If you think Telluride is just a resort town, you probably don’t know about the dangerous creatures that roam the mountains.
That’s right. There are dangers amidst the beautiful scenery.
Today, we’re looking into the wildlife around Telluride to see which creatures pose the biggest threats to visitors. If you’re planning a trip there, discover how to keep yourself safe in the Rocky Mountains.
Let’s get into it!
Where Is Telluride, Colorado?
The charming town of Telluride, Colorado, is located in the southwest corner of the state. This former mining town has held onto much of its historic features. You won’t find any stoplights, neon signs, or chain restaurants here.
Today, this quaint village is a year-round resort town. In winter, skiers and snowboarders hit the slopes. When there isn’t snow on the ground, hikers, mountain bikers, and river rafters enjoy the area’s amenities.
Pro Tip: You’ll enjoying doing these 9 Best Things To Do in Telluride, Colorado.
The Most Dangerous Creatures in Telluride, Colorado
This town is celebrated for its unspoiled scenery and welcoming atmosphere. But you’ll want to watch out for some of the dangerous creatures found in Telluride.
Colorado is home to 30 snake species, but only three are venomous. These are the Western, massasauga, and prairie rattlesnakes.
Rattlesnakes are masters of camouflage. They’re hard to spot as they blend into their surroundings and like to curl up in inconspicuous places.
In springtime, these snakes emerge from their underground burrows. These are often young, small snakes that are even harder to see.
Be sure to watch your step and anywhere you may put your hands as you navigate wild terrain. Always keep dogs close to you, as they can also fall victim to a rattlesnake’s bite.
Black bears inhabited the mountains long before miners moved into the area. But today, humans take up much more real estate, pushing bears out of their habitats. While bear attacks are rare, these creatures still pose a threat to visitors at Telluride.
These bears are wary of humans, but they’re curious, intelligent, and above all else, hungry. When they have regular access to human food, they can become aggressive and less afraid of people. In these cases, bears often need to be euthanized.
Always keep your distance when you see one of these creatures in Telluride. Be sure to store food and trash properly in bear-proof lockers. Black bears are active from March to November and are typically nocturnal.
Mountain lion sightings are increasing throughout Colorado. Telluride, in particular, is a hotbed for such encounters.
These big cats typically shy away from humans but are known to attack when people or their pets get too close. This is especially true when cubs are present.
They tend to hunt at dawn and dusk, so avoid hiking alone around these times. Always keep your pets leashed while walking them, and stay aware of your surroundings. This means no headphones on the trails.
If you do see a mountain lion, give it plenty of space. Don’t turn your back on it or run away. Instead, try to scare it off by making yourself look big, and if necessary, throw small stones towards it to scare it off.
Moose are majestic creatures with their immense size and broad antlers. But they’re also incredibly dangerous.
They can weigh up to 1,000 pounds and stand well over six feet tall. A frightened moose might charge at humans or animals it perceives as a threat. Wolves are their primary predators, so moose are prone to attacking dogs.
Colorado wildlife groups have spent forty years working to increase moose populations. Today, more than 3,000 have been found in the state.
If you come across a moose, give it plenty of space. And as always, keep your dogs leashed on the trails.
When you think of dangerous creatures in Telluride, you may think of large beasts like bears and mountain lions. But the tiny tick can be just as deadly.
Colorado doesn’t have ticks that carry Lyme disease. Instead, these critters have other infectious diseases like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
Using insect repellent and avoiding high grass and brushy areas is a good way to prevent falling victim to ticks. After spending time in the woods, do a full body check to make sure you didn’t bring home any unwanted guests.
If you find a tick, remove it by placing tweezers as close to your skin as possible and pulling it straight out. It’s crucial to remove the head. Keep an eye on any tick bites to make sure they don’t become infected.
Finally, keep your pets on preventative flea and tick medication. This’ll keep both you and your pets safe.
Black Widow Spider
There are over 30 species of widow spiders in Colorado. Fortunately, not all of them are dangerous.
Female black widows are the ones to be aware of. These spiders have black bodies and the trademark red hourglass on their abdomens. They build sticky, irregularly shaped webs close to the ground.
A bite from a black widow can cause pain and nausea. But the most dangerous symptom is paralysis of the diaphragm. This can make it hard to breathe. Most people recover from these bites without a problem, but they can be deadly for small children and people with compromised immune systems.
Mountain goats might look harmless, but these creatures can be surprisingly dangerous. Their sharp horns can inflict significant damage if they decide to charge.
Although the greatest threats to mountain goats are natural events like rockslides and avalanches, they can become aggressive toward humans and domestic animals.
Fortunately, these animals usually let you know before they attack. A mountain goat might circle its predator, display its horns, and huff at the dirt to show you it means business.
Pro Tip: Spend the night at one of these 7 Best Telluride Camping Spots.
Is Telluride, Colorado, Worth Visiting?
Telluride is an incredible vacation destination. This small town offers ample opportunities for adventurers and welcomes them year-round.
Like any wilderness area, Telluride has its fair share of dangerous creatures. However, this is no reason to avoid the area. By following park guidelines and using a little common sense, you should feel safe amongst the mountains.
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