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Wildlife Viewing at Valles Caldera

Hummingbird resting on an aspen branch on Cerro Abrigo.

NPS/C. Lycopolus

To assist all visitors with the experience of seeing wildlife roaming in Valle Grande, NPS has installed new viewing scopes at the park’s Entrance Station. These scopes are at different heights and they also have special filters in them that allow people with red-green color blindness to experience a fuller range of colors.

“The expansive valles and forested cerros of Valles Caldera provide habitats for a rich assemblage of wildlife,” said Superintendent Jorge Silva-Bañuelos. “With elk calving approaching and migratory birds returning, spring is a wonderful time to come to the park and see how many animals you can spot.”

The high-elevation ecosystems of Valles Caldera National Preserve—ranging from 8,000 to 11,254 feet above sea level—support a great diversity of wildlife, including several thousand elk, healthy populations of Gunnison’s prairie dogs, mountain lions, bears, bobcats, and coyotes. A rich array of migratory birds can be found in the park’s woodlands, grasslands, and wetlands. Chorusing frogs can be heard throughout the day as they take advantage of the spring snow melt-off.

Visit the park’s Wildlife Observing web page for additional viewing tips (

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