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Wildlife Viewing
Wildlife Viewing

​​Have You Ever Seen a River of Bats? 

At least once in your life you must experience this extraordinary event in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. A one-hour hike will take you to an abandoned mine from which you will see nearly 250,000 Mexican free-tailed bats. 

From mid-June through mid-September the Orient Mine​, a designated Natural Area in the Colorado Natural Areas Program, is the summer home of the northernmost and largest bachelor colony of Mexican free–tailed bats known in North America. Every night, these bats head out at sunset in search of up to 6,000 pounds of insects and put on a spectacular display in the process. As bats emerge from the old iron ore mine they fly directly overhead and stretch out across the SLV like a river, into the sunset. 

To see the bats, visitors must make an hour-long trek to the mine, starting at Valley View Hot Springs. If you can handle the 700 feet of elevation gain, the hike and bat viewing are available for free; there is a charge only if you choose to use the hot springs facilities. 

Call the Orient Land Trust at (719) 256-4315 to make sure the bats are there when you are planning to visit. More information is also available on the Orient Land Trust website.​

Events

Moonlight Hike
Tuesday, June 30

Join Naturalists for an evening hike and afterwards enjoy refreshments and other celestial delights. $7.50 per hiker is requested to reserve a spot prior to the event. Hikes start promptly at the advertised start time. This program is a fundraiser for Friends of Roxborough supporting the environmental education efforts in the park. This event has limited space, call 303-973-3959 to confirm availability. To reserve, send a check payable to the Friends of Roxborough to the park address: 4751 E. Roxborough Drive, Roxborough, CO 80125. A non-refundable tickets for your confirmed hike will be sent to you. Bring this ticket with you to the event and remember all vehicles entering the park need a valid pass attached. Daily passes are $7.00 and available at the self-service signage therefore remember to bring correct change. See you there!

Green Ranch hike
Saturday, July 4

This guided walk traverses an area of the park that is not developed and only open to visitors during a guided excursion. We will recall the history of the area, catch glipses of wildlife, and see open vistas of the Front Range! This is an easy 3-mile loop through the old corral area and return to the car. Meet Volunteer John Moyer at the Visitor Center at 9:00am to start your walk through history! A valid park pass is required on each vehicle that attends.

Wild Wings
Saturday, July 4

Ever seen a giant bird flying around over head? Have you wondered what it was doing? Come to the Reverend’s Ridge amphitheater to see and hear all about our large birds of prey. Live birds will be presented in the presentation.

Nature Hike- Raccoon Trial
Sunday, July 5

Join our park interpreter for a 1.5 mile guided hike on the raccoon trail talking about the local flora and fauna, trees, and animals native to Golden Gate State Park. A minimum of seven people is required, signup sheets are located in the reverend ridge office.

Lory State Park 40th Anniversary Party
Saturday, July 11

Lory State Park invites you to celebrate their 40th Anniversary milestone at the Soldier Canyon Group Picnic Area, on Saturday, July 11, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lory offers visitors a variety of rugged terrain and stunning vistas of the northern Colorado Front Range. The park covers almost 2,600 acres and features 26 miles of trails that lead through forest, meadows and rock-outcroppings, offering visitors great terrain for mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing, bouldering, and horseback riding. The Friends of Lory State Park, the park’s supporting organization, as well as many other local organizations and partners will be in attendance. Food trucks will have a variety of food options available and outdoor gear vendors will demonstrate the latest in outdoor equipment.

Staunton Marmot Fest
Saturday, July 18

Annual Marmot Fest. Local scavenger hunt starts June 12. Festival runs July 18th-19th.

Nature Hike- Snowshoe Hare Trail
Saturday, July 25

Join our park interpreter for a 3 mile guided hike on the Snowshoe Hare trail talking about the local flora and fauna, trees, and animals native to Golden Gate State Park. A minimum of seven people is required, signup sheets are located in the reverend ridge office.

Kids hour-Montane Ecosystem
Saturday, July 25

Take a walk in the woods with our Interpreter Jim Bick. He will discuss what makes the ecosystem of the park unique and what animals inhabit the park.

Wildlife Viewing Guides​

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Map

Brown Wildlife Viewing SignSelect a pin point for a description of the location and wildlife viewing information. There are over 200 sites to choose from. These sites are also published on the official Map to Colorado. Order yours today (included with the Vacation Guide). Look for the brown wildlife viewing signs at (most) location destinations. Download our wildlife viewing tips and checklist ​to use on your next wildlife viewing adventure.