The 6 Best Ways to See Wildlife Around Alamosa, CO
Alamosa, Colorado is certainly a family-friendly place to visit. There are plenty of fun activities that everyone can enjoy – like checking out hiking trails and staying under the stars in Alamosa’s RV parks and campgrounds.
Apart from the incredible views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Colorado and the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Alamosa is also home to some incredible wildlife!
You can expect to see anything from elk, deer, bears, foxes, coyotes, fish, birds, and more thanks to the diverse climates and terrain in this Colorado town.
Since the heart of Alamosa is tucked in the San Luis Valley, the land is green and luscious, attracting all sorts of grazing animals. However, just a few miles away is the desert-like sand dunes and the San Juan Mountains and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Colorado – so the wildlife in the area is truly vast and varied!
You need to plan ahead if you are going to see all of the wildlife during your stay in Alamosa. Here’s how you can plan your trip best in order to spot the amazing animals that call this area home.
1) Know What’s in the Area
You can always spot wildlife better when you know what you are looking for, so it is best that you take a little bit of time to research the animals in the area before you break out the binoculars and start searching.
As mentioned before, Alamosa is home to a wildly varied collection of animals because of the different landscapes and terrain in this area. In the Rio Grande National Forest, you will most likely spot mule deer, elk, moose, pronghorn antelopes, red foxes, and smaller species. But be on the lookout – there are also bears, mountain lions, and coyotes in the area!
If you head to the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve area, you can expect to see more desert-like animals that can survive the dry climate. Kangaroo Rats are native to this area, as well as small animals like rabbits, squirrels, and mule deer.
Coyotes and bobcats are also common. Don’t forget to look up – Bald Eagles have been spotted around here, too!
Wild horses also roam the plains in Alamosa, and if you’re lucky enough, you may see some young foals learning to keep up with the herd.
There are also over 2,000 bison on the grasslands and you will commonly see elk and pronghorns, too.
2) Check out the Wildlife Refuge
The Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge is dedicated to protecting over 100,000 acres of land that is home to the native wildlife of Colorado. In this area, you can expect to see incredible animals in their natural environments.
The wetlands area of the refuge is home to native and migrating birds, including loons, pelicans, herons, egrets, swans, hawks, eagles, falcons, and owls.
Twice a year, sandhill cranes migrate to the area. The nearby city of Monte Vista hosts a Crane Festival to celebrate this occasion! During this festival, thousands of wildlife photographers and animal lovers alike flock to the area to observe and learn more about the creatures.
3) Go on a Hike with Binoculars
If you want to spot some wildlife on your own, why not head out on one of the numerous hiking trails in the area and see what you come across?
The Sangre de Cristo Wilderness covers 220,000 acres with 180 miles of hiking trails – so you are sure to come across some incredible sites along the way.
If you want to really get hands-on with the wildlife, you can book a trail ride with llamas!
Otherwise, just pack along a trail book and a set of binoculars and be on the lookout for animals that roam this area – including elk, bighorn sheep, deer, and mountain lions. You may also see some hawks and Bald Eagles soaring overhead!
4) Check out the Colorado Gators Reptile Park
You might not expect to see the alligators out in Colorado – but just a few miles away from Alamosa is one of the state’s only reptile parks! Alligators are the main attraction here, of course. There are hundreds of them living in this area, including five extremely rare albino alligators!
But it is not just gators that you can see here. This park has expanded to host all types of reptiles, including pythons, tortoises, and iguanas.
Want to get up close and personal with the animals here? You can sign up for a gator wrestling course or a reptile handling class to learn how to interact and care for these creatures first-hand!
5) Visit the Blanca Wildlife Habitat Area
The San Luis Valley in Colorado is home to the Blanca Wetlands.
This area is now protected by the Bureau of Land Management so the 150 different bird species that live in the area can dwell safely.
If you plan to take a visit, expect to spot gulls, pelicans, and sandpipers, along with Bald Eagles and peregrine falcons! If you are lucky enough, you might even spot some of the rarer species, such as the American bittern, white-faced ibis, eared grebe, sora rail, or the snowy plover.
You can also expect to see some flocks of ducks and maybe even some adorable ducklings learning how to swim!
There are plenty of fish and amphibians in the area as well, such as the leopard frog and tiger salamander. But some mammals can be spotted to. Visitors have seen muskrats, bats, and the kangaroo rat.
6) Stay Overnight in Nearby Campgrounds and RV Parks
If you really want to be “one with nature” – then why not camp out under the stars during your visit? Cool Sunshine is one of the closest RV parks to many of these wildlife-rich areas, so you can certainly expect to fall asleep to the sounds of nature while you’re there.
If you don’t have an RV, there are some overnight campgrounds in the area so you can stay directly in the heart of the Rio Grande National Forest or at the Zapata Falls Campground of Colorado.
If you want to check out the nearby mountains, you can opt to stay at the Sangre de Cristo Mountains camping spots, too.
Colorado is truly one of the most beautiful and diverse states in America – and you can see all kinds of wildlife in the Alamosa area! This town really is one of the best places to explore if you want to see incredible wildlife in their natural habitats.
And rest assured that you will have a safe and comfortable place to rest your head at the end of the day at Cool Sunshine RV Park in Alamosa! Book your stay today!