Did you know you can spot wild horses roaming in Colorado? Here are a few places where you might find this majestic creature around the state:
1. The Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Area
If spectacular wildlife sightings are on your bucket list, the Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Area is the place for you. Located just eight miles northeast of Grand Junction, the area, spanning more than 36,000 acres, is home to 90 to 150 mustangs, including palominos, paints, grays, blacks, bays, sorrels, blue red roans, appaloosas, and curlies. Spring and fall are the best times to spot the horses grazing the rugged canyons and plateaus. Other wildlife found in the area includes elk, turkey, mule deer, desert bighorn sheep, chuckar partridge, gamble’s quail, midget faded rattlesnake, snowshoe hare, mountain lion, bobcat, bear. Read more about the herd here.
2. The Spring Creek Basin Herd Management Area
The Spring Creek Basin is another great place to see wild horses. The Spring Creek Basin Herd Management Area in Disappointment Valley is located between Norwood and Dove Creek in the beautiful southwest corner of the state. The wild herd, including bays, sorrels, grays, and pintos, dates back to the early 1900s. Legends say the horses have descended from a Montana rancher who originally came to the valley to sell off a herd of stolen horses to the U.S. Cavalry. The herd, now managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), roams freely across 21,932 acres of open rolling hills and rugged mountain terrain. Visitors to the area may also see elk, mule deer, bald eagles, golden eagles, peregrine falcons, coyotes, prairie dogs, rattlesnakes, black bears, and mountain lions. More details here.
3. The Sand Wash Basin Herd Management Area
Venture to the northwest corner of the state and you’ll find a colorful herd of wild horses grazing across more than 157,000 acres in the Sand Wash Basin Herd Management Area, located about 45 miles west of Craig. It’s home to an estimated population of about 700 horses. If you’re lucky, you may also spot elk, mule deer, Greater sage-grouse, white-tailed prairie dogs, pronghorn, coyotes, mountain lions, badgers, and golden and bald eagles, so be sure to have your camera ready. Tours are strongly recommended.
4. Piceance-East Douglas Herd Management Area
For another wild experience, head northwest to marvel at the wild horses trotting around the Piceance-East Douglas Herd Management Area located southwest of Meeker and east of State Highway 139. The herd is varied, featuring bay, gray, sorrel, black, roan, and buckskin breeds. Among 190,130 acres, you may also spot mule deer, elk, badgers and a variety of birds. More details here.
RELATED: If you love seeing natural wonders, here are 10 beautiful places worth exploring around the state this summer.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Wild horses are dangerous. Do not ever try to approach, feed, or pet them. This applies to ALL wildlife you may encounter in the state. Please respect the wild and always view animals from a safe distance.