There are so many wonderful things about the place we call home. The most obvious is what you can see when you take a look around. There is clearly stunning scenery, but on top of that, we have some intriguing wildlife to view.
The Goose Creek valley is home to a wide array of critters you may not see in other places. We are lucky to be surrounded by National Forest that attracts these animals. During your stay, keep any eye out and have your camera ready-you never know when you’ll come across some exciting wildlife to view and photograph!
We frequently see two types of eagles here at 4UR. More commonly we see bald eagles, often in pairs. Our bald eagles enjoy hanging out in the tops of trees near Walton Pond or along the creek. We also see golden eagles flying overhead. Golden Eagles are not as distinctly marked as bald eagles, but can be picked out by their vast size and dark feathers toward the center of their body and lighter, golden-ish feathers on the back of the head and nape of the neck. Both types of eagles are often seen looking for fish or small rodents. If you get the chance to see one, take note of their tremendous wingspan!
Fun Fact: Both types of eagles can live to be 30 years old!
Rocky Mountain Elk
If you’re looking for Elk around 4UR, you’re in luck! Our valley is home to a fairly large number of these unique animals. While the best time to catch a glimpse is in the Fall and Winter, summer sightings are not out of the question. In the Fall, the elk are active during their “rut”. At this time of year, it is possible to hear a bull elk bugling. Bull elk use their bugle to show dominance to other bulls in the area.
In the Winter, large numbers of elk come down to drink from Goose Creek. These herds also come down to sneak bites of the hay fed to the horses. It is a beautiful sight to see 30-50 elk trotting along the snowy hillside above the horse pasture.
Fun Fact: The original name for Elk was Wapiti, which means “white rump”. In parts of Europe, the word elk refers to what we call a moose
If you’ve spotted a moose in your time with us at 4UR, you’re one of the lucky ones! While we see a few moose each summer, they are much more elusive than the other wildlife. These huge members of the deer family are majestic and surprisingly agile. They can hop over fences and pick up speed when necessary. If you do happen to encounter a moose, be sure to give him or her some extra space. A nervous mama moose can be very dangerous and is likely to charge to protect her baby. While a bull moose is less likely to charge, they can still become agitated when feeling trapped or threatened. Guests most commonly see moose down in the willows along Goose Creek.
Fun Fact: A baby moose can outrun a human at just 5 days old
Coyotes are both majestic and wiry. They are some of the wildlife that can be seen year round along Goose Creek. The Coyotes of our valley are often seen in pairs or alone. Early in the mornings they can be heard yipping and calling to each other. If you spot a coyote here, they’ll likely be reddish tan in color and about the size of a medium sized dog. They are fast and elusive, so be sure to look quick if you think you see one.
Fun Fact: Coyotes are great swimmers, which has allowed them to populate some islands
Aside from these unique animals, 4UR is also home to Redtail Hawk, Osprey, Marten, and Fox. Big Horn Sheep can be seen across the Rio, often along the base of the Palisades. We hope that you are able to spot some of these critters during your say with us!