Vast prairies and mountain vistas form a home for native creatures and mammals in Aurora, Colorado. Located in the High Plains, Aurora’s elevation plays a key role in habitat for many animals. Always remember, never approach wildlife! Wandering into their space can cause harm to both you and them. It is best to view animals from a safe distance of at least 25 yards.
Explore more than 15,000 acres of expansive prairie, wetland, and woodland habitat specifically designed to provide a home to native animals. At the refuge, hike more than 10 miles of trails to discover furry friends on your own or follow the signs for the Wildlife Auto Tour. Visitors can catch a glimpse of black-footed ferrets, deer, coyotes, bald eagles, and burrowing owls. Look on the horizon to see herds of bison grazing. With more than 330 different species, you’re bound to spot something!
Take a trip back in time as you and your family explore the lifestyle of early American settlers. The Plains Conservation Center is a nature preserve and education center complete with miles of trails, high-plain prairie, and wildlife! Walk along the soft-packed trails to spot some of Aurora’s creatures including herds of pronghorn deer, soaring bald eagles, and swift red-tailed hawks. There are plenty more waiting to be spotted!
Explore the simple trail systems that are off-the-beaten-path, making it easier to spot wildlife in its natural habitat. Park at the nature center and make your way on the soft trails anytime between dawn and dusk. Locals often see grazing mule deer and red-tailed hawks. Near the water banks, look for snapping turtles and painted turtles. In the sky search for the more uncommon great horned owls.
With more than 800 acres of open space, you’ll have a good chance spotting herds of pronghorn deer. Surrounded by the primitive prairie, there are a few shorter walking trails for spotting creatures. Be on the lookout for mule deer, birds, and prairie dogs. At dusk, you might even see a swift coyote!
Perhaps one of the largest areas to view wildlife in the Aurora-Denver Metro, Cherry Creek State Park, is home to a large fresh-water reservoir, wetlands, rolling hills, prairies, and mountain vistas. This park attracts some of Aurora’s most diverse animals, including marine life – both underwater and living near the banks! Expect carpe and other large freshwater fish, bald eagles, turtles, and hawks. Offshore, keep an eye out for mule deer, coyotes, and other small furry creatures.
This fishing oasis has been a local secret for decades. Explore the quiet and well-maintained trails as you search for raptors soaring near the banks. Experienced anglers will be impressed with the trout, largemouth bass, perch, and crappie. The 3.5-mile loop trail is perfect for experiencing the Rocky Mountains at sunset.