Visit Rocky Mountain National Park in the Winter

 In Conservation, The Outdoors, Whitewater Blogged
(Male Bighorn Sheep in winter. Credit: "Bighorn Sheep 2" Alan D. Wilson)

If you think our national parks are beautiful when all the flora is in bloom and all the fauna is frolicking, you should see them when they are covered in pure white snow, transforming every national park into a winter wonderland.

One of the most visited national parks in the country is the Rocky Mountain National Park, and it is not expected to slow down just because it is winter time. There’s still plenty of wildlife to observe, including Bighorn Sheep and the infamous crack of two males squaring off and butting heads can be heard echoing through the park.

Rocky_Mountain_National_Park_Glacier_Gorge_from_Bear_Lake

The Rocky Mountain National Park is a whole new park in the wintertime.

Bighorn Sheep are easy to spot because they have, well, big horns. At least, the males have the classic horns that curl around their heads and can weigh up to 30 pounds. The females tend to be about half the size of the males, and their horns are just normal looking horns…for a sheep.

Bighorn Sheep are born with special rock climbing features

If you’re into rock climbing, then these stunning creatures should spark your interest. They are phenomenal climbers, born with special hooves and rough soles to grip to dangerous surfaces, and they leap up and down and all around on the steep cliffs and mountain sides of the Rocky Mountains.

Spotting wildlife while rafting on the Arkansas River

Fun fact: Male Bighorn Sheep will challenge each other to headbutt contests, but will only challenge a male who has more or less the same size horns as himself! Fair is fair.

Remember, if you spot a Bighorn sheep or any other wildlife while exploring our national parks, be a casual, quiet, and preferably, inconspicuous observer. You are lucky to be seeing wildlife in their natural habitat, make sure you don’t do anything to frighten the animals. You are a guest in their home, be respectful. We want these animals to thrive in our parks, plains, mountains, valleys, rivers, forests, deserts and oceans for generations to come. Help protect their environment, respect their privacy.