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A Not So Spooky Tour of Hotel Colorado

For a wild vacation experience, plan to stay at Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs. The town’s wildlife—from birds to bears—is becoming more active by the day. If you do have the good fortune of glimpsing any of the animals listed below, remember to always be respectful of wildlife and keep a safe distance. 

Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep. These herd animals sometimes act as the welcoming crew for visitors coming to Glenwood Springs from Denver via westbound Interstate 70. They like to congregate on the steep slopes near Yampah Spa & Vapor Caves. One year, a large ram caught sight of his reflection in a glass door at the Hotel Colorado and perceiving it as a competitor proceeded to “ram” the door, shattering the glass and then hightailing it away with his friends like a teenager caught doing something naughty.

Mule Deer. Sweet-faced and long-legged, mule deer are named after their most distinctive feature: enormous ears that resemble those of—you guessed it—a mule. Like Bighorn sheep, they are social animals and can often be spotted munching on grasses and other edibles around the hotel and in the yards of Glenwood Springs residents. They rest in the shade during the day and graze at dawn and dusk, which is the best time to spot them. 

Birds of Prey. Catch sight of magnificent birds of prey on nearby rivers. Bald eagles, golden eagles, hawks and vultures like to troll both the Colorado and the Roaring Fork rivers for tasty fish. If you’re lucky, you may just spot an eagle swoop down with radar precision and scoop up a Colorado rainbow trout. Human anglers will have to rely on their casting skills or schedule a float trip with a local fishing guide to reel in the catch of the day.

Black bears. If you see a bear while visiting Glenwood Springs, even though it might be brown, it is a black bear. When it comes to bears, black is a species not a color. Black bears are shy creatures that generally avoid human contact. They subsist on berries, nuts, grasses and dead animal carcasses when they can get them. They have keen senses, including a nose that can detect food from five miles away! On a summery day several years ago, Hotel Colorado had its doors open when a curious young black bear strolled in, walked through the lobby and exited on the other side! 

Wapiti. Otherwise known as elk, these majestic creatures are related to deer but are much larger with some weighing 1,100 pounds. They live on average eight to 20 years and when running can reach a top speed of 56 miles per hour! Elk are easy to recognize, not only does their size give them away other hallmarks include the buff-colored patch of fur on the rumps of both sexes and the magnificent antlers of the bulls. Big game hunters come from all around the world to hunt elk in White River National Forest surrounding Glenwood Springs. Herds can often be seen south of Glenwood Springs on golf courses and open lands near the Roaring Fork River.

Koi. Not exactly native Colorado wildlife, but you’re guaranteed to see these colorful fish when you visit or stay at Hotel Colorado. A colorful species of carp that originated in Japan, the fish resemble giant goldfish. In winter when the water temperature drops, they go dormant. As the mercury rises, they reinvigorate becoming more active. Guests can get an up-close look at them swimming in the fountain located in the hotel’s courtyard, which will open for dining and drinks as the weather warms in the coming weeks.  

Experience the wild side of nature in Glenwood Springs. Learn more and make plans to stay at Hotel Colorado today!

Photos by Jason Cox – Elksongs Images

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