The small town of Granite, Colorado is truly a breathtaking place. This town is nestled against the popular river destination of Buena Vista, home to the magnificent Browns Canyon. In early 2017, Browns Canyon was named a National Monument by President Barack Obama. Browns Canyon is not only a phenomenal scenic view, it is also a great place to see wildlife, all thanks to the geological features and balance in the area.
The Colorado Wildlife Federation has worked very hard and long to protect the rugged back country that is Granite, Colorado. Those who have benefited from this type of preservation are anglers and hunters and, of course, all nature lovers. Everyone is able to enjoy the outdoors in a well kept wildlife setting. From elk to fish, there is amazing wildlife that can be appreciated in Granite.These are the most popular and most mentioned wildlife in that area:
- Bighorn Sheep
- Mule Deer
- Mountain Lions
- Black Bears
- Trout Fish
Elk are a popular sight in the area. They have huge antlers as well as a massive body build. They can get so big that they are sometimes mistaken for moose. There is often a large herd of elk visible off County Rd 306 near Buena Vista. The best time to view elk is early morning or dusk.
Bighorn Sheep can live up to 15 years and are famous for their head to head combat. Bighorn sheep are often visible on the hillsides (and sometimes on the road) in Bighorn Sheep Canyon between Salida and Parkdale and they have been seen atop Tenderfoot Mountain.A cool fact is that their diet is completely dependent on the season. For example, in the summer the diet is mostly grasses while in the winter its sage and willow.
Mule Deer are a frequent visitor to the area. You might not know that mule deer have amazing vision; they have a 310 degree view around themselves. Their antlers can also grow a quarter of an inch daily in the spring and summer months. They are very aware of movement around them due to their vision, so be careful sneaking up on one.
Mountain Lions have been given the title of largest predator in the Rocky Mountain National Forest. This is probably due to the fact that they are very agile and can do things like leap 15 feet up a tree! Many can travel 10 mph just cruising and can get up to 50. One cool fact is that their tracks look like the letter M for Mountain Lion!
Bobcats are surprisingly small for such a big fearful name. They are only twice the size of a regular house cat. They are found statewide here in Colorado and they prey on tiny animals and do it like Batman... in a very stealthy way.
Trout fish can be found throughout Colorado. Commercial trips are strictly catch and release but if you manage to get out there and fish on your own they are a great eat as well. Good luck catching you one!