact the Grand Lake Chamber of Commerce, call us at 970-627-3402.