Throughout Snowmass there is a wide variety of wildlife and vegetation that is native to the landscape. The trail can be a rough-and-tumble place, but it’s got its own code of etiquette. The most important one is to leave no trace. Make sure you carry out what was carried in. Please leave flora and fauna at ease and spectate from a respectful distance, this will minimize impact on the environment.
Remember: The only souvenirs should be photographs and memories; the only thing left behind should be footsteps on the marked trail.
Ever wonder why your cabin seemed to be overly decorated with elk motif? Well, Colorado is home to the largest elk population in the world. No wonder so many Snowmass residents love these incredible animals. If you come across an elk, remember to keep your distance and be respectful. The greatest chances for spottings are going to be in the early morning and late evening when they are feeding. Elk are extremely timid, so to get the best view, it helps to be quiet and downwind of the elk.
The Rocky Mountain Columbine is Colorado’s state flower. This rare flower can be found while hiking in Snowmass, but remember, it is illegal to pluck this flower so please spectate with respect. The flower can come in many varieties of color but the official state flower contains a yellow center with cream and lavender petals.
Mule deer are native to Colorado and thrive in the valley, they actually got their name due to their large ears the resemble a Mule’s ears. You can expect to come across mule deer on your hikes in Snowmass. The greatest chances for spottings are going to be in the early morning and late evening when they are feeding.
Tall Chiming Bells
These beautiful flowers will bloom in abundance in Snowmass. The plant holds clusters of bell shaped flowers that range from pink to purple. The color change happens when the flower blooms and is ready to be pollinated. Tall chiming bells bloom from mid-June to mid-August and can be found near streams at lower alpine elevations.
The Colorado Chipmunk is a species that can be found all along the Rocky Mountain Range. This little rodent can be found in dense forests, open meadows and alpine habitats. You can distinguish these little critters from their close relatives the ground squirrel by looking for the stripe that runs across their face. The best time for viewing is anytime on the trail in the summer so keep your eyes peeled.
The Alpine Sunflower can be found anywhere along the trail. If you are lucky enough to catch the bloom, these flowers can bloom in abundance in a high alpine meadows. They are among the easiest yellow flowers to identify because they are among the tallest and showiest of the alpine tundra plants. Although these Sunflowers do not produce the seeds we all love to snack on, this flower will follow the sun from sunrise to sunset as it crosses the sky everyday.
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
The Tiger Swallowtail is a beautiful, large butterfly that is easy to identify because of the tiger like stripes across the butterfly’s back. These butterflies love to spend their time in forest edges, river valleys, and alpine meadows. They can be spotted in Snowmass during the summer.
Snowmass has one of the best trail systems in the Rocky Mountains. Check out the best hiking trails that the valley has to offer.
Getting to Snowmass is easy and getting to the trailhead is even easier. Snowmass Village boasts plentiful free parking at multiple locations making it hassle-free to get out of your vehicle and to the trailhead.