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Wildlife Viewing
Wildlife Viewing

​​​​​Yampa Valley Crane Festival

Girl with decorated crane head cookie

August 31 – September 3, 2017 in Steamboat Springs and Hayden, CO

Please join us for the 6th annual Crane Festival. Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) highlighted events include:

Friday, September 1: Noon–12:45 p.m.

“Monitoring Breeding Greater Sandhill Cranes in Northwest Colorado” will be presented by Liza Rossi, Bird Conservation Coordinator, CPW, in Library Hall. The presentation includes what we know about the breeding population of the Rocky Mountain Greater Sandhill Crane in northwestern Colorado and some history, as well as, the current status of the species here in Colorado. She will briefly describe a recent CPW study to develop some new methods to monitor the Greater Sandhill Crane in the Yampa Valley. 

Friday, September 1: 5:30-8:00 p.m.

​Family activities, dessert, and crane viewing at the Yampavian Ranch in Hayden, CO. Girl dissecting owl pelletAdults must be accompanied by at least 1 child. Activities include educational games, a campfire sing-along, and crane​viewing. ​​Dessert and beverages provided. Please bring a camp chair. 

**Advance registration and $5/person non-refundable fee required. Children 10 and under are free.**

Sunday, September 3: 11:00 a.m. – Noon & 12:15–1:15 p.m.

Owl pellet workshop for children in Library Hall. Find out what owls eat and how they process their food. 

**FREE, but advance registration is required. Workshop is limited to 12 children (minimum age of 4 years) and accompanying adults. **

Most events are free, but some activities, including crane viewing shuttles and other events with limitedBoy next to life-size crane cuttout
​space, will require advance registration and a nominal registration fee. These events are noted in the detailed schedule​. Online registration for all activities opened on July 1. There will be no refunds after August 15. Registration closes at 12 noon MDT on August 29, 2017.

​For speakers and workshop leaders, registration, accommodations, festival venues, a photo contest, crane viewing information and more, see the Colorado Crane Conservation Coalition website​ (note the 2017 Festival dropdown menu on the main horizontal navigation). 

Mountain Biking, Road Biking, and Family Biking suggestions.​​​Buy A parks pass..​​​More outdoor recreation opportunities.


Hike: Elk Meadow and Murphy's Cut
Saturday, August 19

Join Naturalist Nancy hiking down trail 18 over to Murphy’s cut where the Midland Terminal railway went through. On the way back to the trailhead we will stop by Peak View Pond. This is a 4 mile hike. Bring plenty of water and wear sunscreen.

GPS Geocaching Treasure Hunt
Saturday, August 19

2017 is the 17th anniversary of geocaching!

Children: Tiger Salamanders
Saturday, August 19

Come explore the amazing facts about tiger salamanders through stories and hands on activities with Naturalist Penny

Sunday Morning Bird Walk
Sunday, August 20

Come take a peaceful morning hike with a park naturalist along the Grassland Trail! We'll look (and listen!) for summer resident birds along the easy, 1/2 mile trail. Meet at the information kiosk next to Heinricy parking lot southwest of the campground. Bring water, sunscreen, and good walking shoes. Free and no registration required.

Oh Deer! Discovery Table
Sunday, August 20

Think you know deer?

Hike: Cahill Loop
Sunday, August 20

Join Naturalists Penny on this moderate 2.5 mile hike, exploring the flora and fauna of Mueller as well as some outlaw history along the way.

Amphitheater: Jeopardy in the Park
Sunday, August 20

Test your knowledge on wildlife, geology, flowers, and animal facts with Naturalist Penny. Have fun while learning Mueller trivia. There will be prizes!

General Nature Hike: School Pond
Wednesday, August 23

Join Naturalist Karleen in exploring all the beauty that the montane forest has to offer! If you are new to Colorado, just visiting, or looking to gain knowledge of basic wildlife, trees, and wildflowers, this is the hike for you! The sun is especially unforgiving at 9,000+ feet so be sure to wear sunscreen/hat, and bring plenty of water.

​ Wildlife Viewing Guides​

​​​bighorn sheep and mountain goat brochure cover ​

Bighorn Sheep
& Mountain Goats


​​Deer & Elk


cover of grouse, prairie-chickens and ptarmigan brochure

Grouse, Prairie​-Chickens
& Ptarmigan


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.